Prek-12 Legislative Update 2/16/18
- Senate Education Chair Dorothy Hukill filed late today what amounts to be the starting Senate version of HB7055. The “strike-all” amendment contains the contents in part of in whole of SB1434 passed Wednesday in Senate Ed Appropriations; SB1172 concerning the Hope Scholarship and a consolidation and expansion of accountability requirements for private school scholarships; HB25 that requires a union having fewer than 50% of qualifying employees as members to seek recertification as the bargaining agent, SB732 concerning home education requirements of school districts, SB88 on financial literacy, and parts of SB2508 which was to be the original Senate budget conforming bill. The Strike-all is attached for your review It will be heard at 11am on Tuesday in Senate Education. There likely will be various amendments filed to this amendment between now and Monday that will also be considered Tuesday. We are still reviewing the 115-page amendment over the weekend for other posible provisions;
- A number of responses have come forward since Wednesday’s tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. Among them so far: push by Senate President-Designate Bill Galvano to provide upwards of $100 million o school districts for safety and mental health programs; scheduled hearing in Senate Judiciary Tuesday of SB1236 that provides a principal or superintendent with the option of having a volunteer or employee with specialized training to be on school grounds with a concealed weapon in the event of a shooting action; and Rep. Robert Asencio who has filed an amendment to HB1279 that calls for a $78M appropriation to establish a a School Safety Grant Program to employ law enforcement officers and mental health specialists. The amendment is attached. The bill is on the House floor “Special Order” calendar for next Tuesday. There is substantial national discussion occurring on issues: gun control and mental health services. Congress provided significant funding through a categorical federal safe schools program that was abolished during the last recession. We look for more responses to come;
- The updated tracking chart of bills that are getting full chamber consideration or have passed to the other chamber is accessible here: 2018 Bills on Floor or More2-16-18
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – 2/9/18
Congress passed (240-186/House and 71-28/Senate) and President Trump has signed a two-year budget authorization bill that provides an $80 Billion annual increase for defense and about a $63 Billion annual increase for domestic spending. It is important to note this is a budget authorization. The actual appropriations by function, including preK-12 education, will be done during the next six weeks with a March 23rd deadline. There is a chance that ESSA including Title I, Title II and other programs could be held harmless or see a modest increase along with workforce programs. This directly affects our 2018-19 school year. Federal spending at this point continues to be at last year’s level. Other parts of this morning’s deal, that averted an impactful government shutdown, includes:
- $2.4 billion in disaster relief funds for school districts and private schools for restarting school operations and to cover enrollment of displaced students. The amounts for displaced students are $8500/student; $9000 for each displaced English learning student and #10,000 for students with disabilities.
- the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been extended four more years for a total of 10 years;
- budget debt ceiling has been suspended through March 1, 2019.
Meanwhile, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will release her FY19 (our 19-20 fiscal year) budget recommendations on Monday at a press conference. The materials will be posted after her presser which will be webcast here starting at 2pm. Afterward, the materials can be downloadedhere.
The Economic Demographic Research (EDR) conference held its general revenue estimating conference today, the results of which will be be used this session to help resolve budget differences between the hose and Senate. Conferees increased their projections in general revenue to $181 million this current year and $280 million in 2018-19. The EDR Executive Summary and workpapers can be viewed and downloaded here.
EDR also held a K-12 FTE enrollment conference yesterday, the net result of which is an approximate 4,000 FTE decrease in enrollment for FY19. The decrease is largely based on a 13,000 student drop from early FY18 estimates to this past October’s third calculation and also includes a projected increase of about 12K students coming from Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands who have been displaced by the storms last year. The charts are attached.
Meanwhile, the Legislature passed and will shortly send to the Governor HB5007 which is the employer rate bill for the Florida Retirement System next year. The Enrolled (ER) version is attached for staff use in calculating the district cost for next year. The House includes $54 million in its budget increase for district FRS increases. The Senate does not.
Last, for you bill trackers, attached are two files, one containing some 30 bills that have made it to the chamber floor calendar or to the other chamber, and a second that includes about 118 bills that are moving through committee. We will update these charts weekly. As enough bills begin to pass the full Legislature, I’ll have an interim list of those as well.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update 1/30/18
President Donald Trump tonight spoke to the Congress and the country in his “State of the Union” address covering a multitude of topics that domestically included economic growth, infrastructure and health. The text of his speech is here. Concerning education, he connected his comments to economic growth and development, “As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential…”
Immediately after, House Education and Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx released a statement that said, in part, “There are over six million unfilled jobs in this country, and the President knows how important it is to equip people with the skills they need to take advantage of new job opportunities and build fulfilling careers. The President is focused not only on the success of the country, but also the success of individuals. All education is career education, and I am proud to work with President Trump to provide Americans with the tools they need to land rewarding jobs and build a prosperous life.”
Committee Ranking Democrat Bobby Scott, in turn, stated the Administration has “removed protections that improve equity in education,” but added, “…as the administration works to improve the country’s infrastructure, they should consider the Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2017 (H.R. 2475), which would help achieve greater educational equity, create jobs, and breathe new life into communities.”
Congress, meanwhile, has until February 8th to either reach agreement on a current federal year budget and related spending issues or yet again extend a Continuing Resolution beyond a week from tomorrow. Neither the President nor Congressional leaders spoke to the present budget issues tonight. At stake for Prek-12 is funding for all educational programs for our 2018-2019 school year and continuation of programs such as the Perkins Career/Vocational Education Act that funds both K-12 and postsecondary education institutions.
Attention this week focuses on the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow morning and the Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow afternoon as each chamber takes up their respective version of funding bills–general appropriations, implementing bill, conforming bill and FRS employer rates–for next year. So far, filed amendments do not make any substantive change from the subcommittee chairs’ budgets we distributed last week. FYI, the Senate as of tonight has not produced any district run for review.
Of note, the House has released a 55-page analysis of the 198-page Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for HB7055 that was posted late Thursday night. The House summary can be viewed and downloaded here.
Also, Sen. Bill Montford has filed an amendment, available here, to the conforming bill. SB2508, that seeks to clarify what and how local revenues are to be included in a district’s facilities survey. The wording comes after complaints that a 2017 DOE memo exceeded legislative authority.
Several bills have come before committees. we’ll have an updated chart showing their actions later this week. Of note to school board members, however, is SB194 that passed Senate Judiciary 4-2 and would place an 8-year term limit. The bill requires a Constitutional Amendment and, if approved by the Legislature, would go on the November general election ballot.The text is here. In the House, a similar but not identical bill (Constitutional Amendment), HB1031, prohibits, starting in 2018, a board member from running for re-election if s/he will have served 8 years by election time. There is also an 8-year term limit proposal in the Constitutional Revision Commission that starts the 8-year limit as of 2016.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
January 29, 2018
Members of the Staff Association accompanied school-bed administrators to Tallahassee this past week to attend FASA and meet with legislators regarding educational needs, concerns and issues. The two days we spent there were busy as we met with legislators to discuss issues such as school safety, graduation rates, dollars for capital needs and charter issues. Vern Pickup-Crawford served as our guide and chaperone making sure we kept to our timelines and met with as many folks as possible.
Additionally we attended the general FASA session, which was interesting and informative. The charter school issues we face are not just our issues and several superintendents echoed the same concerns we have regarding equity for charters and public schools.
Vern will continue to send us specific updates throughout the session, and they will be posted here. Keep up with what is happening by reading his notes – they are thorough and always on point.
Prek-12 Legislative Update 1/24/18
First, many thanks to those members who took valuable time away from district duties to come to Tallahassee during FASA Days. The trip was timely in that the issues of budget, assessment, elementary school scheduling of recess/PE and out of school suspensions are current topics in bills or budget.
Senate Prek-12 Education Appropriations Chair Kathleen Passidomo presented her budget recommendations for public schools this morning. Her FEFP recommendations will go directly to the full Appropriations Committee set to meet next week. The backup including a summary sheet can be viewed and downloaded here. There is no district run at this point. The FEFP summary is on page 14 of the PDF file; notes on content of the pending implementing and conforming bills are on pages 31-32, and the draft proviso language that would appear in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) starts on page 34. Of note, the Senate draft:
- provides a 1.5% increase in total potential state/local dollars per FTE over this past October’s actual enrollment (3rd calculation);
- folds into the FEFP dollars kept separately in HB7069 last year for the Best and Brightest teacher bonuses that would become part of salary rather than a bonus, and funding for the Schools of Hope;
- provides $40 million for Sen. Passidomo’s mental health initiative that is part of SB1434;
- increases the Safe Schools allocation by $13 million and the minimum per school district to $250,000;
- provides funding for an estimated 30,000 additional students over the October count, but reduces the Base Student Allocation by $45.20 from the current level of $4203.95 to $4158.75; and
- continues the Senate position to use local taxroll growth from both new construction and reappraisals (reassessments) as was done in years prior to 2016-17.
The full set of budget documents, possibly with an FEFP run, are expected to be published late Friday. We’ll forward the links when they come out.
Meanwhile, the House Education Committee staff analysis to the proposed 109-page committee bill distributed last night was released late today. The bill is on tomorrow’s 10am agenda and the meeting will be webcast on www.thefloridachannel.org. The analysis is attached. The staff summary of the proposed sections follows here:
The bill expands school choice options for parents and strengthens accountability by:
· Establishing the Reading Education Scholarship Account to provide students who scored Level I or II on 3rd grade English Language Arts (ELA) assessment with a scholarship toward services such as tutoring, summer school, and curriculum
· Streamlines monitoring and oversight provisions for scholarship programs and adds new accountability measures regarding site visits, parental notifications, and fiscal mismanagement
· Expands allowable uses of the Gardiner scholarship to include tutoring by a person with a baccalaureate degree in the subject matter area
The bill revises provisions related to curriculum and assessments by:
· Requiring the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to disseminate templates to assist schools in developing ELA and math curricula
· Requiring paper-based assessments for grades 7-8 in ELA and Math
· Incorporating Social Studies content into reading and writing prompts on state assessments
· Requiring released assessment items to be in an electronic format that facilitates sharing of assessment items
· Requiring school districts to provide Florida Virtual School (FLVS) students with access to district testing facilities for national assessments and industry certification exams
The bill revises certain provisions related to charter schools to:
· Allow charter schools to provide school administrator and principal preparation programs that lead to certification upon approval by DOE
· Allow charter schools to delay opening from 2 years to 3 years
· Require school districts to provide charter schools with access to surplus property on the same basis as public schools
· Require school districts to provide background screening results within 14 days for charter school employees or waive the fees for screening
· Revise eligibility for high performing schools to two consecutive “A” grades and allow high performing schools to replicate two schools
· Clarifies provisions relating to charter school terminations
The bill also:
· Expands the Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative to a statewide program and allows trained principals to manage multiple district schools that operate under an independent governing board
· Expands a superintendent’s duties to recommend specific schools to operate under a governing board
· Revises requirements related to home education and private school articulation agreements
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
PreK-12 Legislative Update – 1/9/18 – First Day of Session
Florida Commissioner Pam Stewart has notified superintendents of the amount to be distributed to eligible charter schools under provisions of HB7069 passed last session. The distribution files are attached and the memo from Linda Champion follows here. These are the official numbers, which may differ from what we saw during the 2017 regular session hearings.
The 2018 Legislature opened this morning with Gov. Rick Scott giving his eighth and last “state of the state” address to a joint session of the House and Senate. He focused on budget cuts, a proposed constitutional amendment to limit future legislative tax increases by requiring a 2/3 vote, recovery from hurricanes, fighting opioid abuse, and the global role of Florida, citing specifically Venezuela. The text of his speech is here. https://www.flgov.com/2018/01/09/governor-rick-scotts-2018-state-of-the-state-address/
Speaker Richard Corcoran, in his remarks to the House, called for continuing “reform” and accountability of governmental practices. Concerning education, he called for continued ways to provide parental school choice, referencing examples for the need of HB1 that provides sales tax credit scholarships to parents of children involved in incidents of bullying and assault that are not resolved to the parent’s satisfaction. The full text of his speech is here, courtesy of the News Service of Florida: https://newsserviceflorida.com/app/post.cfm?postIDfirstname.lastname@example.org&token=580F047D-79F2-45B1-9CA6-C034A7988DB7
Senate President Joe Negron began his Senate comments with a strong stanch against assault or inappropriate behavior by senators or staff, then spent most of his speech on both gains made by universities and his push for SB4 and SB540 to pass. Negron praised work done last year concerning drainage from Lake Okeechobee. Concerning public schools, he said he looked forward to seeing the House parent choice (HB1) legislation. He also called for expansion of industry certification programs in high schools and passage of SB88 that requires a semester of financial literacy in high schools (bill passed the Senate last year, but died in the House).
Only one education bill was heard today, HB731 concerning options for home schooling, and it passed House Innovation subcommittee unanimously. Both Senate and House Education Committees are not meeting this week. House Education Appropriations is hearing individual member project bills tomorrow while the House K-12 Quality Education Committee will take up HB 63 — Students with Disabilities in Public Schools, by Rep. Edwards, HB 495 — School District Price Level Index, by Rep. Diaz, HB 577 — High School Graduation Requirements, by Rep. Silvers, and HB 827 — Instructional Materials, by Rep. Donalds. Senate Education Appropriations hears SB564 on McKay scholarships that expands school district responsibility in providing or update student education plans and change the matrix of services based upon any reassessment.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – 12/13/17
House Education and Workforce Committee members worked all day until 12:03am to “mark up” HR4508 which would reauthorize the nation’s higher education act. The bill passed along straight party lines, 23-17. Members took up over 60 amendments to the partisan legislation supported by Republicans (called “PROSPER” or Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform Act). Democrats opposed the bill, among other reasons of note, for lack of any involvement in the original drafting of the bill, lack of any section addressing the DACA or so-called “dreamers Act, and for no guarantee to cap the borrowing costs of higher education loans. The majority of amendments came from Democrats and were voted down along party lines. As of this hour, the amendments had not been posted, but some are referenced on the Democrat member webpage in the next paragraph or @edworkforcedems.
HR4508 will now go to the floor although no date has been announced. The Republican leadership website with background and talking points can be viewed here. A substitute bill released this morning can be downloaded here. The Democrats’ webpage information can be viewed here. The bill has direct and indirect implications for K-12 students, including student aid and programs such as dual enrollment.
Look for Congress to stay in Washington this weekend trying to reach agreement on debt, spending and related bills to avoid either a December 22nd shutdown of non-essential federal services or having to extend the current Continuing Resolution (CR) beyond December 22nd. The major factor at this point is getting agreement on the proposed tax code revision and tax cut legislation. The price tag of $1.2-1.4 Trillion over ten years in reduced revenue projections has a major impact on levels of domestic and defense spending for the current federal year that started October 1st and for our education funding for next year (2018-2019). Conferencing between House and Senate leaders is continuing this week.
Meanwhile, a name from Florida’s relatively recent history surfaced today as Frank Brogan, former elected state Education Commissioner and Lt. Governor (under Jeb Bush), has been named Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education by President Trump, subject to U.S. Senate conformation. Brogan, who began as a teacher and then elected Superintendent in Martin County, retired earlier this year as chancellor of the Pennsylvania state university system. He played a major role in the transition in Florida from elected to appointed state commissioner in 1998-2002. He also served as Chancellor of the Florida Board of Governors and as president of Florida Atlantic University.
Constitutional Revision Committees meet this week. Of note is the Local Government committee on Thursday that will take up proposals 33 and 43 (school board term limits and change to appointed superintendents). The Education Committee hears further background education on issues including school choice. The materials, that now include some staff analyses, can be found here.
The Economic, Demographic and Research Office updated its schedule of EDER estimating conferences today to include the next General Revenue Conference for February 9th at am This is the last major estimate before lawmakers move to settle differences between House and Senate budgets that will be in conference committee just about that time. The meeting will be webcast over www.thefloridachannel.org.
As promised, attached is an interim tracking chart of legislative bills filed so far that do or that may impact Prek-12 education. Some 220 bills are shown, about the normal number for this time before session starts.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – Governor’s Proposed FY 19 budget
Governor Rick Scott released this morning his proposed FY19 budget to the 2018 Legislature. For K-12 funding, he is recommending nearly identical to the State Board of Education recommendations made to him in September. A copy of the Summary FEFP page and short version of the district distribution is attached. It calls for about a $200/FTE increase, using state and local funds–local funds including Required Local Effort (RLE) that, in turn, includes tax roll growth for new construction and reassessments, something that has been a major issue between the House and Senate for the last two years with the House prevailing in a roll-back dollar amount.
The summary page will give you a comparison of current year to his recommended levels of funding. Of note is a $10 million increase in Safe Schools, which he recommended last year, and the $18M increase in teacher supply dollars that he announced earlier this month. If and when a full “run” is available, I will forward that to you.
Under capital outlay, Gov. Scott is recommending continuation of $50 million in PECO funds for charter schools and $50 million for district schools.
In the release below, the very bottom link to the full budget including proviso language is provided. Education is included in Sections One and Two.
It’s likely legislative budget committees will start getting presentations from his staff during the December 4-7 committee meetings which may give us an idea of how receptive budget writers will be to his recommendations. The final FY18 budget approved in special session last June amounted to about half of what he had requested for K-12. His recommended level of funding is expected to be the “high water mark” in the FY19 appropriations process.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2017
CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
Gov. Scott: The Securing Florida’s Future Budget Makes Historic Investments and Cuts Taxes
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott visited Northern Tool + Equipment in Jacksonville to announce his Securing Florida’s Future budget which proposes $180 million in tax cuts to help Florida families. The Governor’s recommended budget also invests record funding in Florida’s education system, transportation, and environmental protection while continuing to support law enforcement and keep Florida’s economy growing.
Governor Scott said, “When I made the decision to run for Governor in 2010, a lot of people doubted that a businessman who had never been in politics could cut taxes and get our state back to work. For years, politicians in Tallahassee had run our economy into the ground through tax increases, frivolous spending and a lack of focus on job creation. I have spent every day since taking office fighting to get Florida on the right track by turning back the harmful policies of past politicians and I am proud of the work we have accomplished to secure Florida’s future by creating an environment where Floridians of all ages have the tools they need to succeed in our state. Today, I am proud to announce my budget which cuts taxes and makes historic investments in education, transportation and Florida’s environment.
“Turning around Florida’s economy would not have been possible without our hard work to cut taxes and encourage business to thrive here in the Sunshine State. Since I took office, I have been proud to work with the Florida Legislature to cut taxes 75 times saving Floridians more than $7.5 billion. Together, we have paid down $9 billion in state debt and made government more efficient to save even more taxpayer money. These accomplishments have helped secure future success and prosperity, and have made it possible for more than 1.3 million Floridians to find a job so they can support their families. As we look ahead to the future of Florida, it is important to continue fighting every day to make sure that our children and grandchildren have every opportunity to lead successful lives in the Sunshine State. Our Securing Florida’s Future budget advances Florida’s record of success and represents years of fighting to do what’s right for Florida families and I will keep fighting every day to secure Florida’s future for every Florida family.”
Cuts Taxes and Fees
The Securing Florida’s Future budget proposes to cut taxes by $180 million including reducing the fee when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license, reducing traffic citation fines for individuals attending driving school and implementing a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday and three one-week disaster preparedness sales tax holidays in May, June and July.
Protects the Environment
To continue protecting Florida’s world-class beaches, award-winning and nationally acclaimed state parks, renowned springs and iconic Everglades, Governor Scott is recommending more than $3.8 billion, including record funding to preserve Florida’s environment and keep the state beautiful for generations to come. This includes:
- A record $355 millionfor Everglades restoration including $50 million to expedite repairs for the federal Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee;
- A record $55 millionfor Florida’s springs;
- A record $100 millionfor Florida’s beaches;
- A record $50 millionfor Florida’s state parks;
- More than$21 million to help Florida’s citrus industry following Hurricane Irma; and
- $50 millionfor Florida Forever to help preserve and protect our natural lands.
Invests in Education
For the sixth straight year, Governor Scott is recommending historic funding for education. The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests historic amounts of funding in voluntary pre-kindergarten, K-12, state colleges and universities to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed in the Sunshine State. Historic investments include:
- An additional $11.6 million for a record total of more than $408 millionfor Florida’s VPK program, a quality free education initiative, which serves more than 158,000 four and five-year olds;
- More than $21.4 billionin state and local funding for Florida’s K-12 public schools. This historic funding equates to $7,497 per student – an increase of $200 per Florida student – the highest total funding, state funding and per-student funding for K-12 in Florida’s history;
- $15 millionin funding for a brand-new program to expand opportunities for middle and high school students to learn coding and computer science;
- $12 millionin funding to establish the English Language Learners Summer Academics program. This program will be focused on reading improvements and making sure students in grades 4 – 8 displaced by Hurricane Maria have access to summer academies.
- Historic funding for higher education including record state operating funding for Florida’s higher education system of more than $1.2 billionfor Florida colleges, and more than $2.4 billion for Florida universities; and
- More than $23 millionfor Bright Futures scholarships and ensures the Bright Futures Academic Scholars award will continue to cover 100 percent of tuition and fees for all semesters, including summer, for all eligible students. There are also NO tuition increases included in the budget.
Healthy Florida Families
The Securing Florida’s Future budget makes important investments to keep Florida families healthy:
- $53 millionto continue Florida’s fight against the national opioid epidemic;
- More than $1 billionin mental health and substance abuse funding, including $14.7 million for community-based behavioral health services;
- More than $1.3 billionfor Florida’s child welfare system which includes more than $10 million for an additional 130 Child Protective Investigator and Florida Abuse Hotline Counselor positions. Under Governor Scott, the number of CPIs has increased by nearly 300 and the number of by Florida Abuse Hotline counselors has increased by nearly 50;
- More than $198 million, a more than $2 millionincrease over current year funding, for maintenance adoption subsidies which provide funding for the families of children who are adopted from foster care to receive the services they need. This funding will also provide critical post adoption services for more than 37,000 children. Since taking office, Governor Scott has championed investments for the adoption of more than 20,000 children from Florida’s child welfare system;
- $2 millionfor the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to provide employment services to approximately 1200 individuals with behavioral health needs and those with developmental disabilities who are ready to work; and
- More than $18 millionto add approximately 900 individuals who are in crisis into the APD waiver program. This is the sixth year that Governor Scott has provided funding to enroll individuals into the APD waiver program to help them live, learn and work in their communities.
Secures Great Transportation for Florida’s Future
The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests a record $10.8 billion for the Florida Department of Transportation to ensure that more than 20.7 million residents and more than 112 million visitors are able to move safely and effectively throughout the state. Since 2011, Governor Scott has overseen the investment of $85 billion in funding for roads, bridges, airports and seaports. This includes priority investments in Florida’s seaports exceeding $1.4 billion.
Keeps Florida’s Communities Safe and Strong
The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests $5.3 billion in public safety, an increase of nearly $200 million over current year funding, and makes important investments to support Florida’s dedicated law enforcement officers. Key public safety investments include:
- $30 millionfor Florida’s state law enforcement agencies to use for additional pay raises to award Florida’s nearly 4,800 sworn state law enforcement officers;
- $1.3 millionto the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for incident command vehicles and emergency ordinance disposal vehicles to strengthen counterterrorism and intelligence efforts;
- More than $8 millionfor the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to provide a 10 percent salary increase for Florida’s Juvenile Detention and Probation Officers;
- $317,000and three positions for DJJ to establish the Office of Youth and Family Advocacy which will serve as a firsthand resource working directly with youth and families to foster communication and amplify their voice in the ongoing improvement of the juvenile justice system; and
- $68 millionand 476 positions for the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) to better serve inmates with mental illness.
Invests in Florida’s Emergency Preparedness and Response
The Securing Florida’s Future budget includes a total of $1.4 billion for the Florida Division of Emergency Management to continue to prepare for and respond to both manmade and natural disasters. This reflects a 257 percent increase over the current year level of funding of $390.6 million. This funding will also support communities and state operations in disaster response and rapid recovery related activities due to Hurricane Irma and other prior storms.This is the highest level of funding since Governor Scott took office.
Invests in Florida’s Veterans Community
The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $178 million to support active duty military, veterans and their families.
Click here to view the Securing Florida’s Future Budget highlights.
Click here to view the Securing Florida’s Future Budget FAQ.
Click here to view the Securing Florida’s Future Budget complete budget.
Prek-12 Legislative Update 11/8/17
Legislators held a shortened week of legislative committee meetings with a number of committees, including in Education, not meeting. Of note between yesterday and today:
- HB1, Hope Scholarships, passed the House K-12 Innovation Committee along party lines this afternoon following debate reminiscent of that in prior years concerning corporate income tax scholarships. This bill would provide a scholarship/voucher to the parent of a child bullied or assaulted in school or at a school bus stop and when, after a fifteen day lead time from date of reporting, is not resolved by the school principal to the satisfaction of the parent. The bill and staff analysis can be viewed and downloaded hereand, for those interested, the two-hour hearing can be accessed here. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Byron Donalds, tracks the income tax scholarship process and values (88% elementary, 92% middle and 96% high school of state FEFP/pupil funding). The fund source is a car or light truck buyer’s designation of $20 of the state sales tax to a scholarship funding organization as determined by any Florida citizen purchasing a qualifying vehicle. Staff analysis projects $30-40 million/year revenue. The bill has two more “stops” in Prek-12 Appropriations and then full education committee. There is no Senate version at the moment.
- House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee passed several bills yesterday, two of which involve school districts. The backup and bills, here, include proposed committee bill PIE18-02 that sets ethics stipulations for local government including school boards and for entities doing business with school boards; PIE18-03 sets local government lobbyist requirements (persons lobbying local government) and that the state rules/laws will preempt any local ordinances or policies already in place. Both are similar to bills that passed the House last session, but failed in the Senate.
- In Senate Prek-12 Education Appropriations, SB88, which would require a half-credit course in financial literacy during a student’s high school career starting with ninth graders next year, passed unanimously. Sponsor Dorothy Hukill, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, had identical legislation passed last session in the Senate, but it died in the House.
- House Prek-12 Education Appropriations committee members heard updates from FLDOE on student enrollment and impact of Hurricane Irma on prek and early learning programs. Deputy Commissioner Linda Champion said the third calculation will be completed by December 21. So far, some 6344 students have enrolled in Florida schools from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. There was no projection if that number would result in this year’s funded FTE enrollment cap would be exceeded.
- Although school districts self-insure vehicles–school buses, maintenance trucks, etc.–district risk managers should look at HB19 by Rep. Erin Grall that passed House Commerce and which abolishes the long-standing PIP insurance requirements. The bill goes straight to the House floor. In place, it requires bodily injury coverage. More information on the legislation can be found here.
- Governor Rick Scott has announced a package of $180 million in tax cuts for which he will seek legislative approval. Foremost is a 10-day tax-free holiday for purchase of school supplies and related clothing, etc., next August.
- House Ways and Means Committee voted out PCB WMC18-01, a proposed committee bill that would place on the November, 2018 ballot a requirement that a 2/3 vote of the Legislature would be required subsequently to raise state taxes or fees. A similar measure has been filed in the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC).
More CRC proposals have been filed by members. Of note are Proposals:
- 82 that would prohibit starting school earlier than 7 days before Labor Day,
- 89 that adds the following language at the beginning of Article IX, Section One–“The purpose of the public education system of Florida is to develop the intellect of the state’s citizens, to contribute to the economy, to create an effective workforce, and to prepare students for a job,”
- 90 that modifies the class size requirement to read the “average class size” per teacher (keeping the same 18, 22 and 25 ratios) and stipulating the difference in cost from now to the new language would be used for teacher pay raises; and
- 93 that provides for high performing school districts (state rated “B” or higher) to be considered “charter districts’ with the same flexibility allowed for charter schools, currently.
Legislators meet in Tallahassee next week for a fourth round of presession committee weeks. The CRC will convene its commission and subcommittees the week of November 27th.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – 11/1/17
The Constitutional Revision Commission and some subcommittees are meeting this week in Tallahassee, still getting briefings on issues. Yesterday, the Education Subcommittee spent time going over topics including the change from elected to appointed state education commissioners (1998 change that took effect in 2003); history of elected and appointed school superintendents in Florida, state university governance and other state education options. Tomorrow the subcommittee is slated to get department updates on K-12 funding and funding for sectarian schools. After this week, the Commission has November 28-30 slated to hold further meetings.
Meanwhile, as of yesterday, 71 proposals have been filed by Commission members. At least 10 would have direct effect on K-12 education. A list and link to each proposal is attached. The 10 include:
- 4 – religious freedom–allowing use of state funds for sectarian schools
- 10 – requirement to teach civic literacy in public schools
- 25 – recreation of a separate state board for community colleges and postsecondary education
- 32 – prohibition of any compensation except for travel and mileage for state education, university and district school boards
- 33 – change to have all district superintendents appointed (41 currently elected, mostly in smaller districts)
- 43 – limit school board member terms in office to two–eight years, starting in 2020
- 45 – legislature has preeminent control over education
- 52 – revisions to local “ethics in government” requirements
- 59 – similar proposal to #4 for use of state funds for sectarian schools
- 71 – provision for the state to authorize charter schools, separate from school boards
Legislative committees meet next week on a reduced schedule. Senate Education is taking a “bye” as is House K-12 Quality and others. Of note, however, is House Bill 1 (HB1) filed today by Rep. Byron Donalds that follows through on Speaker Richard Corcoran’s announcement last month of a new “Hope Scholarship” program (see the House website for its promo). The 25-page bill provides for a public school student to be eligible for a scholarship under this program “if the student has been subjected to an incident of battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses, harassment, assault, or battery; threat or intimidation; or fighting at school.” Incidents are those that occur on school grounds, during school-sponsored activities or and/or bus stops. The bill specifies procedures to be followed including the reporting of an incident to the principal who has 15 days to review and resolve the issue. If unresolved to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent may apply for the scholarship which would operate similar to the current Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Public schools, including charter schools, are not eligible for the scholarship. Virtual education is limited to two courses.
Funding would come from sales tax generated by the purchase of motor vehicles, but does not include heavy trucks, truck tractors, trailers, and motorcycles. The amount or value per scholarship is at the same rate used now for the corporate income tax program, to be set by the legislature. The contribution amount would be $20 per vehicle purchase and the vehicle buyer would sign off on the contribution. As the transaction occurs before the sales tax is received by the state, it is not state dollars, legally, and therefore allowable like the corporate income tax program.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Byron Donalds of Naples, will be heard in House Pre-12 Innovation Subcommittee on Wednesday, starting at 4pm. The meeting will be aired onwww.thefloridachannel.org.
Also of note, Governor Rick Scott has announced part of his 2018 education budget recommendations by supporting an increase of $18 million to $63 million for teacher supplies. Look for the rest of his budget to come out later this month or early next month. He has until December 10th to submit his recommendations to the Legislature.
House and Senate leaders reportedly are working on a compromise for the federal 2018 budget (our 2018-2019 school year). Much remains dependent on 1) what happens with the proposed revisions to the US tax code, 2) any movement or attempt to change healthcare which is a major cost, and 3) agreement on extension of the federal debt ceiling which is the amount the federal government is authorized to borrow to pay debt.
Next Wednesday, there will be a Joint Subcommittee meeting by the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and on Higher Education and Workforce Development on “Close to Home: How Opioids are Impacting Communities.” The meetng will be broadcast here. There are no backup materials at this point.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – 10/13/17
Legislative Committee meetings wrapped up yesterday with the Senate Appropriations Committee getting revenue updates from Economic/Demographic/Research (EDR) Coordinator Amy Baker noting that Hurricane Irma has cost Florida about $170 million so far with the price tag rising. Baker terms a one-time negative impact on revenue a “black swan.” The back-up for the meeting is linked here. In addition to PDF files on budget and impact of Hurricane Irma, the packet contains background information on the increase of opioid abuse and consequences around the state. The budget data will likely be the last until sometime either late next month or December.
To date, Baker is projecting about a $170 million negative impact that Irma has had on Florida revenues, noting that will increase as damage tabulations and impact of sales tax (loss of tourism, etc) is tabulated. While Florida is projected with over $1 billion increase in revenues for next year, fixed expenses including increased student enrollment, were projected to leave a total $52 million surplus. Irma has now placed that estimate in the minus column. Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala warned next session will be tight from a revenue standpoint.
Meanwhile, the House has begun its annual exercise in budget reductions. Part of the information at Wednesday’s K-12 Appropriations subcommittee show a potential 9.68% cut across the board would mean a reduction of $777.6 million in state Florida Education Finance Program dollars from current year. Note the House has been doing these budget reduction projections for several years and this week’s exercise does not mean that will be the final position of the House. Budget development has not begun nor will until session begins on January 9th. The “cut” sheets are part of the packet which is linked here for your review.
State Board of Education members meet next Wednesday, starting at 9am at Jacksonville’s Florida State College’s Advanced Technology Center. This will be the first meeting that the SBE will deal with Schools of Hope designations for school districts that have applied under HB7069 and who face mandatory turnaround changes for FY19. The agenda item, here, will be modified with announcement of school districts meeting the criteria. At the same meeting, the SBE will be asked to approve the designated “Schools of Excellence,” also authorized in HB7069, that provide a modicum of school-based autonomy.
The full agenda is here. The meeting will be webcast on www.thefloridachannel.org.
- Florida College System – President Bioteau on behalf of the Council of Presidents(PDF)
- Budget Handout(PDF)
- K-12 Public Schools – Superintendent Willis on behalf of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents(PDF)
- Review of Turnaround Option Plan for Alachua County(PDF)
- Review of Turnaround Option Plan for Hamilton County(PDF)
- Approval of District Turnaround Option Plans for Schools Implementing Year 1 in 2017-18(PDF)
- Parrish Charter Academy vs. School Board of Manatee County(PDF)
- Appeal of Charter School – Part One(PDF)
- Appeal of Charter School – Part Two(PDF)
- Manatee Response(PDF)
- CSAC Transcript(PDF)
- Proposed Exceptions by Manatee County(PDF)
- Motion to Strike by Parrish Charter Academy(PDF)
- Opposition to Motion to Strike by Manatee County(PDF)
- Order on Motion to Strike Proposed Exceptions(PDF)
- Approval of Amendment to Rule 6A-6.0781, Procedures for Appealing a District School Board Decision(PDF)
- Schools of Hope Program Awards for Traditional Public Schools – Whole School Transformation Model (TOP-3 applications)(PDF)
Chair Marva Johnson
- Approval of Amendment to Rule 6A-4.0012, Application Information(PDF)
- Approval of Amendment to Rule 6A-1.09414, Course Requirements Grades K-12 Exceptional Student Education(PDF)
- Approval of Repeal of Rule 6A-6.0524, Educational Alternatives Programs(PDF)
- Designation of Schools of Excellence(PDF)
Chair Marva Johnson
The Constitutional Revision Commission meets next week to review public proposals for several articles that cover general provisions and “miscellaneous.” Education, Article IX, is not slated for discussion.The schedule and agenda is here. These meetings are also webcast on www.thefloridachannel.org.
A new scholarship proposal that is modeled after the Corporate Income Tax Scholarship for students in low state-rated schools was announced by Speaker Richard Corcoran this week. Recapping an earlier Update, there are few specifics in the plan as Corcoran said more will come about the start of session. Essentially, a parent of a child who has been bullied or abused IN school and when there is no resolution to the parent’s satisfaction after a 15-day period given school administrators to have a remedy may apply to the state for an estimated $6,000 voucher to have their child attend a non-public school that would be approved by FLDOE. Funding and the mechanics of exactly how the program would work are pending, as is any discussion on how to prevent abuse of the program, itself. The House leadership has done a brief PowerPoint that highlights the program here.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has published in the Federal Register a list of her top 11 priorities as secretary. Foremost, understandably, is expansion of parent choice options including charter schools and various scholarship/voucher programs. She also lists several other issues including streamlining federal bureaucracy and strengthening STEM programs. The complete list including rationale can bedownloaded and read here.
DeVos and her staff have also been involved with expediting assistance–rule waiver and otherwise–to states, including Texas and Florida–hit by storms. Devos was in Collier County this week meeting with school representatives in Everglades City and Immokalee which were hit hard by Irma. Congress is tooling a disaster relief funding package, the first part of which passed the House this week and will get Senate consideration next week. Most of the funds covers building and infrastructure repairs. Details are not yet available, but funds would go to the states affected.
Also, House and Senate budget conferees are being named to work on a compromise for HR2810 which is looking to be the overall appropriations and tax bill for 2018. The House named its Education and Workforce Committee to deal on education sections. The Senate is expected to do the same. No timeline has been set except the current Continuing Resolution (CR) that extended last year’s funding levels beyond September 30th expires on December 8th. The House has several budget reductions in play, most notably elimination of funding for ESEA Title IIB funds for teacher and staff training/development (about $2.3 Billion) while the Senate continues K-12 funding pretty much at current year levels. The budget affects school districts for 2018-2019, not the current school year already in progress.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – Senate FEFP Proposal for Special Session 2017A – 6/6/17
The Senate has posted its budget proposals that includes SB2500A filed by Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala. The bill calls for use of $143M from new construction tax roll growth in Required Local effort, plus $72M in state dollars to reach the same $215M threshold increase as the House (which uses state dollars only to reach the $215M level. The Base Student Allocation in SB2500A is $.50 higher than the House at $4204.45/FTE. All categorical programs in the Senate bill, as well as other FEFP figures, match House Bill 3A. The Senate district “run” has just come out as of this hour and is here.
Of significance for tomorrow’s special session, is the newly filed SB2A on economic programs differs from HB1A in how $75+ million in incentives would be handled. If lawmakers get hung up on one version or the other, it could affect the intended outcome by Friday’s scheduled 6pmadjournment.
Both bills are attached. Also attached is the perfunctory implementing bill, SB2502A, which, in the end, will include the FEFP district run.
Toward the end of today, the earlier smoothness of an agreed to session started getting rough edges as Senate President Joe Negron first issued the attached memo to his members. Then, upon seeing the Senate was proposing to use new construction from local tax rolls through an increase in the required local effort, plus a different approach to economic incentives than the House, Speaker Richard Corcoran issued his attached response. Further, the specter of the need for a three-day cooling off period was raised in the hallways as debate went back and forth on whether the FEFP and economic incentives are “general appropriations” or “specific” appropriations within the general appropriations act (GAA)….the three-day session does not provide for an additional 3-day waiting period.
US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos presented the administration’s proposed FY18 education budget to Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations subcommittee members this morning. Chair Roy Blunt began the hearing, which set the tone, with these opening comments. Her testimony was followed by a series of questions and comments, the comments mostly critical by members of both parties concerning recommended budget cuts. The committee took no action and stands in recess until 10am June 15th. The 2hr/40min hearing can be viewed here.
Legislative Update – 6/2/17 – Special 3-day Session Next Week
(Just a quick note beforehand that anyone who wishes to express their views on HB7069 still has time to do so. The Gov’s site for that is here). As you know, the district has a “call to action” out on this bill. Any emailing should be from personal emails outside of work hours).
With support from Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, Gov. Rick Scott at a joint press conference today in Miami has issued a call for a three-day session starting at 9 a.m. next Wednesday and extending to 6 p.m. Friday for purposes of increasing the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) budget by $215M and increasing his priority issues of incentive funding for Enterprise Florida (EFI) and Visit Florida. The Proclamation is here: http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SGS-BIZHUB17060209430.pdf. Because the entire budget it not being vetoed, the Constitutional 3-day wait period will not apply. Appropriations Committees will be convened to file, debate and pass specific bills that can be amended on the floor of either Reportedly Reportedly, the Governor has also vetoed in excess of $400M in individual community projects. It would be expected that some of those “freed up” dollars would go toward the special session issues. His office said his veto message and a list of the vetoed projects will be out later today.
It is important to note in the release below that included are comments from Speaker Richard Corcoran with whom the Governor has been at odds over EFI and tourism funding. Comments from Senate President Joe Negron are attached.
Two K-12 issues are not known at this point:
1) will whatever the Legislature appropriates in the FEFP flow as part of the Base Student Allocation or be earmarked for specific purposes; and
2) will the Governor sign or veto (or let become law without signature) HB7069 on K-12 education which has been a hot topic for the past month. Gov. Scott only said he was still reviewing the bill. It does contain, however, several sections that are tied to the FY18 budget. To this hour, it has not been signed by officers and presented to him. Speculation in the past day has focused on possible approval of the bill in return for House agreement to increase EFI/Visit Florida funding.
As with any special session, the presiding officers can agree to introduce other issues through a 2/3 vote of each chamber. On that short list is implementation of medical marijuana (HB1397 that failed to pass last month).
Schoolhouse Consulting Group, Inc.
GOV. SCOTT CALLS SPECIAL SESSION TO FIGHT FOR STUDENTS & JOBS
MIAMI, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott signed the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year and vetoed $410 million in legislative projects that do not provide a great return for Florida families. Additionally, Governor Scott vetoed the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) funding portions of the budget. Governor Scott is also vetoing HB 5501 which decreased funding to VISIT FLORIDA by over 60 percent. The Governor’s full budget veto list will be released later today.
Governor Scott is calling a special session to discuss the following measures beginning on June 7, 2017 and ending on June 9, 2017 (click here to view the proclamation):
Funding for Florida’s K-12 students through the FEFP: Governor Scott is calling on the Legislature to provide an additional $215 million to K-12 education than previously authorized. This would increase the per student funding by $100.
Florida Job Growth Grant Fund: Governor Scott is proposing to establish the new Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to promote public infrastructure and individual job training which will encourage more businesses to choose Florida as a destination to grow jobs. Governor Scott is calling on the Florida Legislature to fund it at $85 million.
Increase VISIT FLORIDA Funding: Governor Scott has been focused on funding VISIT FLORIDA at $76 million in order to bring more tourists and support for Florida small businesses. The Governor is calling on the legislature to pass legislation that funds VISIT FLORIDA at a total of $76 million and includes comprehensive transparency and accountability measures at the organization.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s students deserve the very best and we must always do everything possible to provide them with the resources they need to get a great education. It is my goal that a total of $215 million more is allocated to the FEFP which is a $100 per student increase over current year funding during the upcoming legislative session. Our students are the future of our great state and I know Speaker Corcoran is committed to our students, parents and teachers and ensuring Florida offers a world-class education to students at all levels.
“In addition to our common focus on ensuring a world-class education for Florida’s students, Speaker Corcoran understands the importance of ensuring future economic growth for Florida’s economy. Today, I am announcing that I intend to veto HB 5501 relating to Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA. While I believe very strongly in these programs and their ability to help bring more jobs to Florida, there needs to be a new bill relating to these organizations and how they operate.
“During the special session, I am calling on the Florida Legislature to consider new legislation that funds Visit Florida at $76 million. Additionally, I am proposing to establish the new Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to be funded at $85 million to promote public infrastructure and individual job training which will encourage more businesses to choose Florida as a destination to grow jobs. I have fought for jobs since my very first day in office and I do not intend to stop and this new fund will give our state the tools we need to compete with other states and nations for jobs. Like the Legislature, I strongly believe in transparency, accountability and a strong return on investment for any taxpayer dollars used. There needs to be legislation that allows us to market our state for tourism and grow jobs while maintaining these important principals. I look forward to working with the legislature during the upcoming special session to achieve these important goals for Florida families.”
Speaker Richard Corcoran said, “I am proud to stand with Governor Scott as we fight for continued strong job creation, giving every child a competitive and world class education, ensuring Florida competes as a tourist destination, and faithfully stewarding taxpayer dollars — goals that unify us.
“The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund will create both public infrastructure and job training and put taxpayers in the driver’s seat. All Floridians know that Governor Scott is committed to jobs. His willingness to work with us on this new model for economic development demonstrates that commitment and is greatly appreciated in the House. It’s truly a model for the rest of the nation wrestling with ending corporate welfare. In addition, this special session will secure Florida’s place as the premier tourist destination in America while ensuring that VISIT Florida is completely open, accountable and transparent to the taxpayer.
“The people of Florida should be proud today that you can have leaders with competing opinions and still compromise to meet common goals — government in Florida is working and the biggest winners are all Floridians.”
Prek-12 Legislative Update 5/8/17
The 2017 Florida Legislature has ended as of 8:52pm with both chambers declaring “sine Die” (“without day”). The Conference Reports on budget listed below were approved albeit not without some debate. There were up-or-down votes as the conference amendments cannot be amended. Bills pertaining to Prek-12 included:
General Appropriations Act, the first two sections of SB2500cr (“cr” means conference report) pertain directly to education. Passed House 98-14; Senate 34-4. Other key bills are:
HB7069cr, a 277-page Prek-12 conforming bill garnered the most attention. debate and opposition. The House approved it along party lines, 73-36. The Senate, three hours later, voted 20-18 to send it to the Governor. The Conference Report on HB7069 includes over 20 bills heard during session and includes required sharing of capital outlay dollars by districts with charter schools with specific stipulations, expansion of Best and Brightest scholarships to more teachers and to principals for the first time; insertion of directive language on how districts shall spend their federal Title 1 dollars, mandatory recess (20 min/day-100min/week), a phase-in of “schools of hope” allowing charter management companies to take over low performing district schools, and several changes to state assessment that we’ve discussed previously. One of my colleagues, Eva Rodriguez of Miami-Dade, was kind enough to do a draft section-by-section of the bill which is attached. Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala, who was not involved in this bill, suggested support of the bill and pointedly told detractors to take up the disputed sections with the Governor as he reviews all appropriations bills.
SB7022cr, contains FRS employer rates for next year and a provision for those entering FRS for the first time to enter in the investment program. They have 8 months to switch into the pension plan if desired.
SB374cr is the higher education conforming bill; it splits community/state colleges from the State Board of Education and recreates a 13-member governing board, much like what existing prior to 2002; the bill changes metric for performance, phases in a block full-time tuition fee for students regardless of hours (12 or 15), and caps four-year programs in state colleges at 15% of the enrollment;
HB7109, the tax cut package that includes a three-day (August 4-6) tax free holiday for back-to-school supplies and clothing; it also clarifies that property owned by non-profit charter schools is property tax-exempt. The bill contains other tax reductions that approach about $296 million, based on last estimates.
Once signed by the presiding officers (Speaker and President) and sent to the Governor, Gov. Scott will have 15 days to review and may sign, veto (including line-tem veto) or let become law without his signature.
Attached is an updated preliminary chart of bills that have passed the Legislature, as of tonight, and which either have a direct or indirect implications for Prek-12. A number of the bills passed with amendments so the final “er” (enrolled) version may not be out yet. I’ll be working on that during the interim. Again, if you find a bill you think we missed, let me know.
Prek-12 Legislative Update 4/17/17
Not surprisingly, there was no word on the start of budget conferencing today between the House and Senate. A major “player” in this year’s budget is SB8 on gaming (gambling). The House and Senate have passed differing versions (original House bill was HB7037) that have various levels of expansion and deal differently with the Seminole Compact that has since expired. At stake are several hundred million dollars in differences. The joint gaming committee, at the House’ request, is not meeting until at least Thursday afternoon. No proposals were exchanged today. a side-by-side comparison of positions was released and I’ve attached it, betting that you will read it.
It’s doubtful any serious budget negotiations will occur until the gaming issue is near or at resolution. If one were a tea-leaf reader, the published House calendar does not set any time aside for budget conferencing until April 26th. Of course, the dates and times can change any time.
Meanwhile, committees approved more bills today. One bill sparking a lot of debate–pro and con–was SB796 that would create “high impact” charter management organizations for location in low performing school areas. The topic of HB5105 that calls for national charter management companies under specific circumstances, and funded by $200M in general revenue, to come in to serve students in failing district schools. No action was taken on that discussion although the Senate bill was approved 5-1. Results of bill actions follow here:
(S) – Criminal Justice
SB 1662 Cannabis (Clemens (J)) – sets civil penalty for possession by minor – temporarily postponed (TP’d)
(S) – Education
SB 0796 Charter Schools (Bean) – creates high impact charter mgt organizations -passed 5-1 with amendment
SB 0902 Gardiner Scholarship Program (Simmons) – expands program, similar to HB15 – 6-1 with amendment
SB 1362 K-12 Education (Broxson) – removes requirement for comparison of data between charter and district schools – 4-3
SB 1474 Teacher Certification (Perry) – modifies temporary certificate provisions – 7-0
SB 1586 Student Eligibility for Interscholastic (Garcia) – modifies FHAA pre-participation physical eval form – 6-0
(S) – Community Affairs
SB 1494 Write-in Candidate Qualifying (Rader) – removes write-in provision to close a partisan primary election, 6-0
SB 0278 Local Tax Referenda (Steube) – requires 60% voter approval of certain local referenda, 6-1 with amendment
SB 0914 Public Meetings (Baxley) – provides guidelines for local board/commission member “fact-finding” or excursions, 7-0
(S) – Governmental Oversight and Accountability
SB 0856 Education (Broxson) – companion to HB373 prohibiting rolling annual contracts for teachers – T-P’d
SB 1224 Public Records and Public Meetings/Resp (Passidomo) – provides exemption for emergency situation plans – 5-0
(H) – Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, 212 K (4:00PM–5:30PM)
HB 0907 Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation (Killebrew) – changes trust fund stipulations (ltd effect on K-12) – 13-0
Tomorrow, the House convenes at 1pm for what may be a marathon session with over 75 bills on “special order” for questions and amendment. Several bills impacting Prek-12 are on the docket and listed below. These are all bills you’ve seen go through the committee process in recent weeks. The Senate Education Appropriations Committee, in one its last meetings, convenes to hear nine bills starting on 1:30. Both will be webcast on http://www.thefloridachannel.org.
(H) – Appropriations Committee, 212 K (9:00AM–12:00PM)
HB 0603 Publicly Funded Defined Benefit Retirement (Fischer)-redefines actuarial rates over long term
HB 1235 Military and Veteran Support (Latvala (C))-streamlines certification process for vets and spouses
HB 1397 Medical Use of Marijuana (Rodrigues (R)) – implementing provisions
(S) – SESSION, (10:00AM–12:00PM)
SB 0148 Students Remaining on School Grounds During the day (Garcia)
(H) – SESSION, (1:00PM–N/A) – special Order: bills up for questions/amendments; floor vote on Thursday
HB 7085 Workers’ Compensation (Insurance & Banking Subcommittee)-holds legal fees at 12.5%
HB 7101 K-12 Education (PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee)-expands charter school eligibility; restricts how districts spend federal Title 1 funds
HB 0015 Educational Options (Sullivan)-expands corporate tax and Gardiner scholarships
HB 1021 Construction (Avila)-large bill; of note: prohibits political subdivision from adopting or enforcing certain building permits or other development order requirement
HB 0909 Building Code Administrators and Inspectors (Goodson)-training/certification
HB 7057 Civic Literacy (PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee)-requires demonstration of civic literacy for higher ed entrance
HB 0899 Comprehensive Transitional Education Program (Stevenson)-Authorizes APD to petition for appointment of receiver for comprehensive transitional education program
HB 1331 Education (Grall)-schools of excellence with state flexibility
HB 0493 Enhanced Safety for School Crossings (Toledo)-DOT study process for signage
HB 7083 Ethics Reform (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee)-ethics and lobbying rules for higher education and former state officials
HB 0655 Exceptional Student Instruction (Porter)-prohibits districts in certain circumstances from refusing to serve students from another county
HB 0989 Instructional Materials (Donalds)-modifies parent/resident input for selection and disposition of materials
HB 0293 Middle Grades (Burton)-national curriculum/instruction study
HB 1109 Private School Student Participation in athletics (Antone)-allows participation by student attending non-FHSAA school
HB 0501 Pub. Rec. and Meetings/Information Tech (Leek)-higher ed public records exemption
HB 0163 Public Records (Burgess)-see SB80
SB 0080 Public Records (Steube)-requires complainant to have timely notice in order to be paid fee
HB 0127 Public School Attendance Policies (Plasencia)
HB 0867 Student Loan Debt (Leek)-see SB396 below
SB 0396 Student Loan Debt (Hukill)-requires informational notice to students
HB 1111 Teacher Certification (Plasencia)-modifies alternative certification
(S) – Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K – 12 Education, 412 K (1:30PM–3:30PM)
SB 0468 Voluntary Prekindergarten Education (Stargel)-requires FLDOE to provided teacher training for VPK;
SB 0808 Maximum Class Size (Mayfield)-sets school average as penalty for failure to meet CSR requirements for all schools
SB 0868 Educational Options and Services (Baxley)-expands options/services for prep for higher ed/PSAV programs
SB 0984 Shared Use of Public School Playground (Bean)-encourages open playgrounds
SB 1302 Private School Student Participation in athletics(Gibson)-Senate version of HB1109, above
SB 1368 Exceptional Students (Perry)-allows parent to excuse child from school for treatment of autism spectrum disorder
SB 1468 Education (Galvano)-establishes pilot arts program for schools in proximity of U-F
SB 1552 Florida Best and Brightest Teacher and Principals(Simmons)-expands current scholarship to principals; modifies criteria–closely watching these two bills
SB 1598 Education (Brandes)-Schools of excellence, see HB1331 above
(S) – Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, 401 S (4:00PM–6:00PM)
SB 0714 Comprehensive Transitional Education Program (Garcia)-see HB899 above
SB 1318 Child Protection (Garcia)-revises requirements related to sexual abuse treatment programs, screening/employing child protection teams, etc.
Prek-12 Legislative Update 3/29/17
The Senate Education Appropriations Committee finished its budget actions today, rolling out the proviso, implementing and conforming bill specifics. The attached packet provides the details. The single page FEFP summary is also included and is the same as what I distributed yesterday.
Both House and Senate Appropriations Committees have set next Wednesday, April 5th, for committee amendment, debate and vote. What is approved then goes to the respective floors on the 12-13th, a week shortened in observance of Passover and Good Friday. after that, assuming the full chambers approve their versions, we will be in “conference” with a joint House-Senate committee appointed to work out the differences and have an agreed to budget online (“on the desk” is the technical phrase) by May 2nd in order to adjourn on time May 5th.
Bills continued to flow today. The outline of actions is below. Tomorrow, House Education meets on several bills including the Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) that I distributed last night that establishes “schools of success.”
(H) – Government Accountability Committee
HB 0493 Enhanced Safety for School Crossings (Toledo) – passed 21-0
(H) – Public Integrity & Ethics Committee
HB 0953 Legislative/Congressional Redistricting (Ahern) – process for approval and appeals, passed 14-3
(H) – Appropriations Committee
HB 7069 Best and Brightest Teachers and Principals (Education Committee) – passed 18-8, amended
HB 7083 Ethics Reform (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) state offices, higher education – passed 24-0
(H) – SESSION
HB 0039 Autism Awareness Training for Law Enforcement officers (Jenne) – rolled to third reading/final vote
HB 0001 Judicial Term Limits (Sullivan) – 12 years – passed 73-46 (72 needed for approval)
HB 7021 Local Government Ethics Reform (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) – affects school districts (bill and analysis are attached–legal and Board policy staff need to review for impact) – rolled to third reading/final vote from House
HB 7023 Trust Funds/Creation/Local Government L (Public Integrity & Ethics Committee) – rolled to third reading
HB 0479 Government Accountability (Metz) – sets auditing requirements/procedures – legal and Board policy staff need to review (bill attached)
HB 0011 Labor Organizations (Plakon) – requires election of union falls below 50% membership – rolled to third reading/final House vote
(S) – SESSION
SB 0080 Public Records (Steube) – amended, passed 38-0 (intent to stop or slow frivolous lawsuits)
Prek-12 Legislative Update 3/24/17
After delays last week, the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees kick into gear starting Monday to come up with spending plans for recommendation to the full committees later in the week. In the House, a full draft appropriations bill is to be ready by Friday for amendment, debate and vote by the full committee on April 5th. We believe the Senate is following a similar time frame. Intent is to get the bills to the floor of both chambers during the week of April 10th whose schedule will be shortened in observance of Passover and Good Friday. At this point, what is going to be in the bills is speculation as all sorts of scenarios have been abounding. One likely difference is the House will freeze Local Required Effort (RLE) revenues at current year dollar value which the Senate will take advantage to some degree of tax roll growth.
Week four starts Monday with a flurry of bills as legislators push to get their bills started or moved on in committee. For the House, it is the last scheduled week for subcommittees (e.g., K-12 Quality Education and K-12 Innovation, below). For the Senate, committees usually will meet through the 7th week of session. For any single day’s listing of education-related bills, this may be the longest we’ll see during this session.
Senate Education Monday afternoon at 1:30 will hear numerous bills including one on a new topic–administration/ possession of medical marijuana in schools (SB1472). Most of the committee’s time will be workshopping 12 bills on various charter and choice programs to get a sense of whether to combine any and which to hear at the following week’s meeting. In that light, after last week’s workshop and testimony on state assessment and accountability, the committee is poised to hear SB926 (Flores) which shortens the state testing cycle toward the end of the year, calls for a review of ACT/SAT tests for possible use in lieu of FSA and sets level 3 as the “proficient” level for promotion in FSA math and English/language arts. SB964 is not on the agenda. Only two amendments have been prefiled so far for SB926, one modifying language that passed last year in HB7029 to allow individual board members to visit schools and make recommendations on school programs, and the second to require school districts to provide parents, students and their teachers an easy to understand report of the student’s performance.
CS/SB 328 by Health Policy/Grimsley – Regulation of Nursing
SB 668 by Bean – Postsecondary Distance Education –
SB 782 by Mayfield – High School Graduation Requirements
SB 926 by Flores – K-12 Student Assessments
SB 978 by Powell – High School Graduation Requirements -authorizes use of high school credits toward apprenticeship programs – supported by PBC Schools
SB 1210 by Lee – Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education – companion to HB989 below, original bill wording
SB 1222 by Bradley – School Grades
SB 1290 by Hutson – Career and Technical Education
SB 1472 by Galvano – Medicinal Cannabis Research and Education
Presentation on Charter Schools
Workshop – Discussion and testimony only on the following (no vote to be taken):
SB 538 by Clemens – Charter Schools – charter schools should meet a specific need – priority of PBC School Board
SB 692 by Baxley – Student Eligibility for K-12 Virtual Instruction
SB 696 by Baxley – Charter Schools
SB 796 by Bean – Charter Schools
SB 868 by Baxley – Educational Options and Services
SB 902 by Simmons – Gardiner Scholarship Program
SB 1302 by Gibson – Private School Student Participation in Extracurricular Activities
SB 1314 by Grimsley – Educational Options
SB 1362 by Broxson – K-12 Education
SB 1556 by Lee – Education
SB 1572 by Bean – Education Savings Account Program
SB 1586 by Garcia – Student Eligibility for Interscholastic Athletic Competition
Attached is the meeting notice for the House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee for Monday, March 27
Consideration of the following bill(s):
HB 955 High School Graduation Requirements by Ahern, Fitzenhagen
HB 1229 Committee on Early Grade Success by Grall
Consideration of the following proposed committee substitute(s) which are attached:
PCS for HB 233 — Students with Disabilities in Public Schools – restraint and seclusion – significant modification from the originally filed bill;
PCS for HB 265 — Computer Coding Instruction – calls for a detailed study before any implementation
PCS for HB 989 — Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education – this is a major re-write from the original bill and focuses on access by parents and citizens to the review and appeals processes
Tuesday, the House Prek-12 Innovation Committee meets to consider the following bill(s):
HB 127 Public School Attendance Policies by Plasencia
HB 371 Assistive Technology Devices by Ausley
HB 1131 Shared Use of Public School Playground Facilities by Drake
HB 1365 Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program by Ahern
Consideration of the following proposed committee bill(s, which are attached):
PCB PKI 17-01 — Charter Schools
Consideration of the following proposed committee substitute(s):
PCS for HB 67 — Public School Recess – significant rewrite from the original bill to allow recess within the time frame required for Physical Education, but still with a 20 minute stipulation
In case you missed it, bills approved yesterday in committee and on chamber floors include:
(H) – Education Committee
HB 0303 Religious Expression in Public Schools (Daniels) – passed 15-0;
HB 0373 Education (Grant (M)) – prohibits locally negotiated automatic renewal of annual contracts for teachers rated effective or highly effective, passed 9-5
HB 0509 Postsecondary Fee Waivers (Ponder) – passed 15-0
HB 0591 Maximum Class Size (Massullo, Jr.) – passed 14-0
HB 0781 Designation of School Grades (Porter) passed 15-0
HB 0827 Teacher Bonuses (Porter), passed 15-0
HB 1109 Private School Student Participation in interscholastic sports at public schools (Antone) – passed 15-0
(H) – Judiciary Committee
HB 0779 Weapons and Firearms (Combee) – removes penalty if weapon of concealed permit holder is temporarily and openly displayed – passed 12-6
HB 0849 Concealed Weapons and Firearms on Private school property (Combee) – allows concealed weapons permit holders to carry weapons on private school campus where there is a religious structure – passed 12-6
(S) – SESSION
SB 0060 Children Obtaining Driver Licenses (Bean) – involves students in foster homes being able to get a license – passed 37-0
SB 0436 Religious Expression In Public Schools (Baxley) – identical to HB303 above – passed 23-13, goes to House
SB 0080 Public Records (Steube) – legal fees concerning public records, in part – rolled to 3rd reading for vote next week
Finally, I will be in Washington tomorrow through Monday for a further set of briefings on budget and workforce related programs. We’ll have results of Monday’s meetings and, hopefully, some preview of FEFP budgeting later Monday night.
Prek-12 Legislative Update – 3/22/17
The State Board of Education today paid homage to Deputy Chancellor Brian Dassler who unexpectedly passed away earlier this week and whose passing was announced late yesterday. Dassler was highly respected in education circles and had a strong working relationship with school district staff and teachers. Commissioner Pam Stewart paid the following tribute to Dassler:
“Yesterday was one of the saddest days of both my professional career and my life. I am heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Brian Dassler. He joined the Florida Department of Education in 2013 and brought with him an unrivaled passion for students, educators and the field of education as a whole.
It is only fitting that he was scheduled to be recognized during this meeting for having volunteered 50 hours as mentor between July 1stand December 31st 2016. For Brian, it wasn’t enough that he spent countless hours encouraging students and providing professional development to educators in his official capacity. In his free time, he also mentored a student at Godby High School here in Tallahassee.
Brian was one of a kind. He was always the first to highlight the positive in any situation, and through his inherent goodness and relentless drive, he inspired others to go the extra mile and believe they too could make a difference.
For evidence of that fact, look no further than the position Brian held before becoming Deputy Chancellor – founding principal of a charter high school in New Orleans and the chief academic officer of the arts conservatory for the state of Louisiana. He went to New Orleans Post-Katrina – at a time when lifelong residents weren’t even sure they would ever return.
That was Brian.
He fiercely believed in the city and its people, and more than anything, he could not turn his back on a group of students and educators who had already been dealt one of the worst hands our nation has ever witnessed.
It comes as no surprise that the school and its students succeeded. And, in typical Brian fashion, he maintained the relationships he had built during that time and he returned regularly to celebrate in the achievements of his former students and colleagues who had seamlessly become friends.
Brian was always destined for greatness. Even in his first job, as a high school English teacher in Broward County, his impact was significant. He was one of the founding teachers of the Urban Teacher Academy Program and he was recognized as the county’s teacher of the year.
I believe he was able to achieve so much in his short 38 years because he never lost his desire to learn. Brian earned bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida where he has twice been named an outstanding young alumnus.
We are truly heartbroken. His loss will be deeply felt throughout the nation, and he will never be forgotten.”
State Board members and Commissioner Stewart said they plan to work on a lasting means by which to recognize Dassler.
In business action, the Board approved Palm Beach County’s “autonomous principal” pilot application. Broward and Pinellas Counties are also participating in this pilot which gives a school greater autonomy in return for student achievement increases.
The Board will also adopted several rule amendments concerning implementation of statutory changes from last year on how charter schools receive state dollars for capital outlay and related industry certification for career programs.
Upcoming at future SBE meetings will be proposed rules pertaining to conforming Florida rules on teacher qualifications with new federal ESSA requirements (which leave qualifications up to the states with “highly qualified” regs being discontinued under ESSA) and updating rules for English for Speakers of Other Languages:
The next full meeting of the SBE will be May 16th in Miami.
Tomorrow, House Education meets starting at 9am on bills previously approved in subcommittees the past two weeks. The meeting will be aired overwww.thefloridachannel.org. the agenda for that and other meetings of K-12 interest include:
(H) – Education Committee, 102 H (9:00AM–12:00PM)
HB 0303 Religious Expression in Public Schools (Daniels)
HB 0373 Education (Grant (M)) – prohibits locally negotiated automatic renewal of annual contracts for teachers rated effective or highly effective
HB 0509 Postsecondary Fee Waivers (Ponder)
HB 0591 Maximum Class Size (Massullo, Jr.)
HB 0781 Designation of School Grades (Porter)
HB 0827 Teacher Bonuses (Porter)
HB 1109 Private School Student Participation in interscholastic sports at public schools (Antone)
(H) – Judiciary Committee, 404 H (9:00AM–12:00PM)
HB 0779 Weapons and Firearms (Combee) – removes penalty if weapon of concealed permit holder is temporarily and openly displayed
HB 0849 Concealed Weapons and Firearms on Private school property (Combee) – allows concealed weapons permit holders to carry weapons on private school campus where there is a religious structure
(S) – SESSION, (10:00AM–12:00PM)
SB 0060 Children Obtaining Driver Licenses (Bean) – involves students in
SB 0436 Religious Expression In Public Schools (Baxley) – identical to HB303 above
SB 0080 Public Records (Steube)
Bill for review–as promised–is HB757 by Rep. Byron Donalds. The bill seeks to have the DOE revise its Just Read Florida program and provide increased training for teachers. Those interested or involved in early childhood education should review this bill. The bill is attached as amended yesterday and the staff analysis, which reflects the amendments on p. 7, is also attached for your review. Much of the change was to remove the fiscal impact and funding. Such would be considered as part of the budget process (speaking of which, we understand–at this point–Senate budget action is slated to get back on track next week).
Last, the Constitutional Revision Committee has announced a “Floridians Speak, we Listen” series of public meetings around the state. The schedule is attached. The CRC was officially sworn in Monday. Proposed rules of operation remain pending Commission discussion, amendment, debate and adoption. The fledgling website is http://flcrc.gov/.
Schoolhouse Consulting Group
Prek-12 Legislative Update 3/16/17
First, a correction from last night’s update: I listed a possible $150 million reduction in class size funding. That was not put on the table. Please ignore that reference. My apology.
Senate Appropriations today approved SB78 which requires 20 minutes a day of unstructured activity (recess) for elementary school students. The bill moves on to Rules Committee for approval to be placed on the Senate floor calendar at some point. The House version, HB67, has not been heard in committee, yet.
I promised last night we’d forward SB374 on community/state colleges (that includes PSAV) when the amendments were engrossed into a committee substitute. It is not out yet, but I will forward it as part of our next update.
The 2017-2018 Constitutional Revision Commission has launched its website (http://flcrc.gov/) with notice of its first and organizational meeting to be held next Monday 2-4pm in the Senate Chambers. The 37-member panel will be sworn in officially and will set its rules and undergo a brief session on ethics. The Commission is expected to start most of its work at the conclusion of this legislative session.
Today’s bill for your review is HB303 (compare SB436) on religious expession in schools. Attached is the committee substitute approved this week 14-0 in Prek-12 Quality subcommittee in the House. It goes next to Judiciary. SB436 is on the Senate floor calendar on special order for 2nd reading (questions and any amendments) Tuesday. Debate and Senate vote will occur later in the week. The essence of the bill authorizes public school students & school personnel to express religious viewpoints & engage in certain religious activities without discrimination. Both Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron have advocated its passage this session.
This is President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget summary (our 2018-2019 school year…our 2017-2018 funding still pending further action on the Congressional CR that expires April 28th). Overall, it provides for a 13% or $9.2 Billion reduction from the current 2017 Continuing Resolution. There’s a $1 billion carve-out for portability–which was indicated to me in Washington Monday will face a very difficult time in the Senate although it’s likely to get strong consideration in the House (it was deleted from ESSA in conference in 2015). Actual budget details are forthcoming, but no date has been set. The full detail is required by May.
See pages 17-18, and the back chart summary attached. Link also here:
Washington Post has initial story: https://www.districtadministration.com/news/trump-seeks-slash-education-department-make-big-push-school-choice. By the time you see this, there will likely be other articles on the budget.
In her first appearance before the Council of Great City Schools, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told district representatives today in Washington that she and the Department looked forward to working together with school districts for a system that “trusts parents, trusts teachers and trusts local school leaders to do what’s best for students.” DeVos, who released the revised state plan template that’s linked below, said the revisions would require states to do only what is “essential” in implementing Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and pledged to make sure states and districts have greater flexibility. She highlighted her guiding philosophy of “parents know what’s best for their children…parents know children’s unique needs…parents showed be empowered and have quality choice, private and public, that work best for children.”
Currently at stake is development and issuance of regulations that would replace those passed during the Obama administration on state requirements, professional staff development and others which were negated by recent administrative action and Congressional passage last week of HR57 (state) and HR58 (teacher prep).
Meanwhile, President Trump is expected to release the abbreviated version of his proposed 2018 (our 2018-2019 year) budget that would take effect next October 1st. There is a lot of speculation here in Washington that domestic spending–and education is part of that–could face significant cuts from current year, ranging from 5% to over 10%. The President’s announced priority is to increase defense and national security spending.
April 28th is the expiration of the current Continuing Resolution for this year’s budget (our 2017-2018). It is unclear if Congress and simply continue current year through the remaining 5 months of the federal fiscal year or craft a different budget. Regardless, states are slated to take an additional 3% setaside (“reservation” in federal parlance) off the top of Title 1 funding per ESSA which could reduce district appropriations below current year without any offsetting increase of federal dollars.
And…look for House and Senate education committees in the near future to begin work on either taking up where they left off last year or developing new legislation for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and Perkins Career/Vocational Education Act (House passed a bipartisan bill last year, but the Senate took no actions). Not mentioned so far is any reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that has also technically expired and is awaiting renewal.
In a letter delivered today to chief state school officers, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provided clarity on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation and released the updated template for the consolidated state plans.
Legislative subcommittees this week have full agendas to hear member bills as part of Week Two. The Senate Education Committee did not meet today and the full House Education Committee is expected to take a bye Thursday. Bills that we see on agendas this week and for the next two weeks are often those which have been cleared by legislative leadership for full consideration. For instances, HB436 and its House companion, HB303 (“religious freedom” for students in schools), have been cited by Senate President Joe Negron as a key bill for passage this year.
Bill texts and staff analyses are available at http://www.flsenate and http://www.myfloridahouse.gov by entering the bill number in the dialog box. Most of these meetings will be webcast on http://www.thefloridachannel.org. we’ll have an update tomorrow night along with an updated tracking chart of filed bills thus far.
(H) – Careers & Competition Subcommittee, 212 K (9:30AM–1:00PM)
HB 0909 Building Code Administrators & Inspecto (Goodson)
(H) – PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee, 306 H (9:30AM–12:00PM)
HB 0591 Maximum Class Size (Massullo, Jr.) – moves staffing of CSR to school average;
HB 0781 Designation of School Grades (Porter)
HB 0827 Teacher Bonuses (Porter)
HB 1109 Private School Student Participation in athletics (Antone)
(H) – Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, 102 H (9:30AM–1:00PM)
HB 0493 Enhanced Safety for School Crossings (Toledo)
(S) – Community Affairs, 301 S (10:30AM–12:00PM)
SB 0880 Government Accountability (Stargel) – penalty for failure to correct state audit deficiencies
(S) – Judiciary, 110 S (2:00PM–4:00PM)
SB 0436 Religious Expression In Public Schools (Baxley)
SB 0080 Public Records (Steube)
(H) – Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, 212 K (2:00PM–7:00PM)
HB 0153 Excess Credit Hour Surcharges (Mariano)
HB 0509 Postsecondary Fee Waivers (Ponder)
(H) – PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee, 102 H (2:00PM–7:00PM)
HB 0079 Education (Harrell) – early grades reading and I-D of possible student learning concerns (similar to HB7123 from last year)
HB 0293 Middle School Study (Burton)
HB 0303 Religious Expression in Public Schools (Daniels)
HB 0773 K-12 Student Assessments (Diaz (M)) – reduces state testing window and moves to end of year
HB 1111 Teacher Certification (Plasencia)
HB 1331 Education (Grall) – creates “schools of excellence”
Palm Beach School administrators fanned out across the Capitol this week as part of FASA (Fla Assn Schl Adminrs) to meet with almost all PBC Delegation members, key legislators and committee staff to discuss concerns and suggestions related to state assessment and testing, recruitment/retention of teachers, more flexibility to local school districts for program and operational decision-making, and awareness of a pending study on mandatory cost caps for school construction.
Participating were the School administrators Assn team of Will Latson (Spanish River), Jeff Eassa (Woodlands), Bob Hatcher (Western Pines), Sari Myers (Hidden Oaks), Kim Evans (PB Gardens El), and Karen Whetsell (Suncoast) with Exec Dr. Art Johnson joined by Staff Assn members Jim Kunard (construction mgt), PJ D’Aoust (FTE mgt), Heidi Riddle (North Area), and Shirley Knox (Facilities) with Exec Pat Kaupe. Delegation meetings with Rep. Bill Hager and Al Jacquet had to be rescheduled due to conflicts. The group spent time with House Education Chair Mike Bileca, Senate Ed Appropriations Chair David Simmons and Vice-Chair Bill Montford and with the staff director and analysts for the Senate Education Committee who write the bills.
Highlighted were shortening the required testing cycle with results back to schools before the end of the school year, reducing the number of state-required exams including some EOC’s and allowing districts to use ACT/SAT in lieu of 10th grade state FSA tests; retooling various programs such as Best and Brightest to support programs such as teacher loan forgiveness, streamlining teacher certification, giving greater operational and program flex to schools and school districts to use resources where they best meet student needs, and citing difficulty in teacher hirings and retention, given Florida’s lower salary and benefit levels compared to Georgia and other states.
The topics on state assessment will be part of a pending bi-partisan bill to be filed soon. The issues on recruitment and retention will get play in Senate Ed Appropriations this session. As for budget, read below.
The team of administrators also served both aa prelude and re-emphasis of similar points made by Supt. Robert Avossa who was one of five superintendents testifying before Senate Education Appropriations yesterday. The team also had a chance to brief Dr. Avossa after the committee meeting on their efforts during Tuesday and Wednesday. Both “Dr. J” and Pat will have more for members of the respective organizations.
Following a state process that all agencies are doing this week, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart today provided House Education Appropriations Committee members with what a 10% state budget reduction from current year would look like. (Let me emphasize at this point this is an exercise, not the real thing, as committees work on a balanced budget for FY18.)
For Prek-12 Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) state funds, the Department projects a cut of $700.6 Million, 9.26%, from a current year recurring revenue base budget of $7.569 Billion. These are state recurring dollars only and do not include either any non-recurring state dollars nor any local tax dollars. That reduction, however, would mean a drop in total student potential funds of $261/FTE to about $6943/FTE, an amount only $5.77 higher than the appropriated budget for FY15. Stewart acknowledged there would be direct cuts to student programs if such a budget reduction were implemented.
Chair Manny Diaz said the committee will meet on February 9th to get verbal recommendations from each committee member on what could be reduced or cut that falls within the scope given two weeks ago of between $245 and $485 million for public schools (this includes charter school as well). The full FLDOE packet, which also shows recommendations regarding all other programs, can be downloaded here.
At this point, it’s a given the House will come up with some sort of “cut budget.” The final House position will be refined going into session that starts March 7th. We also expect, based on published comments, that speaker Richard Corcoran plans to freeze the dollars generated by local school property taxes at the current year dollar level (so-called “rollback” rate) and reduce the Required Local Level millage rate down, accordingly.
The Senate is not as far along as the House, but Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala has indicated he Senate will not please folk, but expects it to be higher than the House. The Senate has set aside the week of February 13th for budget meetings only.
Meanwhile, the Senate Education Committee passed SB2 and SB4 which make performance, program structural and other changes to higher education institutions. The bills are a priority of Senate President Joe Negron. District staff handling articulation agreements with state colleges and universities should review them. The information packet that includes the bills and staff analyses for explanation of them can be downloaded here.
Also in the Senate, Criminal Justice Committee members passed 5-2, SB196 that requires a school police or resource officer or police office on campus to issue either a civil citation or refer the student to a diversionary program upon first contact for a specified list of infractions. This is legislation carried over from last year and supported strongly by those who wish to avoid having juveniles officially arrested and is opposed by others who believe law enforcement should have the discretion to use civil citation, other diversionary program such as Youth Court, or make an arrest depending on the circumstance. The bill goes next to Criminal Justice Appropriations. The back-up and bill are downloadable here. SB192, also in the packet, was not heard and postponed to the next meeting
Most other education-related committees this week were informational:
House Prek-12 Innovation heard presentations on successful choice and academy programs from school districts and charter schools.
House Prek-12 Quality Education had an FLDOE review of the procedures to be followed if a public school gets into the “turn-around” category for not improving as a low performing school.
House Higher Education Committee discussed background information related to civics instruction at that level.
Senate Education Appropriations had an FLDOE review of existing teacher incentive laws and fund sources, then heard from a panel of school superintendents on what is being done in some districts and what recommendations they may have.
Back on budget, we are waiting for the Governor to release his 2017-2018 budget recommendations which are due between now and the end of next week. No indication has been given on levels of funding nor programs nor whether he will present a “cut” budget. The State Board of Education last September recommended to him a 2.48% budget increase for Prek-12 programs. Gov. Scott this week focused on a $618 million package to cut business taxes and provide for several tax-free holidays including extension of the tax-free holiday for purchase of school supplies from three to 10 days.
Federally, we remain glued to our computers and Congressional schedules on any actions related to budget funding for our 2017-2018 school year. And, at last report, the full Senate reportedly is scheduled to vote on confirmation of President Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, next Tuesday, January 31st.
Enjoy the weekend,
Prek-12 Legislative Update: January 8, 2017
- Tuesday–full House Appropriations meeting on revenue projections statewide and going through an FY18 budget checklist; full House Education discussing open enrollment and other choice programs; House Judiciary reviewing the recent court decisions and increases in worker’s compensation;
- Wednesday–Senate Prek-12 discussion of state assessment policies and funding; House Prek-12 Innovation Subcommittee on school choice impact and updates on the various choice programs; House Higher Education Appropriations on budget (includes district education education), and House Prek-12 Quality subcommittee on effective teacher and school turn-around presentations;
- Thursday–House Post-Secondary Education looks at student degree/certification attainment and Prek-12 Appropriations delves into a base budget review and history of major programs.
Chance for Success: C (75.1)
Early foundations: C+ (78.3)
School years: C (74.4)
Adult outcomes: C- (72.5)
K-12 Achievement: C (73.9)
Status: D (64.4)
Change: C (73.4)
Equity: A- (91.4)
School Finance: D+ (68.5)
Equity: A- (91.9)
Spending: F (45.2)
For other legislative updates, go to: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/gr/