We are less than a week away from the start of the Legislative Session. The following is a synopsis of what happened in Tallahassee last week:
HB78- Recess Bill – the bill passed unanimously through the Senate Education Committee. The next committee of reference is the Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K-12 Education. Florida PTA participated in a press conference along with Senator Flores and Representative Plasencia discussing the importance of recess for elementary students.
HB 7027 – began as a committee bill and is a memorial urging the Federal Government to establish block grants for Title 1 and IDEA funding. The block grant would give control to the state on how to disperse these funds. It passed through committee. This bill is just a memorial and does not change any statutory language.
SB 376 – Charter School Funding – Authorizing school boards to levy specified amounts for charter schools; providing that charter school capital outlay funding consists of shared local capital outlay and state funding as provided in the General Appropriations Act; prohibiting a charter school from being eligible for a funding allocation under certain circumstances. This bill will require school districts to share local capital outlay dollars with charter schools. Currently, charter schools receive $75 million PECO dollars for their capital needs. It passed through the Education Committee.
SB604 – Education Funding – Revising the amount each school board may levy for certain purposes; revising the purposes for which a school district may levy additional millage by specified means to include fixed capital outlay. Senator Farmer filed an amendment which would allow school districts to levy up to a 2.25 millage rate. The amendment was adopted but the bill was temporarily postponed to amend this language into SB376.
SB1334 – Universal background checks – this bill will close the gun show loop hole and require that any person purchasing a gun from a private seller be subjected to a background check and the 3-day mandatory waiting period. This a Florida PTA priority and we will be participating in a press conference next week asking Florida Legislature for their support of this bill.
We have received a few emails regarding H.R. 610, also called the “Choices in Education Act of 2017”, which would repeal every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and replace it with block grants for states to use for a voucher system. The bill also repeals a rule issued by the Department of Agriculture which would roll back school nutrition standards in schools if passed.
National PTA is monitoring the bill and will issue a statement if the bill moves forward.
February 5, 2016
National PTA’s Board of Directors adopted two new position statements on positive school discipline and assessment last week.
- Position on positive school discipline states that exclusionary discipline practices should only be used in schools as a last resort effort and on an individualized basis in schools. Read the full statement
- Position on student assessment and opt-out policies calls for all students to participate in high-quality, comprehensive assessments. Read the full statement
The Florida PTA Legislative Conference is quickly approaching!
The event kicks off with a dinner on Sunday, January 24th at 6 PM. On Monday, January 25th, we will have speakers throughout the day; breakfast and lunch are provided. For those interested, we will be touring the Capitol on Tuesday, January 26th, with an opportunity to meet with legislators.
This is such a great opportunity to learn about PTA’s role in advocating for all children. The conference promises to be informative and entertaining; you will add your voice to many others who make sure your children get the best of what they deserve.
This event will take place at The Tallahassee Center, 215 S. College Ave, Tallahassee.
Registration for the Legislative Conference will be open beginning December 2nd.
Please take a look at our Legislative Priorities document here, and follow our Legislative Twitter account.
As 2015 draws to a close, we are already starting to reflect on the work that you have done to move public education forward. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that applications are open for the Fourth Annual ONE by ONE Convention on January 23, 2016. Apply to be a ONE by ONE Delegate today!
ONE by ONE Delegates are informed and passionate advocates for public education through the year, and when they gather in one place, incredible things happen!
SAVE THE DATE:
Fourth Annual ONE by ONE Convention
Unlocking the Potential of Every Child: Equity in Education
January 23, 2016
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Lexington Hotel & Conference Center
1515 Prudential Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32207
2015 ONE by ONE Delegates told us they wanted more time to discuss education issues. They also told us how much they loved the inclusion of local students and how their voices are important to the conversation about public education. That’s why the Fourth Annual ONE by ONE Convention will feature two opportunities for you to participate in breakout session and witness spectacular student performances too!
As you can expect from our signature community conversations, there will be rich discussion about the state of our public schools with students, teachers, parents, faith leaders and grassroots leaders at the table. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from the district, local and national experts and be equipped to lead community conversations about public education.
Want to know what you missed last year? Check out our live coverage and photos from the Third Annual ONE by ONE Convention.
Join the network of public education advocates committed to elevating their voices on behalf of our city’s children.
Apply to be a 2016 ONE by ONE Delegate soon.
President, Jacksonville Public Education Fund
National PTA’s Board of Directors recently adopted a new position statement on student data privacy and security. You can read this newly adopted position here.
Here is the summary Florida PTA prepares each week on bills they are following closely in the Florida Legislature.
This report was prepared BEFORE the House adjourned early Tuesday April 28.
FLPTA Legis Highlights April 24 2015