every child. one voice.

LEGISLATIVE

2019 Florida Legislative Session

Florida’s legislative session begins on March 5, 2019.  Your voice is your most powerful tool!  PTA encourages you to call or write your elected officials and let them know how you feel about legislation and policies that impact your child’s education.

Sign up for Florida PTA’s Take Action Network to learn more about legislative issues affecting families, schools, and communities and to stay informed on the latest updates from Tallahassee.

Duval County Public Schools Legislative Platform for 2019

Florida PTA’s Legislative Priorities for 2019

Bills to watch:

SB7030 – School Safety and Security aims to arm teachers – opposed by FL PTA

SB190 – Proposes to extend Bright Future Scholarships to Private School Students

 

School Safety

  • School Safety and Security – SB 7030
    • PCB by Education
    • Requires sheriffs to offer Guardian Program
    • Makes Commissioner of Ed oversee implementation of MSD Public Safety Act
  • Panic Alarms in public schools – SB 174
    • Creates panic alarms in every public elementary, middle, high school
    • No House companion yet
  • Possession of a Firearm on School Campus – HB 6005 Byrd
    • Allows possession of a firearm on school campus including parking lot
    • No Senate companion yet
  • Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons & Firearms – HB 6007 Sabatini
    • Removes provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying on to college/university campus
  • Safety of Religious Institutions – HB 403 Grall
    • Authorizes religious institutions to allow concealed weapons or firearms on property even with a school

Guns

  • Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines – HB 455 C. Smith
    • Creates ban on military style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines
    • SB 466 Farmer
  • Pub. Rec./Personal Identifying Information of Assault Weapon or Large-Capacity Magazine Possession Certificate-holder – HB 553 C. Smith
    • Makes it illegal to transfer or sell military style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines
    • SB 500 Stewart
  • Transfer of Firearms – HB 135 Good
    • Requires transfers of firearms when neither party is licensed dealer to be conducted through licensed dealer & requires processing by licensed dealer
  • Regulation of Concealed Weapons Licenses – SB 108 Book
    • Moves concealed weapons licenses from Dept. of Agriculture to FDLE
  • Firearms – SB 595 Albritton
    • Allows for concealed carry licensees to carry on religious properties including those with schools on their campus

Education

  • Apprenticeship Programs – HB 367 Donalds
    • Similar to the bill filed last year by Ascencio
    • Increases CTE opportunities including Apprenticeship Grant programs
    • SB 522 Diaz
  • Study of Bible and Religion – HB 195 Daniels
    • Requires schools districts to offer as an elective
    • Course would include religion, Hebrew Scriptures, & Bible
    • No Senate companion yet

Health & Safety

  • Use of Wireless Communications Devices while Driving – HB 107 Toledo/Slosbeg
    • Creates hands-free driving
    • Devices can’t be in hand for any reason
    • SB 76 Simpson (incoming President)
  • Prohibited Discrimination – HB 485 Webb
    • Makes illegal discrimination based on gender & sexual orientation
    • Revises Florida’s Civil Rights Act of 1992
    • SB 430 Rouson
  • Childcare Facilities – SB 94 Stewart
    • Requiring vehicles used by childcare facilities used to transport children to be equipped with alarm system to alert driver to inspect vehicle for children prior to exiting the vehicle.
    • HB 69 Antone is identical
  • Sexual Battery Prosecution Time Limitation – SB 130 Stewart
    • Provides exception of general time limitations for prosecution of sexual battery offenses of minors at the time the offense occurred
    • HB 395 Eskamani identical
  • Improper Restraints – HB 179 Byrd
    • Expands list of incidents or injuries that constitute harm to a child to include violations of child restraint and seatbelt requirements
    • Requires central abuse hotline to accept out of state calls
    • SB 128 Bean

Juvenile Justice

  • Youth in Solitary Confinement – SB 110 Thurston
    • Creates Youth in Solitary Confinement Reduction Act
    • Prohibits from subject youth to solitary confinement except under circumstances
    • Requires time in intervals with mental health clinician
    • HB 499 Brown

Find your elected officials

Legislative Update: Action Needed!

At the end of the 2018 Legislative Session, the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program was created with the passage of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Currently, there is $58 million left in the Guardian Program fund that will go unused if it is not reallocated. Governor Scott has asked each member of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to shift these unused funds to ensure Florida schools can get the funding they need to protect our kids this year.
The members of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission are scheduled to meet this Friday, September 14, however the shifting of the $58 million is not on the agenda. In fact, legislative leaders are refusing to agenda this item! If the members of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission let these funds go unused, it will have a negative impact to 71 of our 75 school districts. Please click here to see how it will impact your district.
Please call the members of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission TODAY, (see the members below), and tell them you support the Governor’s request to shift the unused Guardian Program funds to our school districts for school safety under the direction of the Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools. Tell them that money will help to ensure that all Florida schools will receive the funding they need to protect our kids this school year.

Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission:

Rep. Jose Oliva

Rep. Jason Brodeur

Rep. Janet Cruz

Rep. Manny Diaz Jr.

Rep. Bill Hager

Rep. Clay Ingram

Rep. Jared Moskowitz

Sen. Rob Bradley

Sen. Lizabeth Benaquisto

Sen. Oscar Braynon

Sen. Anitere Flores

Sen. Bill Galvano

Sen. Bobby Powell

Sen. Wilton Simpson

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/oKORpyXt17rx_Az2pndwKA 

Legislative Alert: February 20th

Legislative Udate:
 
Now that HB7055, commonly known as the “bullying bill,” has passed the House, it has moved to the Senate, where it will be heard in the Education Committee this Tuesday, February 20th at 11:00am. Under a “strike-all” amendment that Senator Hukill filed, the content of the bill has changed to eliminate some House provisions and to reflect Senate positions on a number of issues. Still included in the bill, however, is the Hope Scholarship, which will allow children who have been subjected to a classmate’s verbal or physical abuse to attend a different public or private school at state expense.
The Hope Scholarship has two major flaws. First, it does nothing to address the behavior of offenders, thus leaving them in place to victimize other students. Second, it diverts the tax dollars we pay when we buy a new or used car from the state treasury to private schools, without taking into account the ability of the victim’s parents to finance a private education on their own, the academic performance of the private school, or its policies regarding incidents of physical or verbal abuse.
Florida PTA opposes the expansion of school choice without full accountability, and the diversion of tax dollars away from general revenues, where they can be used to address the needs of all Floridians. At a time when we have been made newly aware of gaps in our ability to protect our students and our schools, and of our obligations towards teachers and other school personnel, three of whom have just laid down their lives, we must insist that our precious dollars be spent where it counts the most.
Please email your legislator today and tell them to provide real, common-sense solutions to the problems of bullying and other abusive behavior. Tell them as well to exercise sound fiscal judgment, and to allocate our tax dollars in support of all of our students, their teachers, and their schools. To do otherwise would mean that the lessons we have learned these past few days have been wasted on us.​
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/6eLILRl0cP2Y703n9QvfqQ

Legislative Alert Feb 12, 2018

 

Here we go again!

Last Thursday, the House voted 66 yeas to 43 nays to pass HB 7055.  Once again, legislative leadership rolled good and bad policy into one massive conforming bill, hoping that rank-and-file House members and the general public would believe that the good in the bill outweighs the bad. (Spoiler alert, it doesn’t.)

What is HB 7055? Just like last year’s infamous HB 7069, it is an omnibus megabill that that runs to 198 pages, is as hard to understand as a Shakespeare play, and is almost as tragic.  Included in this train bill is HB1, the Hope Scholarship, which would allow students to transfer to another school—public or private, secular or religious—if bullied, harassed, robbed, or assaulted.  The bill provides no guarantee that the victim will be safer at a new school. It never addresses what happens to the culprit, who—apparently—can remain on site to target additional victims. Instead, it simply creates a whole new voucher program that will funnel an estimated $40 million of our tax dollars into private schools. It sets a new precedent by offering subsidies even to those who can well afford to spend their own funds on private school education. Bottom Line: The Hope Scholarship expands taxpayer-subsidized private school choice without offering sustainable solutions or increasing private school accountability.

Also included in HB 7055 are a vast range of additional, unrelated provisions.  One would allow principals to manage more than 1 school. Another would offer students in grades 3-5 who earn a 1 or 2 on the FSA ELA exam a small subsidy to use for private sector reading interventions.  Still another would make it more difficult for districts to shut down unsuccessful charter schools. Others would allow for paper and pencil administration of statewide assessments through 8th grade, an increase in Title 1 funding for high schools, and expansion of the Principal Autonomy Program.  Most egregious is a provision that is not even in HB 7055, but rather in the House budget bill: it links K-12 appropriations to passage of HB 7055, thereby presenting lawmakers with an ultimatum—“pass HB 7055, or we won’t fund schools.”

With the effects of HB 7069 still unknown, why is legislative leadership pushing through another bill that is hard to read and tied to the 8-billion-dollar education budget?

Please stayed tuned…as HB 7055 moves to the Senate for consideration, we will be sending out action alerts. We are going to need our collective voices to stop this train in its tracks.

Follow us on Twitter @FLPTA_Leg

 

Legislative Alert Feb 1, 2018

 

Thank you for your continuing interest in Legislative session 2018!

This past week, the House has been pushing through HB 7055, which is a train bill similar to HB 7069. This legislation is steamrolling several bills into one, each of which should be heard on its own merit.

HB 311 and HB 427 are two good pieces of legislation that have yet to be heard in committee. This new legislation, respectively, provides alternative pathways to a standard high school diploma and will eliminate unneeded testing by allowing school districts to set teacher salary schedules removing the merit pay requirement currently in law.

The Florida PTA urges you to call your House Representative and urge them to support or co-sponsor HB 311 and HB 427.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/7KsZuZ2leNASC52v4eM4xg

 

K-12 Education: A Look Ahead to the 2018 Legislative Session 

Education Works Virtual Forum

K-12 Education: A Look Ahead to the 2018 Legislative Session 

Tuesday, December 12th | 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST

Learn about the education priorities of key statewide organizations and policymakers, the budget outlook and the latest education priorities from Tallahassee in this no-cost, one-hour webinar open to those interested in Florida education issues.  

Click HERE to register and receive login information.

Take Action National PTA Take Action

Trump Administration Proposes $9.2 Billion Cut to Public Education.

 

Take Action Today- Florida PTA Opposes Conformation Of Bill 7069

Late Friday afternoon a massive education bill was introduced through the budget process.  This bill was negotiated behind closed doors, bypassing the democratic process of public input and the option for amendments.  While testing reform, daily recess, and other good education policies have been placed inside this bill, it has a devastating impact on the education budget that will leave our most vulnerable children behind.

Now is the time to act!  Please CALL today and tell your Senator to vote NO on Conforming Bill 7069. Our children are worth more than this.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/RCWdk1a6uaeOUIvNT94MeQ


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As the largest child advocacy association in the state, the Florida PTA’s mission has always been to serve and support EVERY child.  Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that the Florida PTA must oppose conforming bill 7069.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1104540460460&ca=c72d3503-aa21-4f47-94ed-193595e2ba4b

 

BLUE LOGO-SMALL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 7, 2017

Contact Information:

Cindy Gerhardt, President

president@floridapta.org

407-855-7604

FAX 407-240-9577

www.floridapta.org

Late Friday afternoon, a massive education package was introduced through the budgeting process.  While there are many valuable elements in this bill like sensible testing reform, parent friendly testing reports, daily recess, and important early learning initiatives, conforming bill 7069 will leave too many of our most vulnerable children behind.  The Title I provision takes away our school districts’ ability to effectively support our at-risk students.  The required sharing of local tax dollars intended for school construction and repair diverts resources away from traditional public schools in all neighborhoods.  Other provisions of this bill were never vetted in committee, thereby excluding essential input from parents and other community members.
As the largest child advocacy association in the state, the Florida PTA’s mission has always been to serve and support EVERY child.  Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that the Florida PTA must oppose conforming bill 7069.
Florida PTA comprises hundreds of thousands of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to improving the lives of children/youth in our state. PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in the state of Florida, as well as the nation. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children. More information is available by contacting Florida PTA (407/855-7604 or executive.director@floridapta.org).
 
For more information visit our website www.floridapta.org and/or our Facebook page for programs available in your community. 
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PTA Members Take Action Now! April 27

TAKE ACTION TODAY: Recess Bill SB78/HB67

TAKE ACTION ALERT: Recess Bill SB78/HB67

The Senate recess bill SB78 passed unanimously on the Senate floor on April 4th and has been sent over to the House in messages.  Please urge your Representative to contact Speaker Richard Corcoran TODAY and ask that he pull SB78 out of messages and send it to the House floor with no changes or amendments.

SB78 offers 20 minutes of daily unstructured play for K-5 elementary students.  Unlike the House version HB67, the Senate bill calls for true recess separate from PE and includes all elementary students not just k-3 students.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/lB_jNr0lOAEoE39YIv40YQ

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General Meetings:

General DCCPTA Meetings
are above and run from 9:30 am - 11:30 am, hospitality 9:00 -9:30 a.m. meeting 9:30 am. Make sure your PTA/PTSA has a representative. Join us at:
Duval County Public Schools
School Board Building
Cline Auditorium, 1st floor
1701 Prudential Dr
Jacksonville, Florida 32207

PTA – Applications – Forms – Spreadsheets – Samples

Mailing Address:

DCC PTA
P.O. Box 5397
Jacksonville, FL 32247
Email DCC President
Email Local Unit Team