Week one Committee Reports:
President Negron met with Committee Chairs, Staff, and Directors and his most important message to committee chairs: don’t believe the hype- the upper chamber is consistently conservative. This is good news for FCSBM which is often referred to as “the conservative School Board Group”.
Senate PreK-12 Committee, Chair Senator Hukill. The meeting focused entirely on higher education, with Sen. Mayfield (acting as chair) noting that this is a priority of Senate President Negron and that he has made it clear that he intends to increase funding to our University System. Not much here for PreK-12 SBM other than possible funding ramifications.
Watch entire video here: https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/121216-senate-education-committee/
Senate PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee- Chairman Sen. Simmons (R- Maitland), in his opening remarks, reiterated his commitment to the extra hour of reading in the lowest 300 funding. His support bodes well for the FCSBM legislative initiative using Best and Brightest preferentially in underperforming schools. View all 2017 FCSBM Legislative Priorities
Chairman Simmons also indicated that we need to look into testing. This is promising at our prospects for getting a version of the Sunshine Solution (SB1360 from 2016) across the finish line this session. There also seems to be a number of organizations jumping into the parade joining what we started in August of 2015. There is a strong possibility that we can “pick up the spare”, to use a bowling term by getting the final initiative from 2016 session passed in 2017 and go 8 out of 8.
Chair Sen. Simmons echoed Sen. Rousan (D- St. Pete) concern about the financial impact if the FEA overturns the Tax Credit Scholarships . Will it be the $300 million+ NEGATIVE impact to District Schools that many project, will it be worse? If TCS are overturned, most models indicate that the costs will far exceed the revenues by several hundred million dollars and staff was asked to prepare an analysis that was expected to be ready “in a matter of days.” Per Chair Simmons:
Related Article: Fla. Senators want to know budget impact of school choice lawsuit
Watch entire meeting video here: https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/121416-senate-appropriations-subcommittee-pre-k-12-education/
Other School Board Matters to watch:
Education Related BILLS FILED 12-12-12 through 12-16-16
Brewing battle on Oil Spill Funds and Property Taxes:
“We’re not raising taxes, absolutely not,” Corcoran said. “We’ll find a way.”
ESSA Implementation Update 12-15-2016:
View the ExcelinEd webinar slides here: http://www.excelined.org/wp-content/uploads/Webinar-5-Final-Regulations_Final.pdf
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