Legislative Wrap upDear Florida Citizens Alliance Supporters: THANK YOU!!
Florida’s 2022 legislative session ended Monday, March 14. Our sincere thanks to all of you who used and shared our Action Alert process. The more who use it, the louder our voice. Our team, headed by Civil Rights attorney Kristina Heuser and joined by Jamie Merchant, Rick Stevens, our intern Anna Chavez and me, evaluated almost 70 education bills and decided to strongly support 13 and strongly oppose 7. As always some of these bills morphed into others and key elements adsorbed in committee bills. Nevertheless, here is a recap of important bills that passed and either have been signed already by the Governor or we fully expect will be signed shortly. None of the bills we strongly opposed passed. We celebrate the following and hope you will thank your local legislators who supported these bills.
CS/SB 1048 Student Assessments
Senator Diaz: Renames “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards” as “state academic standards”; deletes all provisions related to FSA: replaces the FSA with progress monitoring for each student at the beginning, middle, and end of the year; provides that certain end-of-year comprehensive progress monitoring assessments are the statewide, standardized ELA and Mathematics assessments for certain students; requires the coordinated screening and progress monitoring system to identify the educational strengths and needs of students; requires 2022-2023 school and school district grades to serve as an informal baseline for schools and school districts; provides that school improvement ratings will not be calculated for the 2022-2023 school year, etc.
CS/HB 5 Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality
Rep Grall, Senator Stargel: Revises purpose & requirements for Comprehensive Statewide Tobacco Education & Use Prevention Program; requires DOH to contract with local healthy start coalitions for creation of fetal & infant mortality review committees; prohibits physicians from performing abortions if gestational age of the fetus is determined to be more than 15 weeks; provides exception; requires directors of certain medical facilities & certain physicians to submit a monthly report to AHCA electronically; requires hospitals participate in a minimum number of quality improvement initiatives.
CS/CS/ HB 1557 Parental Rights in Education
Rep Harding, Senator Baxley: Requires district school boards to adopt procedures that comport with certain provisions of law for notifying student’s parent of specified information; requires such procedures to reinforce fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children; prohibits school district from adopting procedures or student support forms that prohibit school district personnel from notifying parent about specified information or that encourage student to withhold from parent such information; prohibits school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification & involvement in critical decisions affecting student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being; prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in grade levels k-3; requires school districts to notify parents of healthcare services; authorizes parent to bring action against school district to obtain declaratory judgment; provides for additional award of injunctive relief, damages, & reasonable attorney fees & court costs to certain parents.
CS/HB 7 Individual Freedom
House Education and Employment and Rep Avila: provides that subjecting any individual, as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination, to training, instruction, or any other required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe specified concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin; prohibits classroom instruction and curricula from being used to indoctrinate or persuade students in a manner inconsistent with certain principles or state academic standards: requiring the Department of Education to review school district professional development systems for compliance with certain provisions of law;[This law pertains to government and commercial businesses]
CS/CS/SB 758 Education
Senator Diaz: Authorizes members of the Legislature to visit any public school in the legislative district of the member; creates the Charter School Review Commission within the Department of Education, subject to appropriation; authorizes the commission to solicit and review certain charter school applications; establishes the Florida Institute for Charter Schools Innovation at Miami Dade College, subject to appropriation.
CS/SB 896 Educator Certification Pathways for Veterans
Senator Burgess: Authorizes the Department of Education to issue a temporary certificate to specified military servicemembers who meet certain criteria.
CS/HB 225 (referred from SB 892) Charter School Charters Rep
Hawkins: Revises provisions relating to consolidation of multiple charters into single charter, renewals, non-renewals, & terminations of charters.
SB 1054 Financial Literacy Instruction in Public Schools,
Senator Hutson: Cites this act as the “Dorothy L. Hukill Financial Literacy Act”; revises the requirements regarding financial literacy for the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards; revises the required credits for a standard high school diploma to include one-half credit of instruction in personal financial literacy and money management and seven and one-half, rather than eight, credits in electives.