Florida Session Week 3 Highlights: Five Issues We’re Watching

Florida Session Week 3 Highlights: Five Issues We’re Watching

Friday, January 26, 2018

Florida Session Week 3 Highlights: Steady Progress on Expanding Educational Opportunity

Florida legislators made steady progress this week championing legislation that expands educational opportunity for students and their families.

  • The Florida House’s Subcommittee on PreK-12 Innovation unanimously passed legislation that gives school districts participating in Florida’s Mastery-Based Pilot program greater flexibility and allows other districts to participate.
  • Legislation to expand computer science education and provide incentives for teachers passed its first committee assignment in the Florida House on Tuesday.
  • Members of the Florida House’s Subcommittee on PreK-12 Quality unanimously passed a bill that would give parents the option of enrolling their child in a second year of VPK to ensure their child is ready for Kindergarten.

Personalized Education

On Tuesday, HB 1035 sponsored by Representative Jennifer Sullivan, unanimously passed the Florida House’s Subcommittee on PreK-12 Innovation with several school district leaders speaking in support of the legislation, including representatives from Seminole, Pinellas, Palm Beach and P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School.

The legislation provides flexibility to school districts participating in Florida’s Mastery-based Education Pilot Program and allows more districts to participate. Through this program, students are empowered to play a greater role in their learning, and participating districts can create programs tailored to a student’s unique strengths, interests and needs. HB 1035 now moves to the Florida House’s PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee.

Computer Science

Legislation to expand computer science education also passed the Florida House’s Subcommittee on PreK-12 Innovation on Tuesday, January 23. HB 1213, sponsored by Representative Elizabeth Porter, now moves to the Florida House’s PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee. A similar piece of legislation, SB 1056, unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee on January 16.  

Early Learning
A bill that would give parents the option of an additional year of VPK unanimously passed the Florida House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee on January 23. HB 951, sponsored by Representative Jason Fischer, also ensures parents receive easy-to-understand information about their child’s academic progress.

Educational Opportunity

The Senate Prek-12 Education Committee passed, SB 1172, sponsored by Senator Galvano on January 22. The legislation gives the parents of students who have been subjected to bullying or harassment the option of attending another public school or using a scholarship to attend a private school. 

For more information and resources on student-centered legislation that promotes equity and opportunity, visit AFloridaPromise.org.

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