SB 1718 – Died in Senate/HB 1191 – Passed in House
Parents should be equipped to make informed choices that ensure their child receives a high quality education. With research confirming that effective teachers produce students with almost four times the learning gains than students without effective teachers, parents have a right to protect their child from falling behind because of ineffective teachers.
Turning Around Schools:
Create a Parent Empowerment Act to enable parents to choose the intervention model to transform their child’s persistently failing school.
Insist on High Quality Teachers:
- Ensure that students are guaranteed to be assigned to an effective or highly effective teacher in the year after they are assigned to a teacher who is rated unsatisfactory or needs improvement. No student would be assigned two years in a row to an ineffective teacher.
- Inform parents of their right to request and receive the annual evaluation for their student’s assigned teacher.
- Require districts to offer a student assigned to a classroom with an ineffective teacher the option to take the class online with a highly effective or effective teacher.
- Require districts to offer a student assigned to a classroom with an out-of-field teacher the option to take the class with an online teacher certified in the subject area.
HB 859 – Passed
Closing the Achievement Gap Through Choice:
Florida is closing the achievement gap by giving parents the financial freedom to choose the school that will prepare their child for success in and beyond the classroom. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program allows corporations to reduce their tax bill by contributing to K-12 scholarships for students in low-income families. This legislation brings Florida's families one step closer towards eliminating barriers to school choice.
- Expands educational opportunities for more of Florida’s low-income students through a one-time increase in the 2012-2013 statewide tax credit cap from $218.7 million to $229 million. At one point last school year, 13,000 students were on the waiting list for this scholarship; this increase will allow 2,300 more children of low-income families to have the opportunity to select and attend the school that will meet their unique needs.
- Allows more parents and students to be eligible for Florida Tax Credit Scholarships by removing the requirement that students in kindergarten through fifth grade must have been enrolled in a Florida public school the year before they applied for the scholarship.