What We Are Watching This Session

What We Are Watching This Session

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Florida's 2018 Legislative Session kicks off tomorrow and we’ll be closely watching several pieces of legislation that we believe will positively impact the lives of our state’s K-12 students and their families.

While the Sunshine State’s track record of improving outcomes for students and expanding educational options for families is undeniable, now is not the time to slow down.

During the next 60 days and beyond, the Foundation for Florida’s Future will be working with parents, teachers and education advocates across the state to promote student-centered policies that improve the quality of education for each and every child.

Here’s what we’re watching and supporting this session:

  • Providing flexibility to school districts participating in Florida’s mastery-based education pilot program and allowing 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.
  • Allowing parents to get an additional year of VPK at no cost if their child needs additional time and support to arrive ready for Kindergarten.
    • Last school year, nearly 80 percent of Florida four year olds received state funding to attend the early learning provider of their choice through Florida’s Voluntary PreK program, which was created in 2005.
    • Children who attend high-quality prekindergarten programs are better prepared for school, have higher school attendance rates and are less likely to drop out of school according to research.
  • Ensuring that all students, including private school students, have free, open access to dual enrollment courses at their local state colleges.
  • Protecting students who have been bullied or harassed by giving them the opportunity to move to a safer public or private school through the Hope Scholarship program.
  • Expanding computer science education so that students have access to courses that prepare them for success in college and career, and providing incentives for teachers.
  • Helping more students, especially those living in urban communities, earn college credit through expanding Florida’s partnership with The College Board to increase AP course participation and passage.
    • Florida is third in the nation for improvement over the past 10 years in the percentage of graduates scoring 3 or higher during high school. These successes can be traced back to the long-term partnership between the state of Florida and The College Board.
  • Ensuring the more than 1,300 Florida students with special needs currently waiting to participate in the Gardiner Scholarship Program have access to the benefits of a customized education.
  • Empowering more low-income families to pick the public or private school that is the best fit for their child through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

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