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President Office — Press Release


March 12, 2014

CONTACT: Britton Alexander, (850) 487-5184,
Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229

Florida Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee Moves Legislation Strengthening Florida’s Education System

Tallahassee —

Today, the Florida Senate Subcommittee on Education Appropriations, chaired by Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), passed Senate Bill 790, Education; SB 1148, Postsecondary Education; and SB 1642, Education Accountability. The three bills are part of a comprehensive effort to expand economic opportunity through education.  

“The Senate is committed to transforming Florida’s education system to ensure more students have the opportunity to learn, to graduate and to succeed in real jobs in the real economy,” said Senate President Don Gaetz (R–Niceville). “Integrating technology into our classrooms, increasing transparency in Florida’s school grading system, and keeping postsecondary education affordable will continue to cement the link between education and jobs and make education a better value for families and taxpayers alike.”

Senate Bill 790, by Senator John Legg (R-Lutz), elevates funding and policy aspects of technology-enhanced classroom teaching and learning by creating a dedicated source of funding for school district technology purchases and activities to improve student performance. The Florida Department of Education (DOE) would be charged with developing a Florida Digital Classrooms Plan that establishes minimum protocols, parameters and requirements for the state and district. The bill also requires school districts to develop and annually submit district plans for activities resulting from purchases of digital learning and technology infrastructure, professional development, digital tools, and online assessments to measure student performance outcomes.

Senate Bill 1148, by the Senate Education Committee, removes the automatic, annual increase of resident undergraduate tuition at postsecondary institutions and specifies that rate increases can be provided in the General Appropriations Act. Additionally, the bill decreases the tuition differential from a maximum increase of 15 percent to six percent.

Senate Bill 1642, by the Senate Education Committee, creates a clarified A-F and 100-point school grading system where point values, not safety nets or triggers, are the indicator of the grade earned. Under the bill, district and school grades, which would be released every year in the summer at the same time, will be simplified and transparent. No changes would be made to the current school grading system in 2013-14; however, the new 2014-15 school grades will function as an informational baseline for schools to work toward improved future performance.

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