The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Meeting at 12:00 p.m., in the Board Room, at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel Building, 215 West Garden Street, Pensacola, Florida, with the following present:

            Chairman:                     Mrs. Cary Stidham                    Vice Chairman:             Dr. John DeWitt           

            Board Members:           Mr. Gary Bergosh (was not present)

                                                Mr. Ronnie L. Clark

                                                Ms. Linda Finkelstein (was not present)

            School Board Attorney:              Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr. (was not present)

            Superintendent of Schools:         Mr. Jim Paul (was not present)    

            Mrs. Stidham called the Special Meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.

Report from Mixon and Associates, Legislative Consultants

      Ms. Terry Golden, Mixon and Associates, gave a brief update (via speakerphone) regarding the following legislative issues:

Senate Bill 116 Relating to Teaching & Learning Technology: Creates the “Harnessing the Power of Education Technology Advisory Council” within DOE.  The Council will recommend policies regarding the use of technology in public education to bridge the digital divide.  The final report of the Council is due October 15, 2005. 

House Bill 195 Relating to Instructional Materials/K-12: Creates a pilot program for the purchase of used instructional materials in Hernando, Pasco, and Polk Counties. 

House Bill 257 Relating to Florida Educational License Plate: Increases the cost of a Florida educational license plate from $15 to $20. 

Senate Bill 340 Relating to School Code Rewrite Corrections: A shell bill through which the Legislature intends to revise laws related to the Florida School Code. 

Senate Bill 354 Relating to Middle Schools: A shell bill through which the Legislature intends to revise laws related to education.   

Senate Bill 362 Relating to Charter Schools/Employees/Salaries: A shell bill through which the Legislature intends to revise laws related to charter schools. 

Senate Bill 470 Relating to Education Facility/Air Quality: Requires each school board to implement an indoor air quality program using the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program.  Each board must annually report the air quality condition of its schools to the Department of Education, as well as actions taken to implement the air quality program.  Effective January 2009 and every five years thereafter, the school board must conduct a uniform air quality inspection and evaluation of all facilities built or renovated after January 1, 2004.  Schools built prior to this date must be evaluated every two years.  Air quality reports must be available to the public.  School boards may not approve a site with moderate or high radon levels unless the project plan mitigates radon levels in the facility’s air.  They  may also not approve a plan that fails to meet State code for the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.  School boards must ensure that the HVAC systems are maintained and operated at or above the standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and are operated continuously during the hours that students and personnel occupy the buildings.  School board HVAC maintenance records must be maintained for at least five years.  The school board must establish a district-wide indoor air quality committee.  The school board must develop an indoor environmental quality training program for facilities, maintenance and custodial staff.  New employees must complete the program within the first 60 days of employment; existing employees must complete within one year of implementation of the program.  Building maintenance staff in a new or renovated building must receive training in HVAC systems.  This training will be incorporated into the training manual for the certification of master custodians. 

Senate Bill 546 Relating to District School Taxation: Allows districts to use two-mill revenues to pay for property insurance.  Any funds available as a result of this payment may only be used for nonrecurring expenditures. 

House Bill 549 Relating to K-12 GI Bill Program: Provides a new voucher program for the dependents of veterans and active duty military personnel who reside in Florida.  The child must have attended a public school in Florida during the previous year.  School districts must notify parents who they know to be eligible.  Upon a parent’s request, the school district must administer the FCAT to a student who attends private school through the program.  The bill provides eligibility requirements for private school participation as well as parental obligations.  It provides for the funding and payment of the vouchers.  Students receive $3,600 for attending a private school or $500 for attending a public school in another district.  School districts must report all students who are using the voucher. 

Senate Bill 1096 Relating to Korean War Veterans/HS Diploma: Extends eligibility for Korean War veterans to receive a high school diploma from 1954 to 1955. 

Senate Bill 1212 Relating to Tax Levy/School Buses: Allows the use of two-mill revenues for outsourced student transportation services.  The private provider must purchase, own, and operate buses consistent with s. 1006.25  Each bus must be used for student daily transportation as required by the school district.  No bus may cost more than 10% of the state pool purchase price.  The intended use of revenues for the buses must be included in the notice of proposed tax for school capital outlay. 

Senate Bill 1296 Relating to Charter Employees & Contractors: Requires all instructional and non-instructional personnel employed within an alternative school that operates under contract with a charter school and who have direct contact with students to file a complete set of fingerprints pursuant to s. 1012.32. 

Senate Bill 1514 Relating to Extracurricular Student Activities: Extends “no pass, no play” to require that students pass each core course required for graduation in order to participate in extracurricular activities.  A student may not be prohibited from participating in marching band if the band course counts as physical education credit. 

Senate Bill 1622/House Bill 1725 Relating to Military Families: Exempts children of military parents who are transferred to Florida from attending public school for at least one year prior to receiving a McKay Scholarship.  It requires DOE to facilitate the development of memoranda of understanding between school districts and military installations for assisting transferred children of military parents in the transition to the school district.  It exempts such children who transfer in the 12th grade from FCAT requirements with adequate ACT or SAT scores. 

Senate Bill 1716 Relating to Classroom for Kids Program/Funds: Excludes adult technical centers from the Classrooms for Kids Program. 

Senate Bill 1808 Relating to Florida School Recognition Program: Reallocates school recognition funds as follows: if there is not agreement regarding the distribution of funds within a school by November 1st, 40% of the funds must be allocated to current school employees and the balance allocated for nonrecurring expenditures such as educational equipment or materials or temporary personnel who assist in maintaining and improving student performance. 

Senate Bill 1844 Relating to School-Entry Health & Vision Exams: Requires students to present a certification of school-entry comprehensive vision examination by a Florida-licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist in addition to the certification of a school-entry health examination.

      Following her update, Ms. Golden responded to questions posed by several staff and Board Members, regarding clarification on various legislative issues. 

Mrs. Stidham advised that the Special Meeting (re: Legislative Update) scheduled for March 15, 2004 would be canceled in consideration of Spring Break. 

      Dr. DeWitt moved “that a letter be sent to Delegation opposing House Bill 549 (Relating to K-12 GI Bill Program) as the impact upon this District, with all the military family dependents would be absolutely detrimental to the public schools in our system.”  Motion was seconded by Mr. Clark and approved 3 to 0, with Mr. Bergosh and Ms. Finkelstein absent for vote. 

There being no further business, the Special Meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

                  Attest:                                                                    Approved:

________________________________              ________________________________

Superintendent                                                        Chairman