THE SCHOOL BOARD OF
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
MINUTES, ARPIL 19, 2004
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 (was not present)
Board Members: Mr. Gary Bergosh (was not present)
Mr. Ronnie L. Clark (was not present)
Ms. Linda Finkelstein
School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr. (was not present)
Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul (was not present)
(NOTE: According to the advertisement for this Special Meeting (and all Special Meetings involving an update from the School Boards Legislative Consultants), regardless of the presence of a quorum, Board Members who were present, could inquire of the Legislative Consultant during the conference call, provided that no action was taken at the meeting.)
Ms. Terry Golden, Mixon and Associates, gave an update (via speakerphone) regarding the following proposed legislation:
House Bill 157 Relating to School District Millage: Allows districts to use two-mill revenues to pay for property insurance. Any funds available as a result of this payment may only used for non-recurring expenditures.
Senate Bill 174 Relating to Lottery/Unclaimed Prize Money: Allocates unclaimed lottery prizes to public schools, community colleges, and state universities on a pro-rata basis based on the FTE enrolled in the institution. Committee Substitute/SB 174 stipulates that 80% of unclaimed prizes must go into the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
House Bill 185 Relating to Student Assessment/FCAT/SAT & ACT: Provides that students who enter school in the 11th or 12th grade may take FCAT in their native language if DOE offer a translated version. DOE must prepare a translated test in the predominant language spoken in each high school attendance zone, as reported by each district. Committee Substitute/HB 185 makes permanent the ability for students to substitute ACT or SAT scores for the 10th grade FCAT.
Senate Bill 300/House Bill 305 Relating to Employees of Public Schools: Allows school districts to pay annually for sick leave accrued during the year by all district employees. It deletes restrictions on the hours of sick leave that may be cumulatively accrued by administrators, but limits the value of sick leave accrued after June 30, 2004 to the daily rate of pay at the time the sick leave was earned.
Senate Bill 308 Relating to Schools/Physical Education: Requires DOE to contract each school district to determine how many schools have eliminated physical education. Effective 2004-2005 each elementary school student must receive at least ½ an hour of physical education each day. Nutrition must be included on the 10th grade FCAT.
House Bill 313 Relating to Scholarship Program Accountability: Prohibits students from receiving both a corporate tax credit scholarship and a McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. It subjects participating scholarship funding organizations to annual financial audits, with results sent to the Auditor General and DOE. The organization must verify income eligibility of student participants and the continued enrollment of the student in the private school. The organization must provide quarterly reports to DOE. Owners and operators of participating private schools must file their fingerprints with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and receive a criminal background check. The criminal background check must be based on the results of the criminal background check. An owner/operator who has filed for personal or corporate bankruptcy will not be eligible. the owner/operator of a scholarship funding organization may not own or operate a school that receives funds through the scholarship program. Scholarship funding organizations are responsible for reporting any private school noncompliance and withholding funds to these schools. The Commissioner of Education must clear these schools for future funds. Scholarship-funding organizations may not discriminate against qualified students on any basis. Parents of participating students may transfer their children from any eligible private school to another at any time during the year. Scholarship-funding organizations may not target funds for a particular private school, nor may they provide scholarships to the children of employees. Parents who receive checks from a scholarship-funding organization must endorse the check over to the private school. Participating students must maintain attendance, except for illness, and must comply with the code of student conduct. Parents must comply with the school’s parental involvement requirements, unless excused for illness or other good cause. With the exception of certain students with disabilities, participating students must complete national norm-referenced tests. Schools must have been in operation for at least three years to participate in the scholarship program. The State may reclaim funds used by a private school for unlawful purposes. The bill prescribes the laws with which participating schools must comply. Teachers in participating schools must have a bachelor’s degree and three years of teaching experience or have special skills, knowledge, or experience that may be substituted. The schools must make provisions for appropriate students to take the nationally norm-referenced examination. Any individual employed by the school who has direct student contact or unsupervised access to students must submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. The owner/operator must report any personnel who have been convicted of a crime that affects his or her fitness for direct student contact. A school employing anyone so convicted will be ineligible for the scholarships. The school must attest to compliance annually. The bill specifies the duties and responsibilities of DOE for the scholarship programs.
House Bill 675 Relating to K-12 Education/Children of Military: Allows children of military personnel who are transferred to Florida to transfer to public schools that conduct programs like the one in which they were enrolled prior to the transfer. Committee Substitute/HB 675 allows districts to wait-list transferring students for programs that are already full.
House Bill 769 Relating to Career & Technical Education: Provides legislative intent that high schools provide support to students and parents in determining a fitting program of study. Requires high schools to provide a variety of programs to meet students’ educational and career goals. Vocational programs must be industry certified or endorsed and students in these programs generate a cost factor of 1.5. Except for exploratory, orientation, and practical arts courses, no vacational courses may generate FTE without industry certification or endorsement. In order to generate FTE, programs must also articulate into a one or more post-secondary institutions. Vocational programs must: require that high school students complete graduation requirements in math, science, and communications in level-two or higher courses, consist of at least two courses and one occupational completion point, include one course in workplace readiness skills, include participation in work-based learning experiences, and include a “capstone activity” that includes a project related to a career. Students who complete these requirements and pass the college entry-level placement test receive a special endorsement on their diplomas. School district receive incentive funding for each such diploma awarded. And the incentive funds must be reapplied in the school’s vocational programs. Authorizes pilot programs in each of the five planning regions. Each guidance counselor and career specialist in a school with vocational programs must earn 12 in-service points in labor-market trends and projections, a practicum that focuses on development of a career-awareness program, and content related to a career or employment within the counselor’s work experience. These 12 hours must be earned for each certification period. The credits may be substituted with work-based experiences and temporary employment in business and industry. Allows the substitution of social science credit with a vocational course. Committee Substitute/HB 769 removes the requirement that the SBE revise rules related to the initial and subsequent certification of guidance counselors. It also replaces “endorsement” with “certification.”
House Bill 1139/Senate Bill 2310 Relating to Students/Reading Deficiencies: Requires elementary schools to regularly assess each K-3 student’s reading ability and notify the parents of deficient students’ specific deficiencies. Parents must be consulted in the development of an academic improvement plan in reading for each student. Each district must establish a Reading Enhancement and Acceleration Initiative to serve students at risk of retention based on their reading scores. These students must be provided an additional 30 to 45 minutes of instruction during the school day in the essential components of reading as identified by the Reading First folks. In addition, they must be provided a curriculum that meets Florida Center for Reading Research specifications. Accelerated instruction must be provided to 3rd graders who are not promoted to 4th grade. This instruction must include 60 to 90 minutes of instruction during the school day in the essential components of reading, as well as the curriculum identified above. Students must be assessed each 9 weeks and promoted upon successful completion of the reading assessment. The Academic Improvement plan must be re-addressed for students for students who do not pass the assessment. Committee Substitute/HB 1139 requires use of the statewide assessment system for identifying K-3 students at risk of retention. It requires parental notification regarding alternative means of promotion for K-3 students. It requires parental notification regarding mid-year promotion criteria. It requires the provision of 6-week summer reading camps for students retained in grade 3 due to a reading deficiency. Districts must provide retained students with a high quality teacher. It requires districts to provide parents with instructional options for retained students. Districts must report to SBE on intensive reading interventions. Finally, it requires districts to afford retained students for whom intensive instructional services are not sufficient the option of a transitional instructional setting.
Senate Bill 1258 Relating to Workforce Development Educational Programs: A shell bill through which the Legislature intends to revise laws related to education. Committee Substitute/SB 1258 repeals the Workforce Development Fund. If the workforce distribution is not specified in the General Appropriations Act, it must be allocated 90% on enrollment and 10% on performance. DOE must develop a funding process for school district workforce development programs that is comparable with community college workforce funding. DOE must also develop a plan for reporting data that are compatible across workforce systems.
House Bill 1301/Senate Bill 2184 Relating to Student Achievement: Codifies the College Board Partnership through the Florida Partnership for Minority and Underrepresented Student Achievement. Districts must administer the PSAT to all 10th grade students. Counselors must use the PSAT results to identify students who are and are not ready for AP and other higher-level coursework. The Legislature is responsible for funding the PSAT administration. The Partnership will train AP teachers to prepare students to pass AP exams, as well as train middle-school administrators and teachers to prepare students for participation in advanced courses. It will provide teacher training and materials consistent with the Sunshine State Standards and FCAT. It will provide marketing materials that stress the importance of AP and the PSAT. By May 31st each year, DOE must approve a plan for the delivery of services. The Partnership must convey an annual report evaluating the effectiveness of the services and activities, including increasing the number of AP examinations in low-performing middle and high schools, levels of PSAT participation, and measures of satisfaction with the Partnership. DOE will provide access to student and teacher information with PSAT, SAT and AP databases. Funding must be provided annually by the Legislature. The College Board must match at least 1/3 of the allocation Committee Substitute/HB 1301 removes direct references to the College Board and includes PLAN for 10th-grade testing purposes.
Senate Bill 2374 Relating to School Food Services: Requires each school district to analyze the operational efficiency of its school food service program. Any district that has operated at a loss during any of the prior three fiscal years to issue an RFI to determine whether the district is better served by outsourcing its school food service program.
Senate Bill 3000 Relating to Charter Schools: Allows community colleges and state universities to sponsor charter schools. It allows charter school facilities not to comply with the Building Code. A school district representative and the local fire marshal shall inspect the facility for certificate of occupancy purposes. Educational impact fees for a development may be designated for the construction of charter schools for that development. Charter school sponsors must be the costs of state or district-required tests. In order for a charter school to receive capital outlay funding, it must have received such funding during 2003-2004. Allows charter schools to expend capital outlay funds for any capital outlay purpose related to the functioning of the charter school. It deletes provisions related to charter school capital outlay funding that became effective for 2003-2004.
There being no further business, the Special Meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.