THE SCHOOL BOARD OF
School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Workshop at , in Conference Room “B” at the Dr.
Vernon McDaniel Building,
Chair: Ms. Linda Finkelstein (entered the Special Workshop at )
Vice Chair: Mrs. Cary Stidham
Board Members: Mrs. Carissa Bergosh
Mr. Ronnie L. Clark
Dr. John DeWitt
School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr. (entered the Special Workshop at )
Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul (was not present)
[NOTE: The following representatives of Mixon and Associates (Legislative Consultants) were also in attendance: Mr. Juhan Mixon, Ms. Terry Golden and Mr. David Lycan.]
<![if !supportLists]> I. <![endif]>CALL TO ORDER
Mrs. Stidham called the Special Workshop to order at
<![if !supportLists]> II. <![endif]>REPORT FROM MIXON AND ASSOCIATES, LEGISLATIVE CONSULTANTS
Mr. Mixon began with a brief update on statewide political issues, followed by a report on legislative issues by Ms. Golden and a brief update on the current State budget by Mr. Lycan.
(NOTE: Ms. Finkelstein entered the Special Workshop at )
<![if !supportLists]> III. <![endif]>DEVELOPMENT OF LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM
Ms. Golden and Mr. Mixon reviewed a handout provided to the Board, entitled “Statewide Education Platforms for 2004.”
The Special Workshop recessed at and reconvened at , with all Board Members present.
(NOTE: Mr. Negron entered the Special Workshop at )
Mr. Mixon advised that this
segment of the meeting would involve the development of the Board’s 2004
Legislative Platform. He suggested that
the Board schedule a Special Meeting to present their Platform to local Legislative
Delegation. As suggested by Mr. Mixon,
the Board discussed the possibility of scheduling a Special Meeting with local
Legislative Delegation during the week of October 27th at
School districts should be notified of the specific students who avail themselves of Corporate Scholarships and McKay Scholarships and the schools in which they will make use of their scholarships.
Corporate Scholarship students should be held to the same accountability standards (such as FCAT) as their public school peers and their progress should be monitored in the same manner as public school students.
Corporations should receive the same tax credit for contributions to school district foundations as they currently receive for contributions to non-profit scholarship-funding organizations.
Should a McKay Scholarship student return to public school at any time during the school year, the award to the private school should be discontinued and the school district receive a prorated FEFP allocation for the student.
For a variety of reasons, school district funding is unequal from county to county, based on differences in cost of living and revenues generated from local millage.
The Legislature should review such issues as the District Cost Differential and dollars generated per mill to ensure that districts are funded adequately and equitably.
Pre-kindergarten and Universal Education for Four-Year-Olds (Dr. DeWitt)
As the Legislature creates the statutory framework for the delivery of pre-kindergarten instruction, it must recognize school districts as the focal point of these efforts.
Implementing legislation for pre-kindergarten should include performance-based institutional eligibility requirements that contain clear accountability measures.
The Legislature must fund pre-kindergarten programs based on a funding model like the FEFP, including the provisions of funds for the transportation of these students.
Regardless of the entity that provides these educational services, school districts should be designated as the fiscal agent for services delivered within the county.
A+ Plan vs. No Child Left Behind (Ms. Finkelstein)
Reporting discrepancies between Florida’s A+ Plan and the federal No Child Left Behind Act result in anomalies through which schools that earn an “A” based on the state criteria can fail in light of the federal criteria (based on the state plan submitted by the Florida Department of Education and approved by the United State Department of Education).
A state steering committee should be formed, to include school district representatives, to provide recommendations to state and federal policymakers to delineate valid, reliable, and consistent accountability measures.
Transportation (Mrs. Bergosh)
Student transportation is currently funded at less than 75% of the actual cost of providing eligible students this service.
Discrepancies between required transportation costs and available funds are derived from other funding streams, such as those for educational programs.
The Legislature should fund a higher portion of the legitimate costs of student transportation.
<![if !supportLists]> IV. <![endif]>ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:36 p.m.