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:


Chair: Ms. Linda Finkelstein


Vice Chair: Mrs. Cary Stidham  


Board Members:  Mrs. Carissa Bergosh

Mr. Ronnie L. Clark (was not present)

Dr. John DeWitt


School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr.


Superintendent of Schools:  Mr. Jim Paul




Ms. Finkelstein called the Special Meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. There being no objection, the agenda as outlined, was followed. 




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


Class Size Reduction Implementation Act: Ms. Golden stated that the House would probably offer a “strike-all amendment” to the Class Size Reduction Implementation Act, which was previously passed by the Senate. 


House Bill 9 Relating to Public School/Compulsory Attendance: Raises the age of compulsory school attendance from 16 years of age to 17 years of age; conforms provisions relating to a student’s right to file a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 9 was “gutted” in Subcommittee and its companion, SB 1330, was “currently not moving.”


House Bill 381 Relating to Public Funds: Authorizes local governments to transfer funds to pay expenses, expenditures, or disbursements evidenced by invoice or other appropriate documentation.  Senate Bill 258 Relating to Local Government/Expenses/Electronic Payment: Authorizes local governments to pay certain expenses by means of electronic funds transfer.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 381 and its companion, SB 258, were “moving” in both chambers.


House Bill 463 Relating to Florida High School Activities Association: Repeals the Florida High School Activities Association; deletes a specified duty of the association, to conform; requires the Department of Education to adopt safety standards for cheerleaders.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 463 “barely passed out of Subcommittee” and would “undoubtedly be overhauled.”  She noted that there would be a “strike-all amendment” before the bill was “heard in Committee.”  


House Bill 805 Relating to Scholarships for Dependent Children of Veterans and Military Personnel: Establishes a program that allows corporate tax credits for contributions to non-profit scholarship-funding organizations for scholarships to dependent children of veterans and military personnel.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 805 had “passed in the House” and advised that there was “still no Senate companion bill.”


House Bill 819 Relating to Instructional Materials/K-12: Requires publishers to provide and price adopted instructional materials on individual basis for purchase by school districts; revises provisions regarding issuance of purchase orders.  Senate Bill 1838 Relating to Instructional Materials/K-12: Changes date by which school superintendent’s must notify DOE regarding certain instructional materials; requires publishers to provide and price adopted instructional materials on individual basis for purchase by school districts; provides limitations on purchasing authority; revises provisions regarding issuance of purchase orders; provides for application of certain provisions, etc.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 819 and its companion, SB 1838, were “moving” in both chambers. 


House Bill 901 Relating to Educational Leadership: Creates the BEST Florida Teaching Act of 2003; amends and creates provisions to apply the guiding principles of the act; revises provisions to assist teachers in maintaining disciplined classrooms conducive to learning; provides for training, recruitment, and compensation of high-quality teachers.  Ms. Golden advised that HB 901 “came out of full committee last week.”  She noted that HB 901 was a “comprehensive teacher recruitment and retention bill.” 


House Bill 1357 Relating to Deduction and Collection of a Bargaining Agent’s Dues and Uniform Assessments: Eliminates a right of bargaining agents to have dues and assessments deducted and collected by an employer from instructional personnel; provides that the deduction and collection of dues and assessments is a proper subject of collective bargaining; provides for accounting of collected funds; provides for enforcementSenate Bill 1652 Relating to Bargaining Agent’s Dues/Assessments: Eliminates right of certain bargaining agents to have certain dues and assessments deducted and collected by employer from certain employees; provides legislative findings and intent; provides that deduction and collection of certain dues and assessments is proper subject of collective bargaining; provides requirements and limitations; provides for accounting of funds; provides for enforcement.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 1357 and its companion, SB 1652, were “moving” in both chambers.


House Bill 1739 Relating to Access to Post-Secondary Education: Deletes the requirement that the high school life management skills course be taken at specific grade levels; requires certain test accommodations and modifications of procedures for students with disabilities; requires award of a standard diploma to a student with a disability who meets certain criteria; revises provisions relating to admission of students to community colleges; revises provisions relating to eligibility for reasonable substitutions for admission and graduation requirements; requires review and report on use of acceleration mechanisms and grading practices.


House Bill 1777 Relating to Educator Certification and Discipline: Requires an affidavit for educator certification; requires certified educators and applicants for certification to provide notification of current mailing address; provides a penalty for noncompliance; revises authority of the Education Practices Commission to discipline educators; revises grounds for discipline and provides penalties; revises procedures relating to investigation and prosecution of educators; provides requirements for educators on probation; revises provisions relating to the recovery network program; allows certain employers of educators to have access to expunged or sealed records. 


Senate Bill 612 Relating to District School Board Members/Terms: Constitutional amendment to provide that a person may not serve more than 12 consecutive years, beginning with election following election at which amendment is ratified, as a member of district school board.  Ms. Golden advised that SB 612 was “passed out of Committee,” however, because the bill was “reasonably controversial,” she did not believe that it would come up again.   


Senate Bill 1854 Relating to School Personnel/Rules and Regulations: Requires certain personnel in alternative school that operates under contract with district school system to file set of fingerprints; requires personnel to be subject to state and federal rules and regulations.  Ms. Golden stated that SB 1854 “came out” of Senate Education Committee.


Senate Bill 2306 Relating to District School Boards/Powers and Duties: Authorizes district school board programs and policies to provide for random drug testing of high school student athletes.  Ms. Golden advised that SB 2306 “came out” of Committee.


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


Mr. David Lycan, Mixon and Associates, advised (via speakerphone) that both the House and Senate had passed their Appropriations Act “out of full Committee.”  He explained that he did not have a “great deal of detail with numbers,” but hoped to have additional information in the near future.



1.  Application/Contract Group Life Insurance

(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit “A”)


(NOTE: This item relates to Item IV.2 “Life Insurance – Renewal of Group Term Life Insurance,” which the Board previously approved at the March 24, 2003 Special Meeting.)  Mr. Joe Bernard, Director of Risk Management, explained that the Board had previously approved the “plan” for group life insurance and advised that this particular item, was a request for approval of an “application/contract” for that insurance.  Ms. Finkelstein questioned whether the Board had been notified regarding a $100,000 “binder” that was to be submitted along with the “application/contract,” noting that she was unaware of such a requirement.  Mr. Bernard explained that the $100,000 was not a “binder,” but rather the estimated first premium payment for the month of April, which was included in the total cost.  He stated that he had not notified the Board specifically of the $100,000 premium payment for April.  Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Negron stated that he had reviewed the application/contract and approved it as to form, however, he advised Board Members to thoroughly review it prior to taking any action.


The Special Meeting recessed at 12:35 p.m., to allow Board Members and opportunity to thoroughly review the application/contract for group life insurance.  The Special Meeting reconvened at 12:40 p.m., with Ms. Finkelstein, Mrs. Stidham, Mrs. Bergosh, Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Negron and the Superintendent present. 


Mr. Bernard stated that a meeting with the group life insurance company would be held on April 25, 2003.  He advised that a “final agreement” with the company would be presented for Board approval within the next two months. 

Motion was made by Mrs. Stidham, seconded by Mrs. Bergosh, to approve “Application/Contract Group Life Insurance,” was approved 4 to 0, with Mr. Clark absent for vote.




There being no further business, the Special Meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.


Attest:              Approved:


Superintendent    Chair