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 (was not present)

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. (was not present)


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



Mrs. Stidham 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 explanation and/or update (via speakerphone) regarding the following legislative issues:


House Bill 1739 Relating to Access to Post-Secondary Education: Creates provision regarding access to post-secondary education and meaningful careers for students with disabilities; amends provision regarding high school graduation requirements; requires State Education Board to adopt rules providing for test accommodations and modifications of procedures for students with disabilities; amends provisions regarding admissions of students to community colleges, etc.  Ms. Golden advised that HB 1739 was “signed by the Governor and became law.”


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 nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations for scholarships to dependent children of veterans and military personnel.  Ms. Golden advised that HB 805 had been referred to the Senate.


House Bill 467 Relating to High School Graduation: Provides learning opportunities for certain students to meet high school graduation requirements; provides requirements for certain transfer students; authorizes alternate assessments; authorizes rules; amends provisions regarding student assessment for public schools; provides for alternative assessments for grade 10 FCATSenate Bill 2546 Relating to Public Schools/FCAT/Native Language: Authorizes certain students to take grade 10 FCAT in their native language under certain circumstances.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 467 and its counterpart SB 2546 were “both moving.”


House Bill 499 Relating to District School Taxation: Provides that the fuel sales tax and the county fuel tax returned to school districts may be used to fund transportation-related expenses; deletes a priority for use of funds; authorizes certain expenditures from district school taxes for capital improvement; places restrictions on use of tax revenues by school districts that fail to meet constitutional class size requirements in 2010.  Ms. Golden advised that HB 499 would allow school districts to use discretionary two-mill funds to purchase property casualty insurance.


House Bill 915 Relating to K-20 Education Accountability: Expands legislative intent for K-20 education performance accountability system; provides requirements and implementation schedule for performance-based funding; provides mission, goals, and measures; requires collection of certain data; requires State Board of Education to conduct assessment study; authorizes adoption of equivalent scores for purpose of graduation.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 915 was in “messages to the Senate.”


Senate Bill 262 Relating to Property Owned by Local Governments: Provides for disposition of certain surplus state lands; revises definition to increase monetary value of fixtures and tangible personal property that must be included in inventory of property; repeals provision regarding disposition of surplus property.  Ms. Golden advised that SB 262 was in “messages to the House.”


Senate Bill 612 Relating to School Board Members/Legislators/Terms: Constitutional amendment to provide that person may not serve more than 12 consecutive years, beginning with the election following election at which amendment is ratified, as member of district school board and to further provide that maximum allowable term of office for members of State Legislature shall be increased from 8 years to 12 years. 


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


House Bill 553 Relating to American Sign Language: Allows foreign language credit for instruction in American Sign Language in public and independent schools; provides for a task force to develop guidelines for American Sign Language courses; requires teachers of American Sign Language to be certified by a specified date; provides for a plan for post-secondary educational institutions.  Senate Bill 162 Relating to American Sign Language: Provides legislative findings and purpose; allows foreign language credits for instruction in American Sign Language; requires notice of limitations; provides duties of Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education; provides for task force and prescribes its duties; requires teachers of American Sign Language to be licensed by specified date; provides plan for post-secondary institutions. 


Senate Bill 716 Relating to Instructional Materials/Cost Savings: Authorizes the Department of Education (DOE) to conduct pilot program; authorizes pilot program within specified counties to enable selected school districts to realize cost savings in purchase of used instructional materials; imposes requirements on vendors of such materials; absolves state from responsibility for certain financial losses; requires Council for Education Policy Research and Improvement to report to Legislature; provides for future repealHouse Bill 231 Relating to Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education: Authorizes DOE to conduct a pilot program in specified counties to enable school districts to realize cost savings in the purchase or used instructional materials; imposes requirements on vendors; requires a report to the Legislature. 


Senate Bill 2062 Relating to Scholarship Funding Tax Credits: Increases total amount of tax credit which may be granted each state fiscal year; provides for scholarship amounts awarded to be annually adjusted based on percentage change in Consumer Price Index; establishes program for contributions to nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations to be used for dependent children of military personnel; provides add-back to adjusted federal income, etc.  Ms. Golden advised that SB 2062 had “passed in the Senate.” 


Senate Bill 2170 Relating to Charter School Districts: Provides additional criteria for establishment of charter school district; provides for renewal of charter.  Ms. Golden stated that SB 2170 was currently in “messages to the House.”


Senate Bill 2242 Relating to Charter Schools: Requires emphasis on reading; authorizes state university or community college to sponsor charter school; eliminates limitations on number of charter schools per school district; revises administrative fee sponsor is authorized to withhold; revises conditions for charter schools to receive funding; revises purposes for which charter school capital outlay funds may be used, etc.  Ms. Golden advised that SB 2242 was currently in “messages to the House.”

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

Mr. David Lycan, Mixon and Associates, explained (via speakerphone) that while he currently did not have any “concrete numbers” with regard to the proposed House and Senate budgets, he did hope to have that information in the near future.



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


Attest:                                                             Approved:


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Superintendent                                           Chair