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 (not present)

Vice Chair: Mrs. Cary Stidham


Board Members: Mrs. Carissa Bergosh (not present)

Mr. Ronnie L. Clark (not present)

Dr. John DeWitt (not present)


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


Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul (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.)



Mrs. Stidham called the Special Meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.



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


House Bill 193 Relating to School Readiness: Provides legislative findings and purpose; requires a joint interim study to make recommendations with respect to restructuring the existing school readiness program and creating the new constitutionally required voluntary universal pre-kindergarten program. Senate Bill 1334 Relating to Universal Pre-kindergarten Education: Implements specified provisions of State Constitution; creates voluntary universal pre-kindergarten education program; limits application of provisions regarding school readiness programs; requires State Board of Education to submit report with recommendations or options for on curriculum, design and standards of said program; directs OPPAGA and Auditor General to conduct audits and submit reports, etc.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 193 and its counterpart SB 1334, were bills that originally required “free pre-k, with funding running through the agency for workforce intervention however, because there were so many bills floating around that had so many different funding sources, they agreed to have a study done and they will come back with recommendations to the legislature and they will do legislation next year.”


House Bill 247 Relating to Public School Personnel: Deletes restriction that permits annual payment for accumulated sick leave only to instructional staff and educational support employees; revises restrictions regarding terminal pay for accumulated sick leave to employees other than instructional staff or educational support employees.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 247 was “instated for the session tomorrow.”


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 “came out of subcommittee last week.”


House Bill 703 Relating to Quality Education: Defines terms “core-curricula courses” and “extracurricular courses”; establishes constitutional class size maximums; establishes operating categorical fund for implementing class size reduction; establishes Class Size Reduction Infrastructure Program; establishes District Effort Recognition Program; provides for Florida Learning Access Grants, etc. Ms. Golden stated that HB 703 was the House version of the Class Size Reduction bill and it “came out of full committee and has a long way to go before it stops.”


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 four committees in the Senate and had “a long way to go.”


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.  Senate Bill 2296 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 State Board of Education to conduct study of equivalency scores for certain examinations of certain students; authorizes said board to adopt certain scores as meeting graduation requirements in lieu of FCAT passing scores.  Ms. Golden stated that HB 915 and SB 2296 appeared to be “heading in the same direction.”


House Bill 1279 Relating to Charter Schools: Provides guiding principles for charter schools; requires emphasis on reading and certain accountability measures; authorizes community colleges to develop charter schools; revises application requirements; eliminates limitation on the number of charter schools per school district; revises administrative fees charged by a charter school sponsor for provision of services; provides report to Governor; revises eligibility criteria for future said outlay appropriations, etc.  Senate Bill 2242d 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 HB 1279 and SB 2242 were “rolling."


Senate Bill 958 Relating to Retirement/District School Board/Florida Retirement System (FRS)Revises participation options for participants in Community College Optional Retirement Program; revises certain limitations on positions for which district school board may employ member after specified period of retirement; increases period of time in which certain members of FRS who are employed as instructional personnel in K-12 may participate in DROP, etc.


Mr. David Lycan, Mixon and Associates, reviewed (via speakerphone) information included in a “package” that he stated he would send to Board Members (via email message) regarding financial implications of pending House and Senate legislation.



There being no further business, the Special Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.


Attest:                               Approved:

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Superintendent                  Chair