Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010 - (Page 8)

LEGISLATIVEUPDATE Big Issues BY DR. WAYNE BLANTON Executive Director, Florida School Boards Association for Schools: Budget, Class Size legislative leaders are crafting a budget that is far leaner than what the governor has proposed. Class Size—There are House and Senate bills that would allow local school districts substantial flexibility with the class size issue. Remember, neither of the bills repeal class size, they only allow a school-wide average of 18 to 21 for elementary school, 22 to 25 for middle school, and 25 to 30 for high school. Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR) is sponsored by Sen. Don Gaetz, and House Joint Resolution 7039 (HJR) is sponsored by Rep. Will Weatherford. Both of the bills are identical and contain no other provisions other than allowing local school principals a degree of flexibility when they are scheduling classes during the school year. This piece of legislation will be a huge fight throughout the session. The Race to the Top federal dollars will also drive the issue of teacher evaluations tied to student performance. There will be a big push to tie these two issues together over the next few years. The Legislature is extremely interested in student performance being an integral part of teacher compensation. This will also lead to a prolonged discussion over teacher tenure and the T 8 The ugly session of 2010 has finally arrived! There is not much we can say that will be positive during this year. The economy is down and shows signs of a very slow recovery, the state budget is more than $3 billion less than last year and we have already trimmed $7 billion from the budget during the last two years. On the “bright side” education will receive $1.3 billion in stimulus dollars and the state should receive an additional $1 billion for Medicaid/Medicare relief. This $1 billion would free up state revenue in other areas and education should receive approximately $400 million of the revenue that would no longer be earmarked for this appropriation. What are the big issues? I think the three major items that we will consider this year are: budget, class size and teacher compensation (evaluations), tied to student performance. Budget—The governor’s budget has proposed a $550 million increase for public schools. This would be a $179 per student increase over last year. However, $433 million of the increase is tied to the passage of the Seminole Tribe Gaming Compact. There are a number of legislative leaders who think the governor’s budget is too rosy or is a game of “smoke and mirrors!” The FASBO SPRING - SUMMER 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010

Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010
Message from the President
Big Issues for Schools: Budget, Class Size
ARRA Funds: Fueling Education Reform in Florida
District Ready for H1N1
2010 FASBO Conference Preview
Advertisers Marketplace
Index of Advertisers

Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010