Important Bills to Support in Tallahassee - Mayfield, Hays, Garcia, Pilon, Plascenia, Montford

January, 2016

The Florida Legislature is back in session. We will be analyzing a number of education bills so that you can take proper action. Here are several good bills being offered that we will be monitoring and supporting in this session to deal with the ongoing tragic consequences of Common Core and high stakes testing.  Please support these by asking your legislators to co-sponsor and vote for them in committees and on the floor. We are extremely grateful to all of the sponsors and co-sponsors:

  ELECTED COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION - HJR 767 (Mayfield; Murphy, Pilon; Rehwinkel Vasilinda; Rodríguez, J.)/ SJR 942 (Garcia, Latvala, Bullard) - If approved by both chambers of the legislature, this very good measure that has bipartisan support would go directly to the 2018 ballot as a constitutional amendment. It would return the commissioner of education to an elected position and make him/her along with the governor and the three other elected members of the cabinet the state school board instead of the unaccountable, appointed school board we have now that gave us Common Core and worsened the high stakes testing mess.  It would return accountability for education back to the voters.  

Please contact your legislators right away to support this! A template resolution for your organization to support this resolution is available HERE.

Plasencia and Cortes, B. Ahern; Antone; Berman; Cortes, J.; Geller; Gonzalez; Harrison; La Rosa; Latvala; Miller; Plakon; Raulerson; Rehwinkel Vasilinda; Steube; Sullivan) / SB 1002 (Hays; Brandes; Soto; Sobel - This bill requires public schools to provide 30 minute per day of free play recess through grade 5 that cannot be withheld due to academic or punitive reasons. It is up for a hearing in the House K-12 Subcommittee on Tuesday, January 26th.  Please attend if you can and contact your legislators to support this common sense child helping bill.____
3) STATE SOVEREIGNTY: HM 983 (Mayfield)/SM 1384 (Hays) -  After the ESSA and ridiculous $1.1 TRILLION omnibus  passed further expanding the federal role in education, this non-binding resolution is still very important to get the ball rolling on the states re-establishing their 10th amendment rights. HERE is an excellent, but non-YouTube video interview with Rep. Mayfield discussing the measure. 
5) INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS: HB 899 (Pilon; Ahern, Antone, Beshears, Caldwell; Costello; Eagle; Gaetz; Grant; Mayfield; Santiago; Stone; Sullivan; Tobia)/SB 1018 (Hays; Hutson; Benacquisto) The purpose/intent of the original SB 864 was to assign constitutional responsibility for all instructional materials to school boards, and require a transparent policy/process for school boards and parents to remove objectionable materials. Due to several loopholes in FS 1006.283, the spirit and intent of the original bill are currently being ignored by many school districts in Florida. The purpose of this bill is to fix these loopholes and restore more local control by allowing elected school boards to "meet or exceed the state standards" and thereby choose excellent curriculum and overcome some of the many flaws with Common Core. This bill also needs sponsors right away.  Please follow the action recommendations of our friends at the Florida Citizens Alliance who are spearheading efforts on this bill.
5) ACCOUNTABILITY PAUSE & REVIEW: HB 1135 (Mayfield and Plascenia)/ SB 1124 (Montford) -  This bipartisan measure continues the work of cleaning up the mess of the transition from FCAT to FSA, the 2015 testing debacle, and the sham validity study. It gives incomplete school grades for this past year and requires a full review of Florida's accountability system.

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