Potential Issues for 2020 Legislative Platform (For discussion)
- Seek remaining $1.4 Million state appropriation to continue the 2018‐19 $500,000 grant implementation of SLA expansion of a Summer Learning Academy (SLA) for educationally vulnerable children and parents with an emphasis on grade 3 in partnership with groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
- Work with the Department of Education and the Legislature to obtain greater flexibility for the district’s special education students with moderate to severe learning disabilities who are seeking a waiver from state assessment requirements in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
- Work with the Office of Early Learning and the Legislature for Sarasota schools to obtain funding for a full‐time Prekindergarten program, such as that available at Gocio Elementary, under Florida’s Voluntary Pre‐Kindergarten (VPK) program.
Regional/State Priorities (for regional/state organizations)
- Continue to gather data from other counties and work with FLDOE and higher education appropriations staff to modify the funding formula for workforce development programs to reimburse institutions experiencing growth by funding EITHER the most recent year’s enrollment or a current three‐year rolling average.
- Increase mental health program funding to provide for additional behavioral specialists/coordinators and training that includes school guidance counselors.
- Provide additional options for the recruitment and retention of instructional personnel including part‐time reemployment after retirement and teacher loan forgiveness.
- Increase the Base Student Allocation (BSA) in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) to cover enrollment growth, workload and state programmatic changes, and inflation; AND calculate the Required Local Effort (RLE) in the FEFP to include both increased property value and revenue gained from new construction added to annual county tax rolls.
- Enhance the state investment in quality early learning and Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs by providing more robust funding, raising the qualifications of instructional personnel, improving the quality of the curriculum, and establishing uniform high‐quality early childhood indicators for public and private providers.
- Monitor the ongoing study of the District Cost Differential (DCD) and oppose any change that would be detrimental to the district’s FEFP budget.