2023 Legislative Review
HB 1 – School Choice
The bill expands eligibility for Florida Tax Credit (FTC) and Family Empowerment Scholarship for Education Options (FES-EO) programs to include any student who is a resident of Florida and is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school. In addition, the bill requires the State Board of Education to recommend reductions to the Florida Early Learning-20 education code in a variety of ways. The bill also removes barriers to teacher certifications by adding options to the acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional preparation and education competence. The bill also increases the validity period of a nonrenewable temporary teaching certificate from 3 to 5 years. To read the full bill summary or HB 1 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 19 – Individual Education Plans
The bill requires school districts to, as a part of the transition portion of an individual education plan (IEP), provide certain information to a student with a disability and his or her parent at least 1 year before the student turns 18. The information concerns issues of self-determination and the legal rights and responsibilities regarding educational decisions that transfer to the student upon attaining the age of 18. The information provided must include ways in which the student may provide informed consent to allow his or her parents to continue to participate in educational decisions, including the permission for parents to access confidential records protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; powers of attorney; guardian advocacy; and guardianship. The bill authorizes the State Board of Education to adopt rules relating to the transition notification requirements in the bill. To read HB 19 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 190 – Interscholastic Extracurricular Activities
The bill provides a mechanism for a charter school student and a Florida Virtual School student to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities at a private school. The bill authorizes a charter school student to develop an agreement with a private school to participate in the private school’s interscholastic extracurricular activities if the activity is not offered at the charter school and the student meets the participation requirements provided in law. Additionally, the bill authorizes a Florida Virtual School student who meets academic, conduct, and other specified requirements to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities of a private school if the student develops an agreement to participate with the private school. To read HB SB 190 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 196 – Guidance Service on Academic and Career Planning
The bill adds to middle school academic and career planning and high school acceleration notification requirements a notification to parents and students of career and work-based learning opportunities and pathways. The bill requires a middle grade student’s personalized academic and career plan to include information on the career and technical education graduation pathway option and work-based learning opportunities. The bill also expands the required annual school district parental notification on high school acceleration options to include information on career education and planning options, work-based learning opportunities, and foundational and soft-skill credentialing programs. To read HB SB 196 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 225 — Interscholastic and Intrascholastic Activities
The bill authorizes charter school and Florida Virtual School (FLVS) students to develop an agreement with a private school to allow a student to participate in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at that private school. The bill authorizes traditional public school students to participate in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at a public school in the district or develop an agreement to participate at a private school, if the public school does not offer the activity. Students must meet specified standards at the receiving school and must register with the school. The bill modifies the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) program for private school students to participate in an interscholastic extracurricular activity at a public school to clarify that participation is at an FHSAA member public or private school. Also, the bill increases the non-FHSAA member private school enrollment threshold from 125 to 200 students or fewer to be eligible to participate. The bill authorizes a student who transfers from a public school to continue to participate in activities at the former school for the rest of the school year. To read the full bill summary or HB 225 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 240 — Education
This bill strengthens opportunities to take part in work-based learning by requiring each district school board to provide all students enrolled in grades 9-12 with at least one work-based learning opportunity. It also provides flexibility for districts in recruiting CTE teachers. The bill provides discretion to district school boards to certify instructors to teach CTE programs. The bill requires school boards to give teachers credit toward renewal of a professional certificate for supporting students in extracurricular CTE activities. The bill also provides flexibility to CTE programs to choose courses in which students may earn industry certifications identified in the Funding List. To read the full bill summary or SB 240 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 258 – Prohibited Applications on Government-Issued Devices
This bill directs the Department of Management Services to create a list of prohibited applications and requires public employers, which includes public education institutions to block access to prohibited applications on any wireless network or virtual private network it owns, operates, or maintains. It also requires public employers to restrict access to prohibited applications on any government-issued device. It also requires public employers to retain the ability to remotely wipe and uninstall prohibited applications from a compromised government-issued device. To read the full bill summary or SB 258 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 265 — High School Equivalency Diplomas
The bill prohibits a district school board from requiring a student at least 16 years of age to take any course before taking the General Educational Development (GED) exam for a high school equivalency diploma, unless the student fails to achieve a passing score on the GED practice test as established by State Board of Education rule. To read HB 265 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 290 — Public School Student Progression for Students with Disabilities
The bill authorizes a parent to retain his or her child in prekindergarten, in consultation with the individual education plan (IEP) team, if that child has a disability, an IEP, is enrolled in a public school prekindergarten program at the age of four, and is fully funded through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). The bill requires that a four-year old student with an IEP, who has been retained in a public school prekindergarten program that was fully funded through the FEFP and has demonstrated a substantial deficiency in early literacy skills, must receive instruction in such skills. To read the full bill summary or SB 290 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 301 — Emergency Response Mapping Data
This bill creates a grant program to allow each district to produce emergency response mapping data for every public school building in the district to assist local first responders in responding to emergencies in public schools. To read the full bill summary or HB 301 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 379 — Technology in K-12 Public Schools
This bill requires public schools to provide instruction for students in grades 6-12 on the social, emotional, and physical effects of social media. The bill requires the Department of Education to make social media safety instructional material available online and district school boards to notify parents of the material’s availability. The bill requires each school board to adopt an internet safety policy for student access to internet provided by the school district. The bill prohibits the use of TikTok or any successor platform on internet provided by the district or as a platform to communicate district or school activity. The bill also prohibits a student from using a wireless communications device during instructional time, except when directed by a teacher for educational purposes, and requires a teacher to designate an area for wireless communications devices during instructional time. To read the full bill summary or HB 379 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 389 — Menstrual Hygiene Products in Public Schools
The bill provides that school districts may make menstrual hygiene products available in each school within the district, at no charge. The menstrual hygiene products may be located in the school nurse’s office, other physical school facilities for health services, and in school restrooms, including wheelchair accessible restrooms. To read the full bill summary or HB 379 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 411 — Residency of Local Elected Officials
This bill changes the provision that requires a school board candidate to reside within the residence area for which he or she is running. The bill makes the residency requirement apply when an elected school board member assumes office rather than when he or she qualifies to run as a candidate. To read the full bill summary or HB 411 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 443 — Education
This bill authorizes a charter school to give enrollment preference to students who are the children of a safe-school school officer assigned to the school. It also authorizes a not-for-profit entity to loan certain assets to other charter schools in the state that are operated by the same entity, provided the loan is repaid within five years. The bill requires a charter school to place a student on a progress monitoring plan for at least one semester before dismissing the student when the school limits enrollment based on academic, artistic or other standards. It also requires the district to post step-by-step instructions on how to provide first aid for choking in each public school cafeteria within the district. To read the full bill summary or HB 443 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 477 - Term Limits for District School Board Members
This bill reduces the term limit from 12 years to 8 years for school board members who were elected on or after November 8, 2022. To read HB 477 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 478 — Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Program
This bill converts the Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program into a permanent program. The Florida Department of Education will administer the program and must approve any school district that applies for the program. To read SB 478 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 551 — Required African American Instruction
This bill requires school districts to certify and provide evidence to the Florida Department of Education that the requirements relating to African American history instruction are being met. To read the full bill summary or HB 551 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 633 — K-12 Education
This bill removes the penalty for exceeding class size maximums; however, it does not change the class size requirement set by the Florida Department of Education. The bill requires a compliance plan for any school that exceeds the class size maximums based on the October survey. The bill requires that a student whose parent is active-duty military personnel and who meets the eligibility criteria for special academic programs offered through public schools must be enrolled in such a program if the student’s parent is transferred to the state during the school year. The bill also provides that a student whose parent is on active military duty and is transferred within the state after the controlled open enrollment window can enroll in any school within the state. To read the full bill summary or HB 633 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 662 — Student Online Personal Information Protection
The bill creates the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act, which substantially restricts the operator of a website, online service, or online application that is used for K-12 school purposes from collecting, disclosing, or selling student data, or from using student data to engage in targeted advertising. To read the full bill summary or SB 662 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 733 — Middle School and High School Start Times
This bill states that beginning with the 2026-2027 school year, middle schools can not start before 8:00 a.m. and high schools can not start before 8:30 a.m. To read the full bill summary or HB 733 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 766 — Enforcement of School Bus Passing Infractions
This bill authorizes school districts to install and maintain school bus infraction detection systems and enter into an interlocal agreement with a law enforcement agency authorized to enforce a school bust stop signal violation within the district. To read the full bill summary or SB 766 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 891 — Year-round School Pilot Program
This bill establishes a year-round school pilot program to and allows the Florida Commissioner of Education to select five school districts to establish a year-round school program within at least one elementary school beginning in the 2024-2025 school year to study issues, benefits, and scheduling options. The program would last for a period of four years. To read the full bill summary or HB 891 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1035 — K-12 Teachers
This bill authorizes state-approved teacher preparation programs to be eligible for the “buy-one-get-one” tuition and fee waiver for qualified students. The bill establishes the Dual Enrollment Educator Scholarship Program to assist Florida public high school teachers in obtaining the graduate degree and credentials necessary to provide dual enrollment coursework on the high school campus. It also establishes the Teacher Apprenticeship Program as an alternative pathway for individuals to enter the teaching profession and authorizes a five-year temporary apprenticeship certificate. The bill waives the initial exam and certification fees for a specified retired first responder. The bill also establishes the Heroes in the Classroom Bonus Program to provide a one-time sign-on bonus to retired first responders and veterans who become a full-time classroom teacher, with specified service duties. The bill creates a new statute to catalog a number of teachers’ rights that are currently guaranteed in law regarding employment, continuing education, controlling the classroom, directing classroom instruction, and receiving timely assessment data. It also authorizes the Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations or reports of suspected violations of a student’s, parent’s, or teacher’s rights. To read the full bill summary or HB 1035 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1069 — Education
This bill defines sex as the classification of a person as either female or male based on the person’s gender at birth. It also requires a policy that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to a person’s sex. The bill expands the prohibition on classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from occurring in prekindergarten through grade 8, rather than kindergarten through grade 3. The bill prohibits district school boards from imposing or enforcing requirements that personnel or students be referenced with pronouns that do not correspond with biological sex. The bill requires materials subject to an objection by a parent to be removed within 5 school days of receipt of the objection and remain unavailable to students of that school until the objection is resolved. It is also required for district school boards to discontinue the use of any material the board does not allow a parent to read aloud. The bill requires that meetings of committees to resolve objections must be noticed and open to the public, and provides an appeals process through a special magistrate. To read the full bill summary or HB 1069 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1125 — Interstate Education Compacts
This bill allows Florida teachers to take part in the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact with other states to allow eligible teachers with a license held in another Compact state to be granted an equivalent license in Florida to facilitate mobility of teachers between states. To read the full bill summary or HB 1125 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1259 — Education
This bill requires school districts to share state capital outlay funding with charter schools that qualify. To read the full bill summary or HB 1259 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1521 — Facility Requirements Based on Sex
This bill creates the “Safety in Private Spaces Act,” and states the legislative purpose and intent of the bill as providing restrooms and changing facilities for exclusive use by females or males, respective to their sex, in order to maintain public safety, decency, decorum, and privacy. The bill requires each educational institution to establish in its code of student conduct disciplinary procedures for any student who willfully enters a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex on the premises of the educational institution, for a purpose other than the authorized uses listed in the bill and refuses to depart when asked to do so by an authorized person. The bill defines “restroom” as a room that includes one or more water closet but does not include a unisex restroom. The bill also defines sex as the classification of a person as either female or male based on the person’s gender at birth. To read the full bill summary or HB 1521 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1537 — Education
This bill is intended to improve the overall quality of Florida’s teacher preparation programs by streamlining programs, program requirements, and expanding upon the uniform core curricula, and modifies educator certification requirements. The bill requires a shift from professional development to professional learning, addresses concordant scores for the Class of 2023, charter schools, required instruction, graduation requirements, teacher preparation programs, student behavior, dual enrollment, standardized assessments, and school grading formulas. The bill also allows for students to combine volunteer and paid work hours to meet Bright Futures requirements. It requires instruction of Asian American and Pacific Islander history. To read the full bill summary or HB 1537 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 1597 — Florida Virtual School
This bill establishes a process by which a parent or guardian can request flexibility in assessment administration to permit a student to participate in statewide, standardized assessments while out-of-state because of their parent or guardian’s military duty station. To read the full bill summary or HB 1597 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 7014 — Juvenile Justice
This bill establishes the Florida Scholars Academy within the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) developing a single-uniform education system that the DJJ will oversee and provide educational opportunities to students in the DJJ residential commitment programs. To read the full bill summary or SB 7014 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
SB 7024 — Retirement
This bill extends the maximum time a member can participate in DROP from 5 years to 8 years, regardless of class membership and occupation, and from 8 years to 10 years for certain K-12 instructional personnel. It also increases the DROP interest rate from 1.3 percent to 4 percent on DROP accumulations held on or after July 1, 2023. To read the full bill summary or SB 7024 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
HB 7039 — Student Outcomes
This bill aims to improve student outcomes by providing specific strategies to support students who are struggling in literacy and mathematics from prekindergarten through grade 5. The bill requires that the performance standards for the VPK program address emergent literacy skills that are grounded in the science of reading and include foundational background knowledge to correlate with the content students will encounter in grades K-12. It also requires a student with a substantial mathematics deficiency to be covered by a federally required student plan to address the deficiency. The bill requires certain elements related to an identified reading or mathematics deficiency to be included in an individualized progress monitoring plan, which requires strategies to be provided to parents to support the student. To read the full bill summary or HB 7039 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.