Legislative Report - Week 3 (Oct. 21-25)
Posted on 10/28/2019

General Information

This report contains pertinent information presented and discussed during the third interim committee week of the 2020 legislative session. The House held meetings in the House chambers, which consisted of presentations that were heard in committee meetings.

The Senate Education Committees did not meet this week due to Special Session that was held in regards to former Parkland Sheriff Israel’s appeal of his suspension.


House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee - Chair Ralph Massullo

The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee met this week. The Subcommittee was given a brief presentation on health concerns for student athletes. The presentation was given by Kirsten Harvey, Senior Policy Analyst of the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.

Dr. Stowers briefly discussed OPPAGA’s research on the prevention and treatment of exertional heat illness, which consist of the following:

·         Background information on Exertional Heat Illness

·         Florida’s High School Requirements

·         Florida’s Preparedness Practice

·         And the Florida Athletic Directors Survey Results

View the Prevention and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illness presentation by Kristen Harvey, Senior Policy Analyst of the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee meet. As I mentioned in the previous legislative report, last week, the committee began the discussion on Classroom Teacher Compensation. During the meeting, Chairman Latvala gave a brief overview on the Classroom Teacher Compensation powerpoint, which he described the relevant statutes, provided a breakdown of instructional personnel, and revenue sources for compensation (federal and state).

Chair Latvala also provided information indicating classroom teachers by salary range, average teacher salaries by specified districts and a description of various supplements was also provided. Please view the Classroom Teacher Compensation powerpoint.

This week, committee staff reviewed a powerpoint which described base funding for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. It also included information from the FADSS salary survey. A chart was provided by district that indicated fund sources used for salary increases.

After the powerpoint was presented, the Subcommittee was able to hear from a panel of Superintendents. The Superintendents consist of the following:

·         Larry Moore, Jackson County Schools

·         Dr. Debra Pace, Osceola County Schools

·         Tim Forson, St. Johns County Schools

·         Dr. Todd Bowden, Sarasota County Schools


The Superintendents were asked to respond to three specific questions:

1.    Describe your process for setting and ratifying your district’s performance salary schedule for classroom teachers.

2.    Describe your process for determining the amount incorporated in the base salary for highly effective and effective classroom teachers

3.    Describe your process for determining amounts provided for classroom teacher supplements and district-established bonuses.


House Education Committee - Chair Jennifer Sullivan

The House Education Committee met this week. The committee was able hear a presentation from Dr. Phil Poekert, Director, of the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center. Dr. Poekert gave an overview of their Evaluation of Florida’s Education Professional System. 


Dr. Poekert’s key findings were:

·         Need for leadership and vision that is grounded in relevant data.

o   Just 29% of teachers strongly agree that objective data of any kind are used to guide professional development activities.

o   Schools need to be able to customize professional learning to align with school improvement goals and individual teacher needs.

·         Need for leadership and vision that is grounded in relevant data one-size-fits-all professional development offerings.

o   64% of Florida teachers reported having little to no influence in determining the content of t heir in-service professional development programs.

o   Teachers describe a serious disconnect between professional learning experiences and the real work of teachers.

o   Only 26% of Florida teachers strongly agreed that their training helps them to do a better job.

·         Problems with design and delivery of professional development.

o   64% of Florida teachers reported that their professional development experiences are a series of single experiences with little or no follow-up.

o   Teachers, just like students, need to be engaged, need to practice what they are learning, and need to have feedback on the implementation of new learning.

o   Professional learning design and delivery rarely involves innovative and substantive integration of technology.

·         System focused on measuring performance, not improving performance.

o   Just 16% of Florida teachers strongly agreed that the professional development available to them is sustained over time with adequate follow-up.

o   An overarching concern with recent systemic reforms is an overemphasis on "counting" and the reporting of what is counted rather than the measurement of quality and a simultaneous emphasis on how to improve scores.

o   Only 12% of Florida teachers strongly agree that teacher evaluation outcomes guide PD activities at their school.

·         Need evidence of impact on teacher and/or student learning.

o   Researchers have found that lengthy professional learning experiences can raise student achievement.

o   Most PD occurred in a workshop-style model, which research shows has little to no impact on student learning or teacher practice.

o   School districts may spend as much as 5% of their budget on professional development and teachers may spend more than 70 hours a year participating in it, yet professional learning opportunities often receive low teacher ratings because of poor design and execution.

Recommendations that were discussed included:

·         Job-embedded, competency-based professional learning.

·         Leadership development.

·         Technology/professional learning environments.

·         Coaching/Feedback.

·         Pathways/Career Ladders.