Florida Chamber Education Update

By: Brittney Hunt

The Florida Chamber of Commerce believes a quality education system is the best way to ensure our students can get the skills and training they need to compete in a rapidly changing global economy. That’s why we are fighting hard  to make sure Florida’s entire education system continues to improve. Here’s a recap of this week’s education discussions in the Florida House and Senate:

Excellence in Higher Education (HB 3, Rep. Bryan Avila)

This bill, which passed out of the House Post Secondary Education Subcommittee on Monday, would establish tuition and fee incentives through a block tuition policy, promote on-time student graduation, and responsibly increase student financial aid and tuition assistance. It also establishes a world-class faculty and scholar program and a university professional graduate degree excellence program in order to promote the prominence of Florida’s graduate schools. Finally, it links education to job opportunities by providing internship opportunities to students. HB 3 is the House’s companion bill to SB 2, a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, which previously passed off the Senate floor on March 9.

Voluntary Prekindergarten Education (HB 757, Rep. Byron Donalds)

This bill, which passed out of the House Pre-K Innovation Subcommittee on Tuesday, promotes better identification and enhanced focus on struggling readers from Pre-K to third grade and offers additional training to teachers, reading coaches and school principals. The bill also proposes additional accountability to the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program.

K-12 Student Assessments (SB 926, Sen. Anitere Flores)

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee held a workshop on this bill. This legislation requires the Commissioner of Education to review nationally-recognized college entrance exams to determinte alignment to Florida’s standards, provides teachers more time to teach by moving the state assessment window to the last three weeks of school and requires easy-to-understand, parent-friendly score reports to be utilized.

Take Action Now

For more information about where the Florida Chamber stands on these and other education-related issues, click here or contact me at bhunt@flchamber.com.