Florida Chamber Education Update

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.

Legislature Puts Students First

Florida Chamber-Backed “Excellence in Higher Education” Legislation Passes 35-1 in Senate Session

A Florida Chamber of Commerce-backed education bill, the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act, sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) passed today 35-1 on the Senate floor.

In order for Florida to remain one of the nation’s top business climates, the Florida Chamber believes we must adequately prepare our students to enter the workforce. The Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act, SB 2, will:

  • Establish tuition and fee incentives through a block tuition policy;
  • Promote on-time student graduation;
  • Responsibly increase student financial aid and tuition assistance;
  • Establish a World Class Faculty and Scholar Program;
  • Establish a university professional and graduate degree excellence program to promote the prominence of Florida graduate schools; and
  • Link education to job opportunities by providing internship opportunities to students.

As Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber often says, talent is quickly becoming Florida’s best economic development tool. The Florida Chamber thanks Senate President Joe Negron and the members of the Senate for putting students first.

What’s Next For This Bill?

The Florida House will soon begin discussing its versions of the legislation – which are comprised in House Bill 3 and House Bill 5. Both bills have been referred to the House Post Secondary Education Subcommittee, and are awaiting a hearing date. The Florida Chamber will continue to monitor the progress of this important legislation and keep you updated on any new developments.

Learn more about where the Florida Chamber stands on these and other education issues.