I spoke to our School Board Consultant in Tallahassee yesterday about several key issues currently in the legislature. I also spoke with one of our local state representatives and listened in on a group teleconference regarding the status of the state budget shortfall and some other hot-button issues. The following are some points that were identified:
---House Teacher Bill--will pass out of the house this week, may not need to go back to senate, could be signed into law as early as this Friday by Gov. Scott.
---Revenue Estimate revision will happen Friday. Overall the picture is bleak-looks as though the shortfall may be announce as $4.6 Billion rather than $3.6
---Schools should brace for 10% funding cut (although this could be mitigated slightly, resulting in a 5-9% cut overall)
---RLE budgets will continue to be based on collection percentage set at 96%
---FRS conference-discussion about a tiered approach to employee contributions were discussed, with employees making more than $75,000 yearly paying 4 %, employees making $45-74,000 paying 2%
and employees making less than $40K paying none. Discussions settled in on everyone paying 2%-but this is very much subject to change
---Union Check-off bill by Thrasher-passed committee 5-4 and looks likely to move forward
---Class size penalty procedure not settled as of yet
--Gaetz bill SB 1160 discussed, lots of consternation surrounding this bill (which would preclude retired Florida State Workers from collecting a state salary and a Florida Pension simultaneously)
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.