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- Bob Cerra, Cerra Consulting Group

Watch this space for updates throughout the year!

March 11, 2022

PreK-12 Related Education Bills from the 2022 Legislative Session

General Appropriations Act – HB 5001

FEFP Runs

Implementing Bill – HB 5003

Education Conforming Bill to the Budget – SB 2524

FRS Conforming Bill to the Budget – HB 5007

General Substantive Bills from the 2022 Session

HB 1 – Joint Resolution for Additional Homestead Exemption for Selected Persons

HB 7 – Individual Freedom

HB 45 – Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans

HB 173 – Care of Students with Epilepsy or Seizure Disorders

HB 225 – Charter School Charters

HB 235 – Restraint of Students in Public Schools

SB 236 – Students with Developmental Delays

HB 255 – Private Instructional Personnel Providing Applied Behavior Analysis Services

SB 430 – Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

HB 461 – Florida Bright Futures Student Service Requirements

SB 706 – School Concurrency

SB 722 – Education for Student Inmates

SB 758 - Education

HB 777 – Local Tax Referenda Requirements

SB 896 – Educator Certification Pathways for Veterans

HB 899 – Mental Health of Students

SB 1048 – Student Assessments

SB 1054 – Financial Literacy Education

HB 1421 – School Safety

HB 1467 - Education

HB 1557 – Parental Rights in Education

HB 1563 – Homestead Tax Exemption Implementing Bill to HB 1

March 8, 2022

Agreement.pdf

An offer was exchanged this afternoon between the House and Senate budget chairs. It is enclosed in the document above. The FEFP statewide run shows on page 7 of the document. Here are some highlights of the offer at the statewide level:

  1. The BSA is increased by $214.49 or 4.9% which typically is the best measure of the available flexible funding for school district budgets;
  2. FRS increases will eat up some of that increase;
  3. In addition to that funding, $250 million in an increase was provided for the teacher allocation ($800 million in total funding) with half of the increase going to the bottom of the scale until the $47,500 is reached and the other half going to everyone else;
  4. Digital Classrooms was eliminated;
  5. Compression and Hold Harmless was increased by $20.2 million but the distribution is different than last year;
  6. Mental Health Allocation increased by $20 million;
  7. Safe Schools increased by $30 million;
  8. Student Transportation increased by $56.4 million;
  9. Total Potential increased by $1.42 billion or 6.19%;
  10. Total funding per UFTE on average increased by $384.55 or 4.96%;
  11. The language requiring a $15 minimum wage to be accomplished by October 1 has disappeared from proviso, but the Chairs indicated that this issue is not fully resolved; and,
  12. The $200 million in the penalty for districts that didn’t follow the Governor’s mandate to allow students into schools without masks was moved from being inside the FEFP to being a bonus funded outside the FEFP. That funding will go into a reserve that districts will have to apply to the DOE to receive based upon their level of prior compliance. The funding seems to have to go into additional bonuses for staff (non-recurring). (see issue #172 on page 20 in the final column to see the language they are proposing)

Our districts will all share in the $200 million. Our districts all lost $100,000 each from the Digital Classrooms change. Compression remains in the budget for the fourth year in a row, but with the policy changing each year, it will still take a while to normalize this issue into the formula.

This offer is expected to basically be the PreK-12 budget, but there could be additional projects in the “sprinkle” list that could still appear tonight.

December 9, 2021

Posted: 2022 Legislative Initiatives

October 14, 2021

Presentation on the Long-Range Financial Outlook

Dear NEFEC Superintendents and Finance Officers,

Today, Amy Baker will make a presentation to the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee on the current status of Florida’s financial outlook. The bottom line is that the state has significant reserves available for 2022-2023 fiscal year but that most of those reserves (about 70%) reflect non-recurring federal funds that can be spent in 2022-2023 or 2023-2024 in general and will then go away in all likelihood. They want to be careful in how they eventually budget those funds to avoid creating recurring expectations for future years when that funding doesn’t exist. Still, the state is in a strong financial situation and the overall economy in Florida seems to be recovering nicely. There are always risks of catastrophic hurricanes. There is currently a meaningful risk of COVID becoming a crisis again should a new strain “breakthrough” our existing vaccines, as well. I am sure that the Legislative Leadership will do what they can to tamp down expectations and/or to reduce revenues through tax breaks where they can (much of the new federal funding specifies that it cannot be used to finance tax breaks in other areas), but overall, the state is on solid footing so long as it is careful in how it spends the non-recurring funding, the state avoids a catastrophic hit from a hurricane and/or the virus (or a new virus) doesn’t decimate the economy, again.

If any superintendent or finance officer wants to review the specifics of the presentation, please just call my cell phone or email your questions to me. Dr. Baker’s presentation can be viewed at 11 a.m. today at this link (click the link, then click “live streams,” then click Senate Appropriations): https://thefloridachannel.org/.

September 23, 2021

Meeting Packet

The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee had a meeting today. The Chair was driving a narrative that districts don’t need their ARP funding yet because they haven’t even spent much of their CARES Act or ESSER II funding to date. Page 31 and 33 out of 35 in the linked document make that argument that districts still have hundreds of millions from the first two rounds of federal relief that have been unspent, so providing access to round 3 (ARP) is premature. There was also a suggestion that districts don’t need the funding for assisting students who were “missing” from last year (over $100 million allocated in the current GAA from ESSER II) as evidenced by only two districts asking for just a few thousand dollars total at this point for that requirement. There are, of course, answers to this narrative, but I wanted you to be aware that the Chair is concerned that we aren’t spending the federal funding fast enough. Some of our districts do show up well under this analysis. For the others, there are many very reasonable explanations for why we are where we are and still need for them to move forward with ARP as quickly as is reasonable/possible.

September 22, 2021

Important info from the previous (2021) session:


About / Contact

NEFEC Legislative Network Services is a cooperative legislative and educational program whereby the 15 member districts of the Consortium are able to influence the legislative process more effectively than on an individual district basis. Through this program the Consortium serves as a liaison with the State Department of Education, the districts, and the Florida Legislature.

Benefits include:

  • Forming linkages with state and local agencies, entities, and organizations which impact education related policies, programs and practices in Florida
  • Attending and monitoring all meetings of the State Board of Education, Cabinet, Legislature, and various commissions concerned with education
  • Keeping member districts informed on actions taken by these entities
  • Coordinating the development of the Consortium's annual legislative program/priorities
  • Providing quick response to legislators on questions/concerns about proposed legislation and any other relative educational issue
  • Providing assistance in interpreting new or amended legislation

Please contact us here:

Bob Cerra
Cerra Consulting Group, Inc.

850-212-6233 (cell)
850-222-4428 (office)

bobcerra at comcast dot net

John Cerra
Cerra Consulting Group, Inc.

786-525-6233 (cell)
850-222-4428 (office)

cerraj at comcast dot net

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