The State Board of Education had a day-long meeting in Orlando Tuesday.
Here are the highlights:
- The Board approved a plan by the Florida Department of Education to ask lawmakers for $15.2 billion in spending next fiscal year. That’s a 4.4 percent increase over the current year.
- The Board figures the state’s transition to digital textbooks over the next few years will cost $441 million.Vice Chairman Roberto Martinez likes the idea of giving districts the freedom to choose whatever materials they think will work best in the classroom. “I think we’re at that stage where we can give them that kind of freedom to accomplish the outcomes that we want,” Martinez said.
- There’s still no decision as to whether the state will appeal a judge’s decision in a tuition lawsuit. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore found that Florida’s practice of charging out-of-state tuition to Florida residents whose parents are undocumented is unconstitutional. The Board is awaiting the judge’s final ruling.
- The Board discussed a lawsuit that claims the state is unconstitutionally reneging on its responsibility to provide students with a high quality education. The plaintiffs in Citizens for Strong Schools v. Haridopolos say schools are unsafe and underfunded. Martinez called their efforts “an exercise in futility.” The case is awaiting trial in Leon County.
- A plan adopted by the Board would expand school choice options and double enrollment in charter schools over the next six years. Options include private school vouchers.
- 2013 Legislative priorities for the Board: K-12 Accountability, Workforce Readiness, School Choice, Common Core State Standards Transition, Teacher Preparation Program Accountability.
The Board meets again November 5th and 6th in Boca Raton.