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Press ReleaseMonday, March 12, 2012
DOE Press Office
2012 Legislative Session Wrap Up- State lawmakers approve $1 billion budget increase for education and bolster vital reforms -
Tallahassee - On January 10, as legislators gathered to convene to 2012 Legislative Session, Florida Governor Rick Scott used his State of the State message to urge support for his budget, calling for a $1 billion increase in state education funding. Lawmakers heeded the Governor's message, and education was a major focus of the legislative session, resulting in the allocation to education of the $1 billion sought by the Governor and the passage of many of the State Board of Education's priorities.
"I want to thank the members of the Florida Legislature for their hard work to ensure that our children continue to have the opportunity to compete on a global level," said Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "The State Board of Education agrees with Florida's parents, teachers, and taxpayers that improving education must be a high priority, and I commend our senators and representatives for their support of public education for the next generation of students. With this increase in funding and a streamlined accountability system, we will remain on the path of intelligent reform so that Florida may continue to lead the nation."
HB 7127- School Improvement and Education Accountability
In an effort to provide more clarity while maintaining effective school accountability, this bill aligns Florida's Differentiated Accountably (DA) system with changes to the state's school grading system and Florida's ESEA flexibility waiver. The changes strategically target struggling schools and increase support to school districts in closing achievement gaps for all students.
HB 7063- Digital Learning
This legislation continues to expand access to digital learning options for students in public schools. Allows students in grades K-5 to enroll on a part-time basis in the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and expands part-time options for students in grades K-8 in district virtual instruction programs. The bill also authorizes FLVS full-time students to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities.
The proposed bills require the Governor's signature before they become law. For more information, visit the Governor's bill action website www.flgov.com/bill-action.