Our partner, Foundation for Florida’s Future, is working to expand course access to home education students. They asked that I share the survey below with you to get a better grasp on which school districts currently offer home ed students with opportunities to take individual courses, including career technical education or AP, at their local public school.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Debbie Mortham, Legislative Director for the Foundation. Her email is [email protected]
. Thanks for your time and I encourage you to participate.
The Home Education Foundation
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and subscribe. This is where you will get details.😊
Some great legislation is coming soon!!!
EMERGENCY ORDER WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Flo1ida issued Executive Order No. 20-114, ratifying and reaffirming Executive Order No. 20-52, declaring a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency; and,
WHEREAS, due to the emergency, the spring and early summer administrations of the ACT and SAT test have been cancelled, impacting the ability of seniors graduating in the 2020 to qualify for Bright Futures Scholarship Awards; and,
WHEREAS, the response to the emergency impacted the ability to some seniors graduating in the spring of2020 to complete their volunteer hours; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Richard Corcoran, Commissioner....Read it here
Excellent Live Online Home Schooling Classes.
There is erroneous information floating around the pages regarding FLVS which I want to clarify. Yesterday I spoke to The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) about the rumor that FLVS is no longer going to serve home education students. FLVS loves home schoolers and Florida law requires FLVS to serve home education students as well as a few other specific groups of students. So, I knew this could not be true.
Here is the reason for the confusion. There are two schools that make up FLVS. There is the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), which includes both the Full-time and FLEX program, and the FLVS Global School. The Florida Virtual School is, by law, a Florida public school. The FLVS Global School is unique in that courses developed by FLVS for Florida students are marketed internationally to students outside Florida. Students in the Global School have to pay for their courses, whereas students who reside in Florida receive the classes free because FLVS is a Florida public school and receives state funding for those students. The Global school actually brings revenue into the FLVS to be used to develop other courses.
Some Florida students in the past year were accidentally enrolled in the FLVS Global School. Therefore, FLVS is simply moving those students from the Global School to the Florida school so they can receive state funding for those students.
FLVS IS STILL SERVING HOME EDUCATION STUDENTS
an Home Education Students
The passage of Senate Bill 1246 today (1-21-20) in the Senate Education Committee gives me hope that the Legislature will ensure that all students have access to dual enrollment in the future. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, Chair of the Appropriation Sub-Committee of Education, therefore, it appears she has the funding worked out with leadership in the Senate. The Senate blocked the House bill from passing last year, but SB 1246 is a much better bill than last year's House bill and this year's House Companion bill HB 187
Governor DeSantis and the Richard Corcoran, Commissioner of Education, have both indicated that they support the expansion of the dual enrollment program for all students. The Commissioner recommended $16 million in the Department of Education proposed budget for 2020. The analysis of SB 1246 estimates that the cost to provide funding for private school and home education students during the fall and spring terms and all students during the summer term will cost $28.5 million.
SB 1246 states that both public postsecondary and eligible private postsecondary institutions shall receive funding equivalent to the standard tuition rate per credit hour for each dual enrollment course taken by a private school or home education student during the fall and spring terms but this is subject to an annual appropriation. My concern is that if the “subject to an annual appropriation” language remains in the bill it would require lobbying the Legislature every year to make sure the money is in the final budget.
The Senate Bill 1246 provides a mechanism for colleges and universities to be reimbursed for private and home education students’ tuition, registration fees and instructional materials through the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program. If the postsecondary institutions are compensated for tuition and fees, they will be more friendly toward dual enrollment students. The goal is to give students the opportunity to earn an AS, AA, or industry certification before they graduate from high school. This bill encourages dual enrollment.
The House Bill 187, sponsored by Representative Zika, is significantly different from the SB 1246 and has passed the first committee in the House. The House bill prohibits public postsecondary institutions from charging private schools or private school students tuition and registration fees for dual enrollment, but does not say how those cost will be paid. Under HB 187 the postsecondary institution would have to absorb the cost. HB 187 does provide $550,000 to cover the cost of private school student’s instructional materials.
The differences between these bills will have to be worked out in the Subcommittee on Education in the Senate and the Appropriations Committees in both Chambers. Needless to say we would like for SB 1246 to be the bill that passes this Session.
THE GARDINER SCHOLARSHIP
Today in Tallahassee there was Rally to support the K-12 state scholarship programs, including the Gardiner Scholarship. Both the Governor and the Senate President spoke at the Rally in support of the Gardiner Scholarship Program and the desire to add $42 million to the appropriation in order to serve the 3500 students on the waiting list. I believe that the House will support the increase because they have consistently supported choice programs for Florida students.
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Update on Bills of Interest to Private School
HEF has been contacted by parents concerned about the effects of these 2 bills on home educators signed up with their counties and with parents who are teaching their children using a "umbrella" private school. There is a lot of misinformation circling about these bills. The Home Education Foundation (HEF) has known about these bills since they were filed, and I am monitoring them, but feel very strongly that these bills will not pass. Even if they do pass, they will not affect home educated students registered with the county. However, they could affect students enrolled in an "umbrella" private school.
First, I need to let you know the policy of HEF and secondly to clarify current law regarding this issue.
1. Policy of HEF: HEF normally does not alert parents to bills that are filed that we do not believe will pass. We believe that parents only need to worry about the bills that have the possibility of passing. As your lobbyist, I use a strategic plan to oppose and hopefully defeat bills that have a potential to hurt home educators. Only after I have done my best to defeat or change a bill, I will reach out to the home education community. We want home education families to be able to educate their children and not worry about bills that are unlikely to pass. If you want to know which bills challenge your right to educate your children, please subscribe to our HEF newsletter at www.flhef.org
where I will send out notifications as needed if I need your help to defeat threatening legislation.
2. Clarification of the law: This bill will not affect home educators signed under the county. There is no mention in these bills of home education programs. However, parents who teach their children at home under an “umbrella” private school may be effected if the bill does move and we are not able to get it amended. The Home Education Program, which applies to students signed under the county is s.1002.41 FS and Private School law, which include “umbrella" private schools, is s.1002.42 FS. There are major differences in these two laws, and the legal status of each is important when dealing with Florida Statutes. HEF is very aware of these differences, and, because I also lobby for an association of private schools and work together with a larger group of private schools (FAANS), I follow the private school laws carefully every Session and work to protect private school autonomy and independence. Many times over the years, I have protected the rights of parents teaching through “umbrella” private schools as the laws have changed. I will continue to do so.
3. Status of these Bills: These bills are focused on private schools that take state scholarship students in s1002.421 FS. Since “umbrella” private schools are not allowed to take state scholarship students, these bills are unlikely to affect "umbrella" private schools.
In the early 2000s when the state scholarships (John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program) were created, I was lobbying for the Florida Association of Academic Non-Public Schools (FAANS) and fought with the Governor and the Department of Education to create a separate section of law which only pertains to private schools that participate in these scholarship programs. This section of law is 1002.421 FS.
SB 632/HB 859 targets these schools that participate in the state scholarship programs. There are some proposed changes in these bills which would apply to all private schools in the Annual Database Survey section 1002.42 of Florida Statutes. If the bills pass, "umbrella" private schools would have to administer the Florida State Assessments (FSA) to their students. “Brick-and-Mortar” private schools would fight this infringement on their rights too. Therefore, I do not believe these changes would be implemented and it would be too expensive for the State to administer the FSAs in all private schools. I think this would be easy to argue against since all private schools do not receive state funding.
Also I believe these bills will not pass this Session because the Governor is placing emphasis on raising teacher’s salaries and has asked the Legislature to cut current programs in order to accomplish this. It is highly likely that additional requests for appropriations will not be considered favorably, therefore, I am 95% sure this bill may not even be heard. So far neither of these bills have been put on a Committee agenda and they have 2 or 3 committees of reference.
Rest assured that you will hear from HEF if a bill threatens your rights. Please make sure you subscribe to our newsletter at www.flhef.org
in order to receive any notifications.
The HEF Position on SB 632/HB 859