Exemption for high performing schools
Schools districts designated as "high-performing" would be exempt from state rules regarding the development of reading plans, certain program spending, portable classrooms, and instructional material choices, under a bill (SB 574) that passed the Senate Tuesday and the House Monday.
The exemption would apply to districts that earn an "A" grade from the state two years in a row starting, have no F-rated schools, meet class size requirements, and have clean audits. No Tampa Bay districts currently meet those standards.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sens. Mike Bennett and former Okaloosa schools superintendent Don Gaetz, also allows high-performing districts to use their discretionary two mills in ad valorem taxes for property and casualty insurance.
"We have said time and time again that we need to think outside the box ... in public education," said Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville.
- Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler, higher education reporter