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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Superintendent committee looks for ways to reduce red tape for Florida teachers



A committee of seven superintendents has quietly begun its review of rules and regulations that might stand in the way of teachers' classroom instruction -- a problem recently highlighted by the Pasco teachers' union grievance seeking relief from an increasingly burdensome work load.

Many of the ideas under consideration have little to do with teachers and bureaucracy, though.

A draft chart of statutes being reviewed for revision or repeal (attached below) indicates that discussions have centered on freeing districts from regulations. Large percentages of districts responded to a survey that they would like to see, among other things:

* Repeal of the requirement that school district must develop a “controlled open enrollment” plan, provide applications to parents, and develop a process for implementation, including an appeals process. 

* Revision of the instructional materials process so DOE shall review materials for alignment to common core, but not require an adoption list. Allow school districts not to have to spend 50 percent on state adopted list, and remove the purchase requirement within two years.

* Repeal of the reporting requirement that the districts publish results of public school progression of their students. Recommend posting to each individual district website. 

Asked for other mandates that might be considered for repeal or revision, districts offered several ideas in addition to elimination of several reporting requirements, including:

* Repeal of the online requirement for graduation.

* Amending statute to shift the responsibility of creating end-of-course exams for every course from the districts to the state and only implement the exams as they are  developed.  

* Allowing district operated public schools to be in compliance with class size requirements at the school level, rather than the classroom level, as charter schools currently are. Removing penalties for exceeding maximum class size requirements.

* Repeal of the state corporate tax credit scholarship program.

The committee held a conference call on Oct. 12 to discuss these responses. The superintendents are working to finalize the survey results, according to the DOE communications office, but have not yet scheduled a next meeting.

Gov. Rick Scott convened the committee so superintendents could "give us their suggestions on the unnecessary red tape and regulations we can cut at the state level in order to increase classroom time for Florida students." Do the ideas under review reach that goal? What other ideas should the group consider?

[Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:07am]


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