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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida recess proponents are getting nervous



Committees in the Florida Senate generally stop meeting after the session's midway point. That means Week 6 -- next week -- could be the last chance for bills to get heard and have a chance for passage.

Parents who have been advocating a mandate for 20 minutes of daily elementary school recess are, therefore, fretting over the lack of a Senate Education Committee meeting this week. The legislation they're promoting, SB 1002, has yet to be heard in the Senate despite a House companion having won unanimous support in two panels there and being set for its third and final stop on Tuesday.

Angela Browning, an Orange County mom leading the charge, has called upon supporters to pressure Senate Education chairman John Legg to take up the measure.

"Thousands and thousands of parents across the state of Florida support this bill," she wrote on the group's public Facebook page. "Sadly, one man - Senator John Legg - has the ability to silence our voices as we advocate for the well-being of our children. THAT IS WRONG. Our recess bill deserves a chance to be heard in committee."

Legg has said he sees the bill as complicated and possibly interfering with local control over scheduling. He hasn't ruled out a hearing, but also has deemed the matter of lower priority than other issues such as expansion of open enrollment and changes to class size rules.

His committee has canceled its meeting that was scheduled for this week. Its Feb. 17 session could be its last. The Restore Recess group is hoping to get on that agenda, although its members are somewhat pessimistic. They've noted that Legg's office has not taken many of their calls.

Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Monday, February 8, 2016 12:57pm]


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