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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

No major education bills in Florida for 2016, Legg predicts



Don't look for any major education bills in the Florida Legislature's 2016 session that starts next month, Senate Education chairman John Legg says.

After a 2015 session where testing legislation ended up as one of a tiny number of substantive measures to make it across the finish line, Legg said, the subject isn't generating much heat this time around.

"I am talking to fellow senators, and they are not talking about their priorities in education," he said. "They are not advocating for big changes this year."

He anticipated more attention going to Seminole gaming, health care and water policy.

That doesn't mean that some controversial, highly watched education issues won't get their share of time, though.

The Best and Brightest teacher bonus, based partly on teacher college entrance exams, is set to come up in Legg's committee during the first week of session. Some lawmakers attempted to bunch the item into an appropriations bill, but Legg pulled it out, insisting that the policy matter go through a policy review.

Other hot topics will include high school sports governance, vouchers, class size and, possibly, testing. Sen. Don Gaetz has talked about filing a bill that would allow high performing students to substitute some test results for the Florida Standards Assessments, but has yet to put it in the hopper. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Monday, December 14, 2015 4:21pm]


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