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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Competency-based education pilot program, other education measures signed into law



A handful of education policies were among the nearly six dozen bills Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed into law today — including one that will test competency-based education in four Florida counties and another desired by the Miami-Dade school district to ensure tax revenue gets to public schools faster.

HB 1365 sets up a five-year pilot program in certain Florida counties with the goal of letting students advance through school if they can prove they've mastered what they should be learning.

Now that it's law, it can start next school year in Pinellas, Palm Beach, Lake and Seminole counties, as well as at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville.

Scott also signed HB 499, which reforms statewide the process for resolving property tax disputes heard by county Value Adjustment Boards.

The measure was a priority for Miami Dade Public Schools, which has, for years, complained that lengthy delays in tax collection have short-changed public schools by millions of dollars in funding. The new law is intended to give any and all local government entities faster access to their tax revenue by placing limits on the appeals process.

Here's a list of the education-related bills Scott signed today:

  • HB 189: Teacher Certification — This bill assists STEM teachers with advanced degrees to obtain professional teaching certificates.
  • HB 229: Bullying and Harassment Policies in Schools — This bill requires school districts to review their bullying and harassment policies at least every three years.
  • HB 499: Ad Valorem Taxation — This bill makes various revisions to the Value Adjustment Board process.
  • HB 837: Education Programs for Individuals with Disabilities — This bill allows foster children to be eligible for the McKay Scholarship Program.
  • HB 1147: Character-Development Instruction — This bill requires certain revisions to high school character development programs.
  • HB 1157: Postsecondary Education for Veterans — This bill provides additional options for veterans and service members to earn college credit.
  • HB 1365: The Competency-Based Education Pilot Program — This bill creates the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program.

The most significant education measure the Legislature passed this year — HB 7029, a wide-ranging school choice bill — is among about 30 bills that, as of noon today, have not yet been sent to the governor's office for his signature.

[Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2016 3:37pm]


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