Florida School Boards Association works on legislative priorities

Published Aug. 22, 2018

After a tough legislative session, in which school districts received little new funding without strings attached, the Florida School Boards Association is looking to ask lawmakers for increased support in the coming year.

School board members are holding out hope that new leadership will be more receptive to increased funding with fewer restrictions. The Florida Board of Education has already made statements about the need to let districts use their allocations as they need to.

That's high in the minds of FSBA leaders, who plan to finalize their legislative priority list in late September.

The list of possibilities has circulated this week in advance of the meeting, along with a request for ideas and edits. And the group's platform priority work group has highlighted key items it is recommending. Among them:

– Allowing districts to maintain their tax rates, and benefit from rising property values. The state Senate supported this idea in 2018, but the House stood firm against it.

– Enhancing state funding in early education and voluntary prekindergarten programs.

–  Increasing money for safe school projects, and expanding the allowed uses of the funds.

The FSBA Legislative Committee plans to adopt its agenda on Sept. 20. In recent years, the association has not seen much success in influencing the Republican dominated chambers.