Legislative Priorities

Help Southwest Florida students by supporting the 2020 Legislative Priorities identified by The School District of Lee County.

Local Priority

Comprehensive Health Plan: Develop a model program for implementation of a Comprehensive Health Education Policy to address mental and emotional health education, suicide prevention, substance use and abuse prevention, dating violence and abusive behavior, human trafficking, teenage pregnancy, injury prevention and safety, Internet safety, personal health, community health, consumer health, family life, nutrition, prevention and control of disease. TOTAL: $893,000

Proposal: A model program requiring middle school students in grade 8 to take a minimum of one semester of health.

  • Number of middle school students in grade 8: 6,500
  • The District will need to hire an additional 12 teachers to teach the one-semester course annually: $828,000
  • Florida Department of Education subject area certification test fee (health) and training cost: $65,000
  • Approximate Cost Per Student: $137.39

State Priorities

Personal Injury Protection: Rewrite Florida Statutes §627.732(3)(b) and §627.733(1)(a) to clearly delineate that school buses operated by county school boards are not subject to the requirement of obtaining personal injury protection insurance and that there has been no waiver of sovereign immunity for claims for reimbursement of paid PIP benefits by automobile insurance companies.

Teacher Retention: Modify the General Knowledge Exam requirements to allow for “Professional Performance Points.” The proposal recommends that a new teacher who receives a “Highly Effective” or “Effective” rating (based on state standards) during their first three years of employment, earns 3 - 5 “Professional Performance Points” that would count toward their score on the General Knowledge Exam.

School Construction Requirement: Change the language in Section 1013.64(6)(b)1., F.S. to allow Districts to use existing Capital Outlay, Surtax Revenue and Impact Fees rather than Certificates of Participation when the total cost per student station exceeds the cost per student station as provided in the law.

SREF Requirements: Convene a work group or task force to review and update the Size and Space and Occupant Design Criteria of SREF to better meet District needs.

School Resource Officer Proposal: Seek an increase in the Safe Schools Allocation to fund the total cost of a School Resource Officer at each school in the District, including charter schools.

Required Local Effort: Update the calculation for the Required Local Effort (RLE) millage rate to capture the increase in residential and commercial property values and revenue gained from new construction.

Best and Brightest: Eliminate the Best and Brightest Scholarship Program and redirect the $233 million in funds to the Base Student Allocation or to a dedicated teacher salary categorical within the FEFP.

Cost per Student Station Flexibility: Due to industry standards for construction costs increasing 6.5% year over year for the past three years, provide flexibility in Section 1013.64(6)(b)1., F.S. on total cost per student station school construction requirements.

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Senator: Ben Albritton, District 26

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Phone: 863-534-0073

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Senator: Lizbeth Benacquisto, District 27

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Phone: 239-338-2570

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Senator: Kathleen Passidomo, District 28

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Phone: 239-417-6205

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Representative: Ray Rodrigues, District 76

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Phone: 239-433-6501

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Representative: Dane Eagle, District 77

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Phone: 239-772-1291

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Representative: Heather Fitzenhagen, District 78

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Phone: 239-533-2440

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Representative: Spencer Roach, District 79

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Phone: (850) 717-5079

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For additional information, please contact:

Alan L. Gabriel, Esq.
School Board Attorney

Carole Green, Lobbyist
Capitol Strategies, Inc.

Debbie Jordan
Board Member, District 4
School Board Legislative Liaison
District Cell: 239.888.2174
Office: 239.337.8303