JPEF is committed to informing you about key education issues at the local, state, and federal levels. We know that closing the opportunity gap requires collective action, led by community members and organizations who put children first, so you’ll find opportunities here to engage with decision-makers.
2022 Legislative Session
During the Legislative Session, JPEF tracks several bills impacting education. We provide these write ups for informational purposes and encourage residents to contact their legislators to express their opinions on legislation. The State of Florida provides guidance on effectively communicating with legislators.
Fiscal Year 2022-23 Budget
Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a $99.7 billion “Freedom First” budget for the 2022-2023 which includes additional education funding. The proposed budget would raise per student spending to an average $8,000 for Florida’s 2.7 million k-12 students. The governor’s budget also includes $600 million to increase the starting salary for Florida teachers to $47,500, and continues the $1,000 teacher bonus that was in the current state budget.
In addition, the state Department of Education said the budget provides for the following:
- To fully eliminate the Florida Standards Assessment and implement progress monitoring in its place, Governor DeSantis is proposing $15.5 million in recurring funding to provide progress monitoring tools to schools.
- Governor DeSantis is also proposing $500,000 to continue the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative, which has already expanded from 11 to 48 districts, and with funding will now be able to expand into every school district in the 2022-2023 school year.
- To further efforts to make Florida the number one state for Workforce Education by 2030, $534 million in funding to support workforce education programs is included in the proposed budget. The Governor’s budget also includes $100 million for the Workforce Development Capitalization Grant Program, which will create and expand workforce development programs at Florida’s school districts and state colleges.
Stop WOKE Act; Individual Freedom; Racial and Sexual Discrimination
There are several bills that have been introduced that ban teachers or employers from instructing their students or employees that there is institutional racism or sexism in this country, or that certain groups are privileged while others are oppressed because of their “race, color, national origin, or sex.”
In general, these bills prohibit teaching students and employees “to believe” certain concepts because doing so would constitute discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex under the law. These concepts can be discussed, but only so long as it is in an objective manner that does not endorse any of the concepts. Those concepts include the ideas that:
- “No individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex.”
- “No race is inherently superior to another race.”
- “No individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or sex.”
- “Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are not racist but fundamental to the right to pursue happiness and be rewarded for industry.”
- “An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, does not bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
- “An individual should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race.”
Assigned to committees 1/12/2022: Judiciary; State Affairs; Education & Employment
Favorable report from Judiciary, 1/26/2022
Now in State Affairs Committee, 1/26/2022
Assigned to committees, 9/17/21: Education & Employment; Public Integrity & Elections; State Affairs
Assigned to committees, 1/12/2022: Education; Rules
Favorable by Education Committee, 1/18/2022
Now in Rules Committee
Assigned to committees, 10/13/2021: Judiciary; Government Oversight; Rules
There are several bills that change compensation for school board members.
This bill repeals the law allowing for school board member compensation and establishes requirement for public notice and posting of reading and instructional materials.
Those requirements include:
- Requiring that certain school district instructional material review committee meetings be noticed and open to the public;
- Requiring school district personnel who are involved in reviewing and selecting certain instructional materials and library materials to complete training developed by the Department of Education (DOE) on selecting quality, age-appropriate books, prior to making selections;
- Requiring school districts to adopt and publicly post procedures for developing library media center collections;
- Requiring each elementary school to post on its website a searchable list of all materials maintained in the school library or required in a classroom booklist;
- Requiring that each material in a school library or classroom booklist be selected by a certified educational media specialist;
- Requiring school districts to provide access to all materials for public inspection as allowed by law and to publish a list of all materials available to students on the school website in a searchable format;
- Requiring school districts to provide a public review process for the adoption of all materials and to select, approve, adopt, or purchase materials as a separate line item on a board meeting agenda and provide reasonable opportunity for public comment;
- Beginning June 30, 2022, requiring school districts annually to submit to the Commissioner of Education a report identifying materials for which the school district received an objection for the school year and requiring the DOE to publish removed or discontinued materials as a result of an objection; and
- Requiring that school principals oversee compliance with school library media center materials selection procedures.
Assigned to committees 1/16/22: Education & Employment; Appropriations
Favorable from Education & Employment Committee, 1/20/22
Now in Appropriations, 1/21/22
This bill has similar instructional materials requirements as HB 1467, but where the house bill eliminates compensation for school board members, SB 1300 adjusts compensation to align with the salaries of the Florida State Legislature, or the district’s starting salary for teachers with baccalaureate degrees, whichever is less.
Assigned to committees 1/5/2022: Education; Governmental Oversight & Accountability; Rules
Education Commmitte substitute, 1/25/22
Now in Rules, 1/26/22
School Board Elections
This resolution would require candidates seeking school board seats to declare a political party affiliation. Currently, school board members are elected in non-partisan elections. If SJR 244 is passed by a three-fifths vote of both the House and the Senate, the amendment would go before Florida voters in the 2022 General Election. If passed, this requirement would take effect for candidates in the 2024 election.
Assigned to committees 10/13/2021: Ethics & Elections; Education; Rules
Favorable by Ethics & Elections, 11/30/2021
Now in Education, 12/1/2021
Contact Elected Officials
Sales tax oversight
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is proud to serve on the citizen oversight committee monitoring the use of funds from the half-cent sales tax for schools. Duval County Public Schools has a facilities plan dashboard available for the public to view here. JPEF supported the half-penny for schools, which voters approved with 67 percent of the vote in November 2020. Read JPEF's 2019 position statement on the half-penny for schools.
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund supported the renaming of six schools named for Confederate officers in 2020-2021. Read JPEF's 2021 position statement on school renaming. You can contribute to the School Renaming Fund here.
Community Engagement in School Board Elections
Each School Board Election cycle, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund publishes candidate questionnaires and hosts candidate forums to better inform voters about these often overlooked races. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, JPEF does not endorse candidates. Rather, we work to inform the community about the candidates and their positions so they can make a more informed choice.