This bill builds on the deregulation of public schools provisions in House Bill 1 and removes some regulations on school districts to advance efficient administrative processes, enhance facilities management, and simplify financial requirements.

The bill advances efficiency for school board administrative processes. Specifically, the bill: 

  • Simplifies school board rule making and policy development procedures to follow a single process that focuses on open meetings with public input.
  • Authorizes required advertisements regarding school board meetings to be posted on the district school board website.
  • Authorizes a school district and parent to agree on alternate notifications regarding suspensions and dropout prevention.
  • Provides flexibility for school districts to decide whether to make up days lost because of a bona fide emergency.
  • Removes the obligation for school boards to provide surplus property for charter schools on the same basis as other public schools.
  • Removes requirements for school boards to provide:

o   Parents with an economic security report.

o   An annual report on district guidance services. 

The bill simplifies financial requirements for school boards. The bill:

  • Provides flexibility for school boards to use federal funds.
  • Specifies that school districts identified in State Board of Education rule as having a financial concern would be subject to monthly reporting. All others would be subject to less frequent reporting.
  • Provides that charter schools are to receive and respond to monitoring questions from the Department of Education regarding the charter school’s cost report.
  • Provides flexibility in the use funds generated from civil penalties relating to school bus infraction detection systems.

To enhance the ability of school boards to plan for and manage their facilities, the bill:

  • Supports flexible funding for all facets of the educational environment, from classrooms to transportation hubs by expanding the use of anticipated revenues to payments for auxiliary facilities and ancillary plants.
  • Provides autonomy for school boards to plan for facilities in accordance with local long-term needs instead of state-specified assessments over 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year periods.
  • Removes the requirement for each district school board to conduct an educational plant survey.
  • Clarifies and expands construction flexibility under the state requirements for educational facilities.
  • Modifies school district duties for emergency shelters from a requirement to staff such shelters, to instead provide access to shelters subject to local emergency management plans. 

The bill also removes from statute:

  • Cost per student station limitations on projects funded with state funds or discretionary millage.
  • The caps on the amount from the discretionary levy that school boards may use for school board vehicles and property insurance.
Effective Changes 

Education Administration and Oversight

State-Level Regulation 

The bill modifies s. 1001.02, F.S., to clarify that the SBE is authorized to adopt rules within statutory authority as specifically provided in law.


The bill expands s. 1001.23, F.S., to add to the specific powers and duties of the DOE. The additional requirements may provide clarity to district school boards in the implementation of state law. The bill requires the DOE to annually:

  • By August 1, inform district school superintendents that they may receive a declaratory statement pursuant to the APA regarding the DOE’s opinion as to the applicability to a school district of a statutory or rule provision as it applies to the district's particular set of circumstances.
  • Maintain and make available to school districts a list of all requirements in statute and rule relating to required actions by district school boards or superintendents. The list must include, but is not limited to, required parent notifications; information that must be posted to the district website; and reporting, filing, and certification requirements.

 District School Board Policy

The bill modifies s. 120.81, F.S., to provide that district school boards are not subject to the requirements for rules in the APA when exercising their powers and duties identified in the Education Code to formulate policy with public input at a public meeting. This will provide consistency and clarity in the manner of district school board policy development.

General Powers of District School Superintendent 

The bill allows the district school board to delegate to the superintendent the authority to establish a process for the review and approval of district-wide policies and procedures to improve efficiency. This may allow the school board and the superintendent to be more responsive to the needs of students.

Student Online Personal Information Protection Act

The bill clarifies that nothing in the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act requires a K-12 school, school district, or district school board to include any additional provisions in contracts with operators or vendors. 

District Guidance Report 

The bill removes the requirement for district school boards to submit a district guidance report to the commissioner.

School Bus Infraction Detection Systems

The bill provides flexibility to district school boards to post signage on the rear of each school bus in which a school bus infraction detection system is installed and operational that is not high-visibility reflective signage. Without this revision, district school boards that install school bus infraction detection systems will incur costs to replace current signage with highly reflective material.

The bill also authorizes the civil penalties collected for violations of school bus stop sign requirements to be used to provide financial awards to recruit or retain school bus drivers in the school district in which the civil penalties are assessed and collected.

Finance and Budget

Emergency Make-up Days

 The bill removes the required threshold of infeasibility that a district school board must demonstrate in order to be released from making up days lost because of a bona fide emergency. This may provide more flexibility to district school boards in determining whether the additional days are necessary for students to learn the required academic standards.

Equity in School-Level Funding

The bill removes a provision that prohibits a school district from exceeding the poverty threshold established by a school district for the 2016-2017 school year, or the statewide percentage of economically disadvantaged students determined annually. This may afford discretion to the district school board to focus services on the schools with the highest needs.

The bill also removes the cap of one percent of Title I funds that a district may withhold to provide district educational services to Title I schools, including charter schools. This may provide flexibility for a district school board to leverage district resources to provide programs across all eligible schools, including eligible charter schools.

The bill authorizes district school boards to utilize up to 5 percent of its Title I allocation to provide financial incentives and rewards to teachers who serve students in Title I schools, including charter schools, identified for comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities, for the purpose of attracting and retaining qualified and effective teachers, including teachers of any subject or grade level for whom a state-approved measurement of student performance is unavailable.

The bill clarifies that the DOE must make funds from Title I, Title II, and Title III programs available to local education agencies for the full period of availability provided in federal law. This may provide stability for district school boards in the implementation of Title I services.

School District Fiscal Transparency 

The bill removes a requirement that the plain language of the school board budget posted on its website include graphical representations of the budget. The bill also removes the requirement that the links on the school board website:

  • Help explain or provide background information on various budget items that are required by state or federal law.
  • Allow users to navigate to related sites to view supporting details.

Financial Accounting and Expenditures

The bill requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to establish criteria for determining the financial status of school districts for financial reporting. The bill specifies that a school district identified in SBE rule as having a financial concern would be required to submit monthly financial reports. Additionally, the bill specifies that school districts not identified as having a financial concerns may be required to submit financial reports no more often than once every quarter.

Cost Accounting and Reporting 

The bill requires charter schools to receive and respond to monitoring questions from the DOE regarding the charter school’s cost report. This amendment allows charter schools to communicate directly with the DOE and relieves school districts from being an intermediary between the DOE and charter schools.

The bill removes the restriction on district school boards purchasing transportation supplies at a cost lower than the cost established by the DOE.

The bill removes a requirement that school districts receiving annual federal, state, and local funds in excess of $500 million employ an internal financial auditor. All school districts are required to have an annual financial audit.

Facilities Planning

District School Board Educational Facilities Plans

The bill replaces the specifically enumerated requirements for school board educational facilities plans and work programs with the general requirement that each school board adopt a facilities plan to meet the needs of the district, with public participation.

The bill maintains the required 5-year audit of the board’s educational planning and construction activities, and maintains the requirements for the general balanced nature of the plans, developed through public participation and local cooperation. 

The bill makes corresponding changes to reflect the removal of the requirement for district school boards to include a specific 5-year work program in the school board educational facilities plan.

These changes may bring district school boards closer to the operational flexibility of charter schools, which typically have more autonomy in facility planning and management.

Educational Plant Survey

The bill removes the requirement for each district school board to complete an educational plant survey. Accordingly, the bill also removes the requirements for the DOE to review and analyze educational plant surveys submitted by district school boards.

To enable the distribution of state funds for fixed capital outlay purposes, the bill maintains the requirement for district school boards to periodically update their inventory of educational facilities as new capacity becomes available and as unsatisfactory space is eliminated. The bill authorizes the commissioner to condition state fixed capital outlay funds on a district school board’s submission of an educational plant survey that accurately projects facilities needs as indicated by the Florida Inventory of School Houses, as compared with the district's capital outlay full-time equivalent enrollment.

 Unused District School Board Property

The bill removes the requirements that surplus school board property be provided for a charter school’s use on the same basis as it is made available to other public schools in the district. 

Cost Per Student Station Limitation 

The bill makes the cost per student station exemption permanent and removes cost per student station limitations on district school board construction projects. This may enable district school boards to construct facilities that better meet the needs of its students.

State Requirements for Educational Facilities

The bill clarifies the authority of district school boards to adopt exceptions to SREF, provided that any exceptions to requirements for public shelter design criteria, when applicable, remain subject to the concurrence of the applicable local emergency management agency or the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The bill also replaces the requirement for district school boards to staff emergency facilities with the requirement to provide staff to access such facilities, or to perform other duties related to the facilities subject to the county emergency management plan. 

Educational Facilities Contracting and Construction Techniques

The bill authorizes district school boards to employ day-labor contracts without limits on the amount of the contract. The bill also removes the requirement for school boards to employ an architect for the erection, enlargement, or alteration of any educational facility in which the cost of construction is at least $50,000. District school boards would follow requirements for the use of architects as specified in applicable building codes.

To align with the flexibility provided for district school board educational facilities plans, the bill removes the requirement for the school board to monitor and report the impact of change orders on its district educational facilities plan.

The bill removes the requirement that proceeds from the sale or lease of airspace by school boards must be used for fixed capital outlay. 

The bill also broadens the scope of properties that can be leased or lease-purchased to include educational plants, ancillary plants, and auxiliary facilities instead of only educational facilities. This allows district school boards to engage in lease or lease-purchase agreements for a wider range of properties related to educational services.

 The bill removes the requirement that a school board must acquire a lease of at least 40 years to construct or place a facility, and retain the requirement that the lease be as long as the lifespan of the facility.

Capital Outlay Funding for Education

Public Education Capital Outlay 

The bill removes the requirement that at least one-tenth of a district school board’s PECO allocation be spent to correct unsafe, unhealthy, or unsanitary conditions in its educational facilities.

School Board Discretionary Millage Levy

The bill provides flexibility for the use of funds the district school board receives through the authorized 1.5-mill levy. The bill expands the authorized use of funds received to include payments for any educational plant space, ancillary plants, and auxiliary facilities, due under a lease purchase agreement or lease.

The bill also removes the cap of $175 per unweighted FTE student for the purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of certain district school board vehicles and property and casualty insurance on school district educational and ancillary plants.

Short-Term Loans for Education Capital Outlay

The bill expands the scope of capital outlay that district school boards are permitted to fund through the issuance of short-term debt instruments.

This bill authorizes district school boards to incur obligations not only for the construction and renovation of educational facilities but also for the development and enhancement of support and supplemental structures associated with the educational process, which include the entire educational plant, ancillary plants, and auxiliary facilities.

By broadening the permissible use of anticipated revenue for these additional categories of capital projects, the bill allows for a more comprehensive development of the educational environment, acknowledging the role of various facilities in delivering a full spectrum of educational services. The district school boards would remain bound by the existing fiscal constraints—namely, the limitation of indebtedness to no more than one-fourth of the district ad valorem tax revenue for operations for the preceding year and the requirement for a detailed resolution outlining the nature and plan of repayment for the obligations.

District School Board Communications 

Meeting Notices

The bill authorizes district school boards to satisfy open meeting notification requirements through publication on the official district school board website or another publicly accessible website pursuant to statutory requirements. The bill does not remove the option to publish such notices in a newspaper, radio station, or posting at a courthouse.

The bill authorizes a district school board to advertise its proposed budget, and levy millage, by advertising its intent to adopt a tentative budget on the district school board website, so long as the district school board complies with the requirements t ensure that the public has reasonable access to the website, and that the website would provide reasonable notice.

District School Board Notifications 

The bill authorizes a district school board to adopt a policy that allows a parent to agree to an alternative method of notification regarding a student’s placement in a dropout prevention program or a suspension. The bill authorizes the agreement to be made before the need for the notification arises or at the time the notification is required.

The bill removes the requirement that the school financial report be included in the student handbook or similar publication. The bill requires the DOE to produce the easy-to-read report card about the school’s grade designation or improvement rating, the school’s accountability report, and the school financial report and make the reports for each school available on the DOE’s website in a prominent location. The bill requires each district school board to provide a link to these reports for parent access. The bill also removes the requirement that each middle and high school student be provided with a two-page summary of the DEO economic security report, as this information is available by other means. 

Maximum Class Size Requirements

The bill removes a requirement that school districts exceeding the maximum class size limits must submit a certified compliance plan to the DOE. The bill maintains the requirement for school districts over the class size limits after the October student membership survey to develop a plan to be in full compliance with the class size limits by the following October student membership survey.

Electronic Transactions

The bill excludes district school boards from consulting with the DMS when establishing acceptance and usage standards for electronic records and electronic signatures. This modification clarifies that district school boards are authorized to establish their own acceptance and usage standards for electronic records and electronic signatures without necessitating consultation with the DMS.

Bill Status: Bill passed on March 6, 2024

Related Bills: HB 7049, SB 996




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.