Thursday, February 10, 2011

SB736: Fiscal Impact Indeterminate

Posted for

Sandra in Brevard

The Florida Senate Bill Analysis and Fiscal Impact Statement for SB736, filed by State Senator Stephen Wise, appeared on the PreK-12 Education Committee website. On page 11, Section V: Fiscal Impact Statement reads as follows:

A. Tax/Fees Issue: None

B. Private Sector Impact: None

C. Government Sector Impact:

"The fiscal impact of this bill is indeterminate.

According to the DOE, there will be additional costs to the districts for monitoring the use of evaluation criteria by supervisors and administrators.

As part of Florida's funding in Race to the Top, the DOE will assist school districts in their development of assessment items that may be used for locally developed assessments. Specifically, the DOE will provide the following:

Resources for districts to develop assessment items for "hard to measure" content areas, including Physical and Health Education, Fine Arts, and World Languages; Assessment items for core academic areas (Math, Social Studies,

Science, Language Arts, and Spanish) for grade levels and content areas that are not already tested by FCAT or state end-of-course assessments; and Development of a technology platform that will provide districts secure access to high-quality assessment items and tools for the creation and administration of student assessments.

The DOE notes that over the next three years the grant will provide funding for the development of end-of-course exams in most subject areas. The DOE also noted that additional resources or user charges will be necessary to maintain an assessment item bank or platform at the conclusion of the grant period.

According to the DOE, there are over 400 charter schools in Florida. The DOE reports that there will be a significant impact on its staff to review the evaluation systems for these schools.

It is not anticipated that the bill revises the total funds for instructional personnel and school administrator compensation."

Senator Wise seemed to indicate that he would focus on getting legislation written, but let the Senate Education Appropriations Committee figure out how to fund it. No cost analysis ever emerged for last year's effort (SB6).

Given the current state of the economy and Governor Scott's newly released budgetary measures, it is impossible to guess if SB736 is fundable even if a cost analysis emerges. With the proposed additional slashes to education funding, it would be unreasonable to divert a single remaining local dollar and/or resource to new tests and database development. Race to the Top funds extends to those school districts who signed on. The analysis does not address funding for districts that are not getting Race to the Top support.

Reports suggest that the Governor's proposal was not received with smiles and cheers in Tallahassee. While Scott proposes lowering the forced property tax, he cannot control local (county) education property taxes. If SB736 turns out to be an unfunded mandate, will local governments have to look at local increases they control?

The devil is in the details and we just don't have enough of that. Scott's proposal has to be voted on by the legislature and it looks like Scott needs to convince them. Simply stated, there must be no unfunded mandates and no encroachment on local control.

Read the full bill analysis here:


  1. Teacher salaries aren't going to be a bank breaking issue, so the intention must be to expose the underachieving teachers.
    It is unfortunate that many good teachers are tied to underachieving students. In some communities, intelligence is seen as a sign of weakness. Providing a safe learning enviroment for the inner city schools would go a long way in improving scores.

  2. If a old house starts costing to much maintain and upgrades are starting to look more like patches than improvements, it's time to consider gutting and rebuilding the thing.

    If the foundation and walls and roof are solid, you probably want to leave them.. but the old furnace, wiring and plumbing goes. It's also a good idea if the interior decorator works with what the Architect gives her, instead of the architect trying to design for the decorator.

    Might be time to seriously re-evaluate cost verus expectations and put the money where we get the most structural value, then decide what we really need.

  3. UPDATE,0,2350250.story

    Today, the Prek-12 Education Committee passed SB736 in a unanimous vote. The House has not yet filed a bill. The costs of this plan remain unknown.

  4. HTF can they forward a bill to the floor without a clue what it will cost?

  5. I did not read the bill was headed for the floor for a vote.......yet. I believe there are other hoops before that happens. Nevertheless, a cost analysis is missing and that is just not acceptable.

  6. Good're up early

    I agree, seems like the Tally Repbulicans haven't figured out Americans have gotten tired to government just spending money for the sake of spending it.

  7. It is a mistake for me to check the news on SB736 late in the evening. It disrupts my sleep. Wise commented that they had set aside three hours for public input and got that done in 90 minutes and on for the vote. Well, all that was on the published agenda was Rhee, no sign of public input or a vote. Not much public deliberation. He also asked the public to read the bill, then judge. And I have woken up much too early with that comment on my mind, in a way it woke me up.

    You are up early too.

  8. 2/11/11 UPDATE: SB736 has been sent to the Senate K-12 Appropriations Committee for their meeting on Februrary 15. Their job is to discuss budget and costs. Stay tuned.

  9. I'm staying tuned.. Don't have uch faith in Tally to do the right thing.

  10. Sandra, I would like to hear more updates by you.
    And Grumpy it is Feb 28 2011 and I am still awaiting, staying "tuned in".
    It is hard to get a good time line and easily read facts on this hot bill.
    Brian North Miami

  11. Brian.. just saw your other comment, on the right side of this page, under Other Grumpy Sites, click Grumpy Educators.. All Sandra's blogs are there in order..


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