Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Mahatma Ghandi

Welcome to LIFE of Florida!

Our secular and inclusive Florida-wide Informal Education support group acts as a resource center and clearinghouse for homeschoolers, informal learners and alternative educators interested in enriching their learning environments and maximizing their learning opportunities, as well as an advocacy center for Curiosity Driven Learning.

There is no cost to be part of LIFE of Florida -- just join in at our email discussion and announcement list, Florida LIFE, where you can download your membership card -- good for educational discounts throughout FL -- and stay informed and updated on events, issues and resources, and connect with other informal learners throughout the state.

If you're just getting started in homeschooling, be sure to check out our LIFE of Florida Quick Links, our list of Useful Docs, and our enormous collection of resources in the side columns, and visit our Inclusive Homeschool Support Groups page to find a group near you.

If you'd like your regional inclusive support group to be networked with LIFE of Florida, drop us a line with a group description, contact and other relevant information and we'll add you, free of charge, to our directory. All your group members will be automatically considered members of LIFE of Florida, and are entitled to membership cards and all the benefits we offer. Virtual school families are also welcome to enjoy our resources, support and camaraderie.

We're all inclusive and free of charge, and we're here for you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Florida Commissioner of Education: Dr. Eric Smith

From The Core: News from the Florida Department of Education



New
Education Commissioner
Dr. Eric J. Smith began his tenure as the new Florida Commissioner of Education in December. The State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously to select him to serve as Florida’s chief educational officer responsible for providing full assistance to the SBE in enforcing compliance with the mission and goals of Florida’s K-20 education system.

“Dr. Smith has the skills and experience that Florida’s education system needs, and I look forward to working with him in the future,” said SBE Chairman T. Willard Fair.

Dr. Smith began his career in Florida more than 30 years ago as a classroom teacher. His commitment to affecting positive change in the field of education led him to several administrative positions in Florida school districts and eventually to 16 years of serving as a district superintendent in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. His goals have remained constant throughout his career: to increase academic achievement of all students and to reduce the disparity in achievement among student subgroups. His success in consistently meeting these goals in individual districts bears testimony to his own passion to change students’ lives, the urgency he brings to the challenges involved, and the leadership he demonstrates in ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders.


Former Commissioner of Education Retires
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently retired from the Florida Department of Education, following more than three decades of service to Florida's education system. Blomberg was appointed Commissioner of Education by a unanimous vote of the State Board of Education in January 2007 after serving as Chief of Staff to then Education Commissioner John Winn.

Under Commissioner Blomberg’s tenure, the Department addressed the variations in the 2006 FCAT third grade reading results and launched an external advisory group to review and analyze Florida’s assessment tool. The Department also launched the www.myfloridateacher.com Web site, established Kindergarten readiness rates and assisted with unveiling the Ready To Work program. For more information on former Commissioner Blomberg, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_11_30-2.asp

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Calling all Tampa Bay area Mentors! (That's YOU!)

Learning is for Everyone is compiling a Tampa Bay area Mentor directory – a MentorMatch, if you will, initially to support area homeschooled youth, but with the potential to help any child in Tampa simply wanting to know about something.

Our local homeschool groups are well stocked with a variety of experts, hobbyists, and professionals across a wide array of interests, abilities and fields. And while we're no doubt serving our own children well with our personal expertise, if we pooled our collective intelligences together, our kids could potentially have access to some powerful learning resources we can't achieve alone.

I'm not talking about a cooperative – although cooperatives necessarily include community expertise – but something more like a Mentoring collaborative; opportunities for apprenticeship and the tapping of insights and ideas from willing adults who have experience in areas in which our kids are interested.

I’m throwing my own name in the hat first. I’m a professional writer with more than 25 years of experience. I’m a freelance journalist for several newspapers; I’m a book author (The Food Allergy Field Guide: A Lifestyle Manual for Families); I’ve been a magazine writer (trade journals, Home Education Magazine, Life Learning and others); and as an editor (member of the editorial board of the Journal of School Choice).

Rather than running a class, which I've contemplated doing off and on (and have done in the past), I've concluded that it's not a "class" kids need when they have a particular interest, but the opportunity to spend *time* with someone who shares their interest.

Spending time with an expert mentor – once a week, once a month, for an occasional lunch out, or for a day with someone where he or she works – can:

1) Help guide interested kids in their learning and practice choices,
2) Connect them at the community level with respect to their interests,
3) Give them adult perspectives different from those in their own
families;
4) And gives them a realistic, hands-on look at careers and interests.

Mentoring is also a more realistic way for experts to help – it's certainly less time consuming than teaching a class, it's more personal, and certainly potentially more meaningful and enduring. Just the fact that you're not working with a group, but more one on one makes it easier for kids to ask questions, and for experts to give more contextual replies and guidance.

So where am I going with all of this? I'm going to YOU.

What do you do? Whatever it is, you can rest assured that some child, somewhere in our homeschool community, is interested. If you're willing to act as a mentor to youth in our homeschool community – and you determine completely what that means with respect to your time and energy -- drop me a line with a short overview of your expertise and how you think you can help a child with your shared interest.

And think about people you know – tap them for their willingness to mentor youth. For teens, that might include a day with the mentor, or regular visits at work, or possibly apprenticeships. For younger children, you'd probably want to accompany them, or have the mentor over to your home.

We build the MentorMatch directory. You decide all the comfort levels and parameters.

And ask your kids what they'd really like to learn about, what they're interested in. You might think you know. You might not! Then post your “seeking mentor” request here.

And then we can take the whole thing even further with the online school I created recently:

http://universityoflife.myicourse.com/

Anyone can be a "faculty" member of the University of LIFE. "Courses" can be long or short – a resource list; a couple pages of instructional material about something; a paper; a how-to. You name it, and we can do it. It's extraordinarily easy to use Myicourse, and
it's completely free. I've got a rudimentary Earth Science course up there right now that you can look at . It's only the first unit, but it gives you an idea of what a course can look like.

The thing is, we can do so much more than we're doing, and we can much better utilize the human capital we've got in great abundance here.

So let me know what you think. Tell me what you do and how you can share it. Let's create a real learning *community* and set some real examples of home based learning success.

I'll take the first step: I write, and I'm happy to talk to your child about writing.

What about you?

Terri

willinghamster@gmail.com

Saturday, October 6, 2007

WUSF Florida Matters “Homeschooling” (October 5, 2007)

Recently, local homeschooler Jacinta Sousa and I, and our children, were invited to be part of a WUSF radio show on homeschooling. The program aired Friday night and will air again Sunday, Oct. 6, at 10AM. You can also hear the broadcast at the WUSF-Florida Matters website . LIFE of FL and many other resources are posted at the show's website.

_________________

It wasn't too long ago when the idea of modern home schooling was considered to be the province of hippies and fringe groups — and perhaps a few small religious groups. Not any more. It is most definitely mainstream. Legalized in Florida in 1985, the number of students whose home room might very well be their living room has increased by up to 2,000 a year. At last count, nearly 56,000 students were being home schooled in Florida. So why home school a child? Does it give students an academic edge? Do they lose out on the social experience of the traditional classroom setting? We’ll meet some of those parents and students who are among this growing trend on this week’s Florida Matters. Listen now

Guests:

Jacinta Sousa - whose 8-year-old daughter Audra has been home-schooled her whole life.

Terri Willingham - whose family home-schooled for 14 years. Her 14-year-old son Chris and 17-year-old daughter Andrea join us too

Cathy Russell - Home Education Specialist, Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice, Florida Department of Education

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Join WUSF's Carson Cooper for Florida Matters Friday evening at 6:00 PM, and Sunday morning at 10 AM, on WUSF 89.7, your NPR Station.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

College Resources from our Home Learning Network College Night

Archiving the essentials from our September HLN College Night:

*Important websites:
www.FACTS.org – Get to dual enrollment info through the “Advising Manuals” link on the left
http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org - for Bright Futures and other scholarships
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov – Federal financial aid – register regardless of whether or not you think your children will qualify, and don’t forget to check out the new Academic Competitiveness Grant, open to all who are eligible for Pell Grants (which you should also request)
https://www.commonapp.org – Common Application, one application for 300 colleges using a “holistic” admissions process
http://www.fastweb.com – stay up to date on scholarships, grants, competitions and other financial awards (just don’t click on any of the magazine subscriptions!)
www.CollegeBoard.com – lots of resources in addition to testing info & registration
www.flvs.net – completely explore the Student CafĂ© and other links for parents and students to find everything from extracurricular clubs to college advising – See also http://www.flvs.net/college-hub/index.php for dates for special programs that will include representatives of state colleges and universities
http://bsi.fsu.edu/schoolimprove/studentprogression/highschgradreq.htm - Bureau of School Improvement – has student progression plans used for public ed

*Disabilities resources:
http://www.collegeboard.com/ssd/student/index.html
http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html
http://www.advocacyinstitute.org/projects/postsec_realistic_option.shtml

Keep track of college & university regulations/changes:
http://www.flbog.org/BOG_regs

Homeschool & college email lists:
http://www.homeschool-teachers.com/College-Planning-Beyond.aspx AmericanSchool_Homeschool (American School and Homeschooling) - This group is for parents of any age children thinking about the high school years. You might be thinking of having them attend a correspondence school like "American School of Correspondence" and/or continuing to homeschool. To Subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AmericanSchool_Homeschool/ .

Highschool Home-Ed - is for discussion of high school homeschooling. To Subscribe, send email to Listserv@listserv.aol.com with the following command in the body of the message: subscribe highschool-home-ed Your Name.

homeschool2college (Homeschool to College) - The SAT code for all homeschoolers is 970000, even though it will appear as New York. The ACT code is 969-999. For the PLAN (pre-ACT), the code is 979-999. The PSAT code varies by state; see the file in our Files section. If you are looking for texts and/or supplies, check out the vendors in our Links section and the "items for sale" database in the Database section. We also have links to many sources of free information. If you are looking for something in particular, you might want to check out the links, files, and database section before posting a question. To Subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschool2college/ .

homeschool-upper-grades - Are you homeschooling the upper grades?? feel like you are the only one? share your concerns, ideas, curriculum choices, web-sites, and info to help one another homeschool right through middle and high school. please keep posts to middle and high school topics only. To subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschool-upper-grades/ .

hs2coll ( Homeschooling toward college ) - A group for parents of teenaged homeschoolers who are aiming toward college. We discuss preparing to apply for college; what colleges might want; what courses, materials and curricula work for us and our kids; filling out college applications; how our older kids who are already in college are faring; particular colleges; SATs, SAT IIs, ACTs and AP tests; and other topics related to homeschooling teenagers.To Subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Hs2Coll/ .

hshs (Home Schooling High School) - A discussion list for parents homeschooling high school students, 9th-12th grade. Parents of 8th graders are welcome so they can start planning for high school. Only topics related to home schooling high school are allowed on this list. Please do not post virus warnings, advertisements, or pleas for charity. These are not appropriate for this list. For more information, visit http://www.geocities.com/cherokeegs/hshs/. To Subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hshs/ .

HSOK (HOMESCHOOLING OLDER KIDS (HS-OK)) - Welcome! Homeschooling Older Kids is a part of Eclectic Home Educators that is dedicated to homeschooling children ages 11 and up. We're inviting all homeschooling parents to join up with HSOK-Homeschooling Older Kids. For more information, visit http://ehe.4t.com/main.html To Subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HSOK/ .

NARHS_Families (High School Diploma Program) - Support for families using NARHS (North Atlantic Regional High School). Note: This group is not affiliated with NARHS. We are solely a group of parents whose children are currently enrolled/interested in NARHS. To Subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/narhs_families

Plus:

Creating Carnegie Credits
From Bright Kids at Home – where you can also download transcript forms (http://www.brightkidsathome.com/upperschool.html#transcripts )

See also Teascript transcipt builder: http://teascript.com/

TranscriptsTranscripts may be required for college entrance or for re-entry back into the public or private school system. There is no right way or wrong to generate a transcript record, though a good rule of thumb is that transcript counts the number of hours spent or "seat time" on a subject. The idea of "seat time comes to us courtesy of the public schools and can be useful to college administrators if you are keeping transcripts in a way that is familiar and can be used to compare "apples to apples" at college admission time. One standard is the Carnegie Credit granting system which lists 120 to 150 hours of seat time on a subject. Realistically though, if you are the administrator keeping track, it really doesn't matter how many hours, as long as the subject has been mastered and you are honest and consistent in awarding credit hours.

Elements of a TranscriptTranscripts basically contain the date it was generated, the student's social security number, the name and address of the school, a tally of credit hours and descriptions of completed or in-progress courses, the student's GPA (grade point average). You calculate the credit hours based on the number of hours spent on a subject. A common measure for a credit hour is 120 hours on a topic. For example if your student reads Modern Literature for 1 hour 3 times a week (1 x 3 = 3 hours a week) and your school year is 40 weeks (3 x 40=120 total hours), you can grant your student 1 credit hour in English Literature, for the year. You calculate GPA using your credit hour numbers. Typically, if you assigned a grade of "A" to a course that is 1 credit hour, that course earns 4 grade points. If you have 2 credit hour course where you assigned a grade of "A", the student earns 8 grade points. You do this for each course completed. Once you have assigned grade points to all courses, you total those points and divide by the number of courses to get the average or GPA. Remember to describe how you arrived at your numbers and also includea description of the course. Attach these descriptions as the last page of the transcript. A description for English Literature might look something like this:

English Literature: A study of modern literature by reading selected literature, analyzing and writing summaries for the following books: "Bridge to Terabitha" by Katherine Patterson, "The Miracle Worker" by William Gibson, "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline Le Engle, "Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne, "Park’s Quest" by Katherine Patterson, "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry, "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok, "The Diary of Anne Franke" and the "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin". ---

The Future of Bright Futures

Recent news about the potentially shakey future of Bright Futures scholarships, a popular merit based program that can pay anything from 100% of community college tuition to 100% of university tuition, has prompted area families to inquire about its status. Information is difficult to come by, but LIFE of FL suggests you inform yourself about the latest arguments pro and con (see links below) and drop Governor Crist a line (http://www.flgov.com/contact_form )with your thoughts, if you feel Bright Futures is important to you, since he appears to be its most influential supporter:

http://checksnbalances.blogspot.com/2007/04/fl-college-tuition-increase.html

Additional articles/discussions:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/columnists/orl-miket1407aug14,0,4172612.column (read through the comments, too)
http://www.topix.net/forum/source/orlando-sentinel/TR9CHVID9MSJM3NPQ
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/07/24/Opinion/Bright_Futures_progra.shtml
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070820/BLOG29/70820040

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/05/09/State/Incentive_to_stay_in_.shtml
(old – 2004, but interesting)

http://tinyurl.com/2rbjzy - even older, a 2003 rallying cry to "save Bright Futures"

You can also visit the Board of Governors website for more information on anything related to the FL University system or additional contact information: http://www.flbog.org/ and http://www.flbog.org/BOG_regs/ to sign up for email updates regarding regulations changes.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Potential changes to college admission requirements for homeschoolers in FL

Homeschoolers recently noticed changes to college admissions requirements that seem to include acceptance recommendations for homeschoolers as well. Until recently, Florida Statute 1007.261 governed state university admission, specifically stating that home education students did not need to demonstrate completion of specific courses in order to be considered for admission to state colleges and universities. Thanks to some research by a local home educator, we know the following:

The full text of the original statute can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/2w6eqm

This statute was repealed in the 2007 regular legislative session, and the home education statute (1002.41) was amended as follows:

(8) Home education students are eligible for admission to stateuniversities in accordance with the policies and guidelines ofthe Board of Governors provisions of s.1007.261.Full text of the session law is here:http://election.dos.state.fl.us/laws/07laws/ch_2007-217.pdf

A 'proposal to propose' rule, titled 6C-6.002, has been located on the Florida Board of Governors website (http://www.flbog.org/bog/) that puts forth a minimum SAT score for home education students, and provides that colleges can require additional documentation from home education students. A portion of the text is below.

Information about the proposed regulation and Thursday's BOG meeting in Tampa can be found here:http://tinyurl.com/2pevs2 This rule has not been published in Florida Administrative Weekly, yet, and as far as our intrepid homeschool researcher can tell, the upcoming meeting will approve it for publication.

Snipped from Proposed 6C-6.002

Undergraduate Admission of First-time,Degree-seeking Freshmen(3) Normally a high school diploma from a Florida public or regionallyaccredited high school, or its equivalent, shall be required for admission to a state university. Students completing a home education program according to Section 1002.41, F.S., are eligible for admission; however, each university may require additional documentation to verifystudent eligibility. Students admitted under early admission in accordance with Board of Governors regulation are exempted from this requirement while they are classified as early admission students.(4)

A student applying for admission who is participating in a non-traditional high school program must present credentials equivalent to those described in regulation as judged by the individual SUS institution to which the student has applied. A student whose high school educational program is not measured in Carnegie Units mustpresent a test score of at least 1010 on the SAT I, SAT Reasoning Test Critical Reading and Mathematics portions, or the equivalent on theACT; or a combined test score of 1450 on the SAT Reasoning Test.Students with test scores from older versions of the admission test(s)may be required to retest for admission purposes.Hillsborough County.

Cathy Russell, Home Education Specialist with the Office of Independent Education, responded promptly to a Learning is for Everyone inquiry about this issue:

"...Once the board approves the intent to publish notice of the proposed regulation, that notice will be posted for 30 days on the BOG websitehttp://www.flbog.org/BOG_regs/ We'll have 14 days from posting of the notice to comment.

"The change in regulation is subtle.

"With the repeal of 1007.261,home ed students have lost the specific statutory guidelines it provided, but practically speaking the change in rule may not be significant. However, the reference to home ed in the first paragraph of the new rule (Students completing a home education program according to Section 1002.41, F.S., are eligible for admission; however, each university may require additional documentation to verify student eligibility) [seems] a little ...vague ..."

Cathy Russell
Home Education Specialist
Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice Office
Main: 850-245-0502
Office Fax: 850-245-0868
Web: www.floridaschoolchoice.org

We'll keep you posted as we learn more, and will include additional information and documentation about this issue as discussion progresses.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

From Home Education Foundation: [HEF_Info] FHSAA new eligibilty forms and guidelines

"After weeks of cooperative work between the FHSAA, the Home Education Foundation, HEAT teams, and county liaisons, we have some new, and very worthwhile, information for home educators statewide. The FHSAA recently updated their EL 07 form which is used by student athletes wishing to participate in competitive sports with FHSAA member teams."The information we are providing is uniform throughout the State and consists of the new EL 07 form, a Guide to filling out the EL 07, and a new Verification form which is to be filled out by your county's home education liaison.

Please download and/or print the information and familiarize yourself with it. All 3 parts may be found individually on the HEF website at: http://www.flhef.org/extracurricular-activities/sports.html or on the FHSAA's website under Eligibility and Compliance. (http://www.fhsaa.org/compliance/)

"Home education students wishing to participate in fall sports will need to have these forms filled out and returned relatively soon, so please forward this email to your groups as soon as possible. We recommend you have this information printed and available at your next group meeting."As we are updating our email loop, please let us know of any new group leaders you wish to have added to this list": http://www.flhef.org

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Home Education Foundation Bill Watch for April 9-13, with additional LIFE Resources

Home Education Foundation Bill Watch for April 9-13 – currently in Committee:
http://www.flhef.org/

(LIFE has added links for additional resources and information where available “Brenda’s comments” refers to Home Education Foundation lobbyist Brenda Dickinson’s evaluation of each bill.)


HB 799 The K-8 Virtual School Program is an educational choice program administered by the Department of Education (DOE). The program delivers academic instruction via on-line and distance learning technology to full-time students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Schools wishing to participate in the program may be nonprofit or for-profit entities and must be approved by the DOE.

The bill amends s. 1002.415, F.S., to state that the mission of the K-8 Virtual School Program is to provide students with technology-based educational opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed. The bill requires K-8 virtual schools to serve any student who meets the profile for success in an online learning context. Priority is to be given to students who need access to virtual courses in order to meet their educational needs and goals in a home environment and to students seeking accelerated access to move at their own pace in their educational progress. The bill also requires K-8 virtual schools to enroll an eligible student who submits a timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds program capacity. In such case, all applications are required to have an equal chance of being admitted through a random selection process.

Brenda’s Comment: The strike-all amendment will not include home education or private school students. The budget is too tight this year to change this program from a pilot to a regular public school choice program funded in the FEFP which was the purpose of this bill in the beginning.


Additional LIFE Info and resources:

HB 799 - K-8 Virtual School Program
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=35668&

GENERAL BILL by Weatherford (CO-SPONSORS) Traviesa
K-8 Virtual School Program: Expands student eligibility for program.
Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Last Event: Favorable with CS by Schools & Learning Council on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 12:00 PM

Referred Committees and Committee Actions: - Committee on Education Innovation & Career Preparation
On agenda for: 03/13/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable With Recommended Council Substitute (final action) See Votes
- Schools & Learning Council
On agenda for: 04/04/07 12:00 PM Notice
Temporarily Deferred (final action)
On agenda for: 04/10/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable With Council Substitute (final action) See Votes
- Policy & Budget Council

Also see http://www.learningis4everyone.org/content/view/94/39/1/5/ for previous LIFE commentary on this bill, and legislative contact information.

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HB 277 - K-12 Students revises eligibility requirements for driving privileges; revises age of compulsory school attendance from 16 years to 18 years; requires school district comprehensive programs for student progression to include use of mentors & to encourage career education curriculum for certain students.

Brenda’s Comment: This bill will die in committee.

Additional LIFE info and resources:

HB 277 - K-12 Students
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=34599&

GENERAL BILL by Thompson, G.
K-12 Students: Revises eligibility requirements for driving privileges; revises age of compulsory school attendance from 16 years to 18 years; requires school district comprehensive programs for student progression to include use of mentors & to encourage career education curriculum for certain students.
Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Last Event: Added to Committee on 21st Century Competitiveness agenda on Friday, March 23, 2007 4:17 PM

Referred Committees and Committee Actions: - Committee on 21st Century Competitiveness
On agenda for: 03/27/07 8:00 AM Notice
Temporarily Deferred (final action)
- Schools & Learning Council
- Policy & Budget Council

See also, previous LIFE Info on HB 757 - Driver Education at http://www.learningis4everyone.org/content/view/94/39/1/5/

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HB 1507/ SB 2862 - Tuition Rates at Community Colleges and State Universities provides that it is the intent of the Legislature to discourage undergraduate students from exceeding the number of credit hours required to complete the students’ respective degree programs and that, accordingly, a student will be required to pay 75 percent more than the in-state tuition rate for any credit hours taken in excess of the hours required to complete the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

This bill requires a student enrolled in a community college to pay 75 percent more than the in-state tuition rate for credit hours taken in excess of 120 percent of the credit hours required to earn an associate degree. This requirement does not apply to a maximum of 24 credit hours taken at a community college that apply to a student’s baccalaureate degree.

This bill requires an undergraduate student who is enrolled in a state university to pay 75 percent more than the in-state tuition rate for credit hours taken in excess of 120 percent of the credit hours required to complete the degree program in which the student is enrolled, regardless of whether the student took those hours while enrolled at a community college, state university, or at any private postsecondary institution if the student received state funds while enrolled at the private postsecondary institution.

This bill requires a student enrolled in a baccalaureate program at a community college to pay 75 percent more than the in-state tuition rate for credit hours in excess of 120 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the degree program in which the student is enrolled, regardless of whether the student took those hours while enrolled at a community college, state university, or at any private postsecondary institution if the student received state funds while enrolled at the private postsecondary institution.

Credit hours earned under certain circumstances will not be calculated as hours required to earn a degree. These include: college credit earned through an acceleration mechanism; credit hours earned through an internship program; credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate degrees; credit hours in courses from which a student withdrew due to reasons of medical or personal hardship; credit hours required to achieve a dual major; credit hours in remedial or ESOL courses; credit hours taken by active duty military personnel; and credit hours earned in military science courses.

Brenda’s Comment: This bill will most likely pass.

An Amendment reduces the additional percent of tuition a student must pay on credit hours taken in excess of 120 percent of graduation requirements from 75 percent to 50 percent. This amendment applies to students enrolled in both community colleges and state universities.

Additional LIFE Info and resources:

HB 1507 - Tuition Rates at Community Colleges and State Universities
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=36648&

GENERAL BILL by Altman
Tuition Rates at Community Colleges and State Universities: Requires students to pay 75 percent more than in-state tuition rate for credit hours in excess of a specified number of credit hours required to complete degree program; excludes certain credit hours from calculation as hours required to earn degree; provides for notification of students by postsecondary institution.
Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Last Event: Added to Schools & Learning Council agenda on Friday, April 06, 2007 4:24 PM

Referred Committees and Committee Actions: - Committee on Postsecondary Education
On agenda for: 03/27/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable With Amendments (2) (final action) See Votes
On agenda for: 03/27/07 4:15 PM Notice
- Schools & Learning Council
On agenda for: 04/10/07 9:00 AM Notice
Not Considered (final action)
- Policy & Budget Council

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
SB 2862 Tuition Rates/Baccalaureate Degree [SPCC] Similar
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=36593&

See also:
Legislature Has Clarified Authority for Implementing Changes to Setting Higher Education Tuition and Fees, OPPAGA: http://www.oppaga.state.fl.us/reports/pdf/0675rpt.pdf
State Funding for Community Colleges: A 50-State Survey: www.communitycollegepolicy.org/pdf/CC%20Finance%20Survey.pdf

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S2746 / CS/H 0967 - Physical Education/Students requires Commissioner of Education to provide professional development in physical education; defines term "physical education"; requires specified periods of said education for certain students; requires DOE to review & revise Sunshine State Standards re said education. Amends 1001.11, 1003.01,455. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon becoming law.

Brenda’s Comment: This bill will most likely pass.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:

Sun Sentinel: Legislators Push Bill Requiring PE Classes:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/health/diet/sfl-fphysed01apr01,0,3978512.story?coll=sfla-news-diet
The Ledger: Crist Pushes Law Requirng PE Classes: http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070328/NEWS/703280430/1039

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HB 1371 / SB 2598 - Governor's School for Science and Technology creates the Governor’s School for Science and Technology (school) for students statewide in grades nine through 12 and for teacher summer programming. The school is to be managed and controlled by the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and is to be located in Brevard County in an area where connections with the Kennedy Space Center may be readily established. The bill creates an advisory council consisting of 13 representatives to provide the FLVS with insight, expertise, and recommendations in developing and implementing the school.

Classes are to begin in the 2009-2010 academic year and students are to reside on the school’s premises. Admission to the school may only be granted to qualified students pursuant to requirements and standards established in rule. The school is to offer: (a) accelerated programs in the areas of math, science, and technology to qualified students in grades nine through 12; and (b) summer programs for elementary, middle, or high school teachers.

Brenda’s Comment: This bill will most likely pass.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
HB 1371 - Governor's School for Science and Technology
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=36477&

GENERAL BILL by Altman
Governor's School for Science and Technology: Creates Governor's School for Science & Technology; provides for administration & operation of school by Florida Virtual School; provides that school is public school for selected grade 9-12 students; provides that school shall be exempt from certain statutes; creates advisory council; provides for funding through appropriations & private contributions & endowments; provides appropriation.
Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Last Event: Favorable by Schools & Learning Council on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 12:00 PM

Referred Committees and Committee Actions: - Committee on Education Innovation & Career Preparation
On agenda for: 03/20/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable (final action) See Votes
- Schools & Learning Council
On agenda for: 04/10/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable (final action) See Votes
- Policy & Budget Council

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
SB 2598 Governor's School for Science & Technology [SPCC] Identical
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=36431&

See also:
Florida Today: School at KSC Clears First Hurdle: http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070321/NEWS02/703210388/1105/news09
New Space Related School Proposed:
http://www.tampabays10.com/news/education/article.aspx?storyid=51342

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PCS/HB 653 - Public K-12 Education revises the organizational structure of the Department of Education, requiring the establishment of a Division of Workforce Education and a Division of Finance and Operations.

The bill restores inadvertently deleted language relating to grade forgiveness policies for all incoming ninth graders and provides a new exception for a student in the middle grades who takes a high school course for high school credit.

The bill reinserts inadvertently omitted waiver options for the physical education course requirement for high school graduation for students that participate in marching band, junior varsity or varsity high school sports, or Junior ROTC and meet certain other requirements.

Department of Education Reorganization
Current law specifies that the following divisions must be established within the Department of Education (DOE): Community Colleges, Public Schools, Colleges and Universities, Vocational Rehabilitation, Blind Services, and Accountability, Research, and Measurement. The directors of such divisions are appointed by the Commissioner of Education.

PCS/HB 653 revises the organizational structure of the DOE by specifically requiring the establishment of a Division of Workforce Education and a Division of Finance and Operations. The bill provides that the director of each of the divisions set forth in statute may be designated as “Deputy Commissioner” or “Chancellor”. The bill also deletes the language requiring a division of colleges and universities within the DOE as the State University System is now governed by the Board of Governors as provided in the state constitution.

The bill provides the Commissioner of Education with authority to organize and name the structural units of the DOE and with flexibility to do so in a manner that meets legislative intent and promotes efficiency and accountability.

Waiver of physical education requirement for high school graduation

In 2006, the Florida Legislature in HB 7087, Ch. 2006-74, Laws of Florida, revised the high school graduation requirements for all incoming ninth graders. Included in this revision was a change to the physical education requirement for high school graduation. The new requirements no longer allow for a waiver of physical education requirements for participating in marching band, junior varsity or varsity high school sports, or Junior ROTC.

The bill reinserts these waiver options for students that participate in these activities and meet certain other requirements. For the waiver for participating in JV or Varsity sports, the student must also pass a competency test on personal fitness with a score of “C” or better, and for the waiver for participating in marching band the student must pass that class with or a physical activity class that requires participating in marching band with a grade of “C” or better.

Additional LIFE Resources and Information:
HB 653 - Public K-12 Education
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=35251&

GENERAL BILL by Kravitz
Public K-12 Education: Revises requirements for district school boards relating to policies for opening & closing dates of schools.
Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Last Event: Added to Schools & Learning Council agenda on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 1:53 PM

Referred Committees and Committee Actions: - Schools & Learning Council
On agenda for: 04/10/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable With Council Substitute (final action) See Votes

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CS/HB 289 - Textbook Affordability prohibits all employees of community colleges or state universities from receiving any form of compensation for requiring a certain textbook. Exceptions are provided for sample copies, instructional copies, educational materials, or royalties for the instructor’s work; Requires community colleges and state universities to notify students of the required textbooks 45 days prior to the first day of class or when the instructor or academic department identifies the required or recommended book; Requires the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education to adopt policies, procedures, and guidelines by March 1, 2008 to further efforts to minimize the cost of textbooks. These policies, procedures, and guidelines must include: sufficient time for bookstores to confirm availability, especially with regard to used books; confirmation, as part of the adoption process, that all required bundled materials will be used; confirmation, as part of the adoption process, that the new edition differs substantially from the earlier editions; and, ways to provide required textbooks to students who could not otherwise afford them.

Additional LIFE Resources and Information:

CS/HB 289 - Textbook Affordability
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=34614&

GENERAL BILL by Schools & Learning Council and Flores (CO-SPONSORS) Baxley; Brandenburg; Cusack; Galvano; Holder; Legg; Lopez-Cantera; Patronis; Precourt ; requires adoption of specified policies & practices to minimize cost of textbooks; requires study & report by OPPAGA.
Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Last Event: Added to Second Reading Calendar on Friday, April 06, 2007 9:17 AM

Referred Committees and Committee Actions: - Committee on Postsecondary Education
On agenda for: 03/20/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable (final action) See Votes
- Schools & Learning Council
On agenda for: 03/27/07 1:00 PM Notice
Favorable With Council Substitute (final action) See Votes
- Policy & Budget Council
On agenda for: 04/05/07 9:00 AM Notice
Favorable (final action) See Votes

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
SB 2492 Textbook Affordability [SPCC]
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=36334&

See also:
Staff Analysis of Bill, with background:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=h0289.PE.doc&DocumentType=Analysis&BillNumber=0289&Session=2007.
National Association of College Stores - Textbook Bills Pop up in Seven States: http://www.nacs.org/news/011907-legislation.asp?id=cm
Xbooks: http://www.xbooksaves.com/ “ XBooks is the only Company on Florida's Capital working to make Student textbooks affordable.”

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SB 2200 - High School Athletics by Llorente; Requires Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to facilitate 1-year drug testing program to randomly test certain students for anabolic steroid use; requires participation in program as prerequisite for membership in FHSAA; provides penalties for positive findings; provides for challenge & appeal; provides for repeal of program. Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
SB 2200 - High School Athletics/Drug Testing [SPCC]
http://tinyurl.com/3crnsn

GENERAL BILL by Villalobos
High School Athletics/Drug Testing [SPCC]: requires Florida High School Athletic Association to facilitate 1-year drug testing program to randomly test certain students for anabolic steroid use; requires schools to consent to provisions of program as prerequisite for membership in organization; requires students & their parents to consent to provisions of program as prerequisite for eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletics, etc. Amends 1006.20.
Effective Date: 07/01/2007

Last Event: 04/10/07 S Favorable by Education Pre-K - 12; YEAS 7 NAYS 0 on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 5:47 PM

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
SB 2202 Pub. Rec./Drug Test/HS Athletics [SPCC] Linked
CS/HB 461 High School Athletics Compare
CS/HB 463 Pub. Rec. & Meetings/Drug Tests Compare

See also:
Miami Herald article:
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/politics/16848029.htm

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SB 2202 - Pub. Rec. & Meetings/Drug Tests by Llorente; Exempts from public
records requirements records relating to drug tests & to challenge & appeal proceedings under FHSAA drug testing program; exempts from public meetings requirements portions of meeting at which records relating to drug tests or to challenge or appeal proceedings will be discussed; provides for future review & repeal; provides statement of public necessity.

Effective Date: on the same date that Committee Substitute for HB 461 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes law.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
SB 2202 - Pub. Rec./Drug Test/HS Athletics [SPCC]
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=36116&

Last Event: 04/10/07 S Favorable by Education Pre-K - 12; YEAS 7 NAYS 0 on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 5:47 PM

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
SB 2200 High School Athletics/Drug Testing [SPCC] Linked
CS/HB 461 High School Athletics Compare
CS/HB 463 Pub. Rec. & Meetings/Drug Tests Compare

See also:
Miami Herald article:
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/politics/16848029.htm

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SB 660 (CS/HB 561) Human Papillomavirus (HPV)/Schools requires public & private middle schools in state to provide to certain students & their parents or guardians information re HPV, its vaccine, & cervical cancer; prohibits certain students from admission into school without providing evidence of vaccination for HPV; requires DOE, in consultation with DOH, to prescribe content of information re connection between HPV & cervical cancer & availability of vaccine preventing HPV, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2008.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
SB 660 - Human Papillomavirus (HPV)/Schools [SPCC]
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=34919&

GENERAL BILL by Fasano (CO-SPONSORS) King; Deutch

Last Event: 04/10/07 S CS by Education Pre-K - 12; YEAS 7 NAYS 0 on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 5:47 PM

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
CS/HB 561 Human Papillomavirus Compare

See also:
HPV resources for learning more:
http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/HPVvaccine.htm
http://www.trailfire.com/marley/trailview/26694

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S1212 / CS/H 0465 - Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program provides legislative findings; revises program purposes; provides definition; provides that specified students who have been in DJJ education programs or who are placed in foster care are eligible for participation in scholarship program; revises income criteria for continuation of scholarship for students placed in foster care. Amends 220.187.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2007.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
CS/SB 1212 - Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program [SPCC]
http://tinyurl.com/26hrgg
Last Event: 04/04/07 S On Committee agenda-- Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, 04/10/07, 2:00 pm, 412-K on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 4:31 PM

Related Bills:
Bill # Subject Relationship
CS/HB 465 Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program Similar
HB 7145 Scholarship Programs Compare

See also:
Collins Center for Public Policy: http://www.collinscenter.org/initiatives/initiatives_show.htm?doc_id=106069
Miami Herald article:
http://www.miamiherald.com/458/story/63818.html

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S2382 Corporate Income Tax Trust Fund/DOR (No companion bill) creates said trust fund within DOR; provides purposes; provides for future review & termination or re-creation of trust fund; specifies uses of funds transferred from said trust fund to General Revenue Fund. Creates 220.7015. EFFECTIVE DATE: Contingent.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
http://www.flsenate.gov/session/index.cfm?BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&Mode=Bills&SubMenu=1&Year=2007&billnum=2382
02/28/07 SENATE Filed 03/15/07 SENATE Introduced, referred to Education Pre-K - 12; Finance and Tax; Education Pre-K - 12 Appropriations -SJ 00156 04/04/07 SENATE On Committee agenda-- Education Pre-K - 12, 04/10/07, 2:00 pm, 110-S 04/10/07 SENATE Favorable by Education Pre-K - 12; YEAS 4 NAYS 2

See also:
Miami Herald article:
http://www.miamiherald.com/458/story/63818.html

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S2380 - Education/Failing Schools (No companion bill) expresses intent of Legislature to create program to enhance failing schools; clarifies that tax credit program applies to students in families having limited financial resources; prescribes obligations of school districts to inform parents about failing schools; authorizes students at such schools to attend high-performing school in same district; establishes eligibility for nonpublic school participation, etc. Amends FS. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2007.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources: http://www.flsenate.gov/session/index.cfm?BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&Mode=Bills&SubMenu=1&Year=2007&billnum=2380

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S162 / H 0663 - Schools/Human Sexuality requires school districts to communicate with parents & others concerning school curriculum re teaching of human
sexuality to secondary school students; requires that information describe available procedures that parents may use to review curriculum & methods by which parents may provide comments & offer input to school district. Amends 1003.42. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2007.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
http://www.flsenate.gov/session/index.cfm?BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&Mode=Bills&SubMenu=1&Year=2007&billnum=162 - complete text and different versions

Directory of resources for understanding sex education issues:
http://www.edvisors.com/Education_Issues/Sex_Education/index.html

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SB 2904 / HB 1509 School Safety/Weapons prohibits possession of common
pocketknives on school property or other specified locations; provides exemption from criminal liability for possession of specified weapons for persons who voluntarily surrender weapon in certain circumstances; provides exemption from zero tolerance policy for possession of specified weapons for persons who voluntarily surrender weapon in certain circumstances, etc. Amends 790.115, 1006.13, 435.04, 921.0022.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2007.

Brenda’s Comment: This bill has a long way to go to get passed.
On Calendar for second reading in House

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
http://www.flsenate.gov/session/index.cfm?BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&Mode=Bills&SubMenu=1&Year=2007&billnum=2904

See also:
Keep Schools Safe: http://www.keepschoolssafe.org/
Education Week Research Center – Violence and Safety: http://tinyurl.com/29ajft
School Safety Issues and Prevention Strategies:The Changing Landscape of What We Know: http://www.calstat.org/learningCenter/pdfs/adminsafety.pdf

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CS/HB 461 High School Athletics by Llorente ; Requires Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to facilitate 1-year drug testing program to randomly test certain students for anabolic steroid use; requires participation in program as prerequisite for membership in FHSAA; provides penalties for positive findings; provides for challenge & appeal; provides for repeal of program. Effective Date: July 1, 2007.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=34995&

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CS/HB 463 Pub. Rec. & Meetings/Drug Tests by Llorente Exempts from public
records requirements records relating to drug tests & to challenge & appeal proceedings under FHSAA drug testing program; exempts from public meetings requirements portions of meeting at which records relating to drug tests or to challenge or appeal proceedings will be discussed; provides for future review & repeal; provides statement of public necessity.

Effective Date: on the same date that Committee Substitute for HB 461 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes law.

Additional LIFE Information and Resources:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=34996&