From the Tampa Bay Times, by Jeff Solochek
Gov. Rick Scott said in September he would look for ways to reduce the red tape and bureaucracythat gets in the way of teachers doing their job. He put together a committee of seven superintendents and asked for their advice.
The group released its recommendations (attached below) on Monday afternoon. It includes a request to repeal reporting requirements on school recycling and school choice, a repeal of the requirement for a school safety hotline, and the end of state-mandated instructional materials, among other things. They look to be more items that cut back on district time rather than classroom time, but would cut back on mandates affecting schools.
The committee also listed several items for further consideration, such as repealing the high school graduation requirement for an online course, requiring voucher recipients to participate in FCAT testing, changing the class size mandate to school level, eliminating the requirement that schools may not begin classes more than two weeks before Labor Day, and providing more time for districts to implement performance pay.
“We will closely review this report with a focus on removing burdensome requirements to help educators spend more time in the classroom teaching,” Scott said in a news release.
Sen. Bill Montford, executive director of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, said in a release that his organization looked forward to working with the governor in this area.
“Florida superintendents are very encouraged by, and appreciative of, Governor Scott’s initiative to identify and eliminate outdated, unnecessary and burdensome rules and statutes – many of which ultimately hinder optimal operations within the school district and waste taxpayer dollars,” Montford said. “Most of the recommendations focus on reporting requirements and we expect to add other statutes and rules to the list as the dialogue continues to move forward. Gov. Scott has made it a priority to address regulatory burdens, and superintendents not only welcome the opportunity to be part of the process, they look forward to working with the Governor and all stakeholders as we take a comprehensive look at ways to minimize burdensome regulations, with and end-goal of further enhancing Florida’s public education system.”