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Education Bills Lined Up In House

Feb 16, 2016

The Florida House this week could pass a series of education bills that range from trying to provide more school choice to families to ensuring children have time for recess.

House members will take up the bills during a floor session Wednesday and could pass them Thursday, according to a calendar of bills approved Monday by the Rules and Calendar Committee. Some of the bills are part of a push by Republican leaders to encourage school choice and bolster charter schools.

As an example, the House is slated to take up a bill (HB 669), filed by Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, that would allow parents to send their children to any public schools in the state that have not reached capacity. Supporters say the bill would give more options to families who live in areas with subpar schools.

The bills going before the House also would touch on a series of other education issues. For instance, the House will consider a proposal (HB 287), filed by Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, and Sprowls that would create a pilot program to give principals more autonomy in running schools.

Also, the House will consider a proposal (HB 833), filed by Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, and Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs, that would require districts to provide at least 20 minutes a day of recess to elementary-school children.