Parent involvement is vital to a student’s success and development throughout the school year. According to the text for Florida Senate Bill 1300, if passed, it will promote public participation and parent involvement, including “selecting, approving, adopting or removing certain instructional materials for students.”
Jeramie Payne, whose child attends Ruediger Elementary School, said he would like to have more input on his son’s education.
“I would feel more connected to the people who are teaching the curriculum inside the classroom, because we’re all on the same page,” said Payne.
SB 1300 would impose salary limits on school board members, originally starting off as a proposal from Florida’s House of Representatives.
Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, introduced the bill to the Florida Senate. He along with other Republican lawmakers nationwide, have made it a major area of focus to institute term limits on school board members. This component is not in SB 1300 but it’s an important part of its companion bill, HB 1467.
However, a component of the Senate bill that adversely affects school board members, relates to their salaries. According to data collected over the past year from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, Florida school board members’ annual salaries ranged from $27,000 in smaller counties to $47,189 in larger school districts.
During a recent committee session, Danielle Thomas, director of advocacy for the Florida School Boards Association, weighed in on the direct impact it would have on school board members if their salaries dramatically decreased.
“Taking away school board salaries would create great inequities across our members,” Thomas said. “In particular affecting our members of color, women and our rural school board members.”
Rep. Sam Garrison sponsored HB 1467. He proposed a similar bill during the 2021 legislative session. His argument fell on the basis of school board members’ salaries should be cut to eliminate political confrontation from a non-biased position.
SB 1300 passed the Senate’s Education Committee with a 6-3 vote. It was scheduled to be heard by the Rules Committee tomorrow on Tuesday. If the vote is favorable, it would go before the full Senate. Following the full Senate’s approval, it moves on to the House of Representatives where lawmakers would attempt to find compromise language to produce identical bills before it reaches Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.
All updates on SB 1300’s progress can be found on flsenate.gov.