POLK COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

2021 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

PCPS is guided by the vision that all students will receive the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive citizens and is committed to its mission of delivering a high-quality education to all students. In pursuit of this vision and mission, PCPS has set the following legislative priorities for 2021:

STATEWIDE PRIORITIES

  • Due to the varied implementation of COVID-related school openings and closings, as well as student, school and classroom quarantines, allow Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) scores from the current school year to be used to establish a revised baseline for school grades, with no district or school grades or VAM scores calculated.
  • Discontinue rolling back the Required Local Effort (RLE) to protect base student funding from cuts that would impact schools and teachers.
  • In order to allow families school choice, continue to allow full funding for district e-learning students and provide level funding for the 2021-22 school year.
  • In order to continue to reverse state teacher shortage trends, protect funding for the Teacher Salary Allocation.

PCPS TARGETED PRIORITIES

  • Continue the Funding Compression Allocation for school districts funded below the statewide average.
  • Require state-calculated VAM-only scores to be provided by FDOE to school districts by July 31 annually.
  • Provide incentives for state universities and statutory authorization for all state colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in elementary and secondary education.

Legislative Resources

PCPS 2021 Legislative Priority | COVID's Impact: Teacher, School, District Accountability

Due to the varied implementation of COVID-related school openings and closings, as well as student, school and classroom quarantines, allow Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) scores from the current school year to be used to establish a revised baseline for school grades, with no district or school grades or VAM scores calculated.

PCPS 2021 Legislative Priority: VAM Scores

One major legislative priority is to reduce the disruptions that take place when teachers must be unexpectedly moved at the beginning of the school year due to their Value-Added Model (VAM) scores.

Over the years, VAM scores have not been released to school districts until after the first day of school. This requires staff to be reassigned during the pivotal first weeks of the school year.

Please contact our local legislators and urge them to support requiring the Florida Department of Education to provide school districts with VAM scores by July 31 annually.

What is a Bill?

For an overview of the legislative process, including how a bill becomes a law, we recently visited an American Government class at Mulberry High School. Watch the video below.

For more information on Polk County Public Schools’ legislative priorities and how you can support our advocacy efforts, contact Director of Legislative Affairs & Policy:

Wendy Dodge
Email: wendy.dodge@polk-fl.net
Phone: 863-534-0521 Ext. 760
Cell Phone: 863-838-3632

POLK COUNTY

LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION

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Photograph of Senator Danny Burgess

Sen. Danny Burgess
District 20
danny.burgess@flsenate.gov
Capitol Office
308 Senate Office Building
850-487-5020
District Office
38507 Fifth Avenue
Zephyrhills, FL 33542
813-779-7059

Photograph of Senator Kelli Stargel

Sen. Kelli Stargel
District 22
stargel.kelli@flsenate.gov
Capitol Office
408 Senate Office Building
850-487-5022
District Office
2033 E. Edgewood Dr., Suite 1
Lakeland, FL 33803
863-668-3028

Photograph of Senator Ben Albritton

Sen. Ben Albritton
District 26
albritton.ben@flsenate.gov
Capitol Office
308 Senate Office Building
850-487-5026
District Office
150 N. Central Ave.
Bartow, FL 33830-4742
863-534-0073

Photograph of Representative Josie Tomkow

Rep. Josie Tomkow
District 39
josie.tomkow@myfloridahouse.gov
Capitol Office
1301 The Capitol
850-717-5039
District Office
315 Pontotoc St.
Auburndale, FL 33823-3444
863-968-5666

Photograph of Representative Colleen Burton

Rep. Colleen Burton
District 40
colleen.burton@myfloridahouse.gov
Capitol Office
214 House Office Building
850-717-5040
District Office
100 S. Kentucky Ave., Suite 260
Lakeland, FL 33801-5093
863-413-2640

Photograph of Representative Sam Killebrew

Rep. Sam Killebrew
District 41
sam.killebrew@myfloridahouse.gov
Capitol Office
308 House Office Building
850-717-5041
District Office
337 Ave. C S.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33880-3262
863-291-5254

Photograph of Representative Melony Bell

Rep. Melony Bell
District 56
melony.bell@myfloridahouse.gov
Capitol Office
1301 The Capitol
850-717-5056
District Office
Suite B 107 W. Broadway St.
Fort Meade, FL 33841-3300
863-285-1101

Photograph of Representative Fred Hawkins

Rep. Fred Hawkins
District 42
fred.hawkins@myfloridahouse.gov
Capitol Office
1401 The Capitol
850-717-5042
District Offices
1211 12th Street Suite 2
St. Cloud, FL 34769-3713