Legislative Update - 04/15/14

Most State Building Money Now Goes to Charter Schools
By William March | Tribune Staff - Published: April 14, 2014
TAMPA ­­— U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor plunged into the argument over charter schools vs. traditional public schools Monday, accusing charter school advocates in the state Legislature of “theft of tax dollars from our public schools.” Read more here:

Most state building money now goes to charter schools

Traditional Public Schools are Shortchanged as Construction Funding Flows to Charters
By Marlene Sokol | Times Staff Writer - Published: April 14, 2014
TAMPA — Despite the prospect of renewed construction money for traditional public schools, two Democratic leaders insist the state is still giving too generously to charters. Read more here:

Traditional public schools are shortchanged

State’s Stance on Education Too Complex For My Public School Brain
By John Romano | Times Columnist - Published: April 14, 2014
Please forgive me, but I am a dim-witted product of Florida’s inferior public schools. Big numbers confuse me and grandiose ideas are beyond my grasp. For instance, I have a difficult time following the game plan of our super-smart state leaders when it comes to public education. Try as I might, their logic escapes me. Read more here:

Logic of education funding escapes me

Message from the President: Who Works on Friday, April 18th?

For most employees, Friday, April 18th is listed as a work day on the district’s work calendar, and it is a paid day. However, most people do not come to work on Friday, April 18th, but DO get paid for the day. Read on.

All less-than-12-month teachers, and all V-31 payroll ESPs (paras), V-40 payroll ESPs (Headstart Instructors), and V-39 payroll ESPs (Assistant Teachers) have Friday, April 18th listed as a “work day” on the work calendar. For these employees,  Friday, April 18th is the official Conference DAY on the pay schedule. It is the DAY when all less than 10-month personnel who work Conference Night—whenever it is scheduled for your site—get paid for working Conference NIGHT.  If you work Conference Night, then you do NOT come in to work on Conference DAY, April 18th (but you will be paid for that day).  You do NOT take a personal or sick day; you do NOT use comp time.

If any of these employees could not work conference night, they have the option to make up the time before or after school on other days as arranged and approved with the site’s administration, or they may come in to work on April 18th for Conference Day, or they may take a personal or legitimate sick day.

Other less-than-12-month non-instructional ESPs are not required to work Conference Night or Day, and do not get paid for April 18th, as it is not a work day for them. Please see your secretary, if unsure which group you are in.

12-month employees are scheduled to work April 18th as a regular work day. But they may use comp time, sick leave, personal leave, or vacation leave—if they have it—to take all or part of April 18th off.

If anyone has specific questions, your site’s secretary can check the work calendars for specific employees on-line.

SDHC “We Deliver” Award Nomination Period

Tampa, Fla – (March 31, 2014)

Hillsborough County Public Schools is now accepting applications for its annual We Deliver Award, which honors the recipient with a $10,000 check from the Education Foundation. Now in its 8th year, this award honors a school district employee who has gone above and beyond for students and/or the community.  This year the nominee should also be a person who has done more than is required while dealing with his or her own personal struggle. Nominations are accepted by anyone in the community.

The nomination period is open until Tuesday, April 22.  For more information on nomination criteria and a link to the nomination form go to: http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/wedeliver/ or contact Karin Davis-Thompson, in the Office of Communications, at 813-840-7059.

Just Say NO to Voucher Expansion!


All too often we have seen our children, and their prospects for a good education, become tangled in political wrangling during the legislative session. But the leadership in the Florida House of Representatives has stooped to a new low! Last week, the Senate announced that they would not go along with a House proposal to dramatically expand the Corporate Tax Scholarship Voucher program UNLESS there is additional accountability. Yesterday, the House cooked up a cynical plan to force the Senate to take up the issue.

Take Action Alert: Tell the members of the Florida House Education Appropriations subcommittee to Just Say NO to voucher expansion. Giving away tax revenue with no accountability shortchanges students and taxpayers!

The House Education Appropriations subcommittee has called a meeting for 9:00 am TOMORROW (03/28/14) for the sole purpose of amending the CTC voucher expansion onto another bill designed to create ‘learning accounts’ for kids with severe disabilities.

While FEA and other public school advocates also have real concerns about the implementation and oversight for these learning accounts, that discussion has now been eclipsed by the push to allow corporations to give nearly a billion dollars a year to private and religious schools through the CTC voucher program. Even testimony by parents, whose children’s educational futures were cheated by unscrupulous private schools and vendors, has not persuaded the House leadership to consider more accountability for voucher schools. 

Don’t Delay! Take Action Today. 

Contact members of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee and tell them to Just VOTE NO on PCB EDAS 14-03. We must demand that Florida lawmakers stop all voucher expansion-now!

Rubric Training: Extend Your Knowledge & Invigorate Your Thinking!

Join us for an opportunity to gain ideas and insights related to Domain 2 - The Classroom Environment, Domain 3 - Instruction and Domain 4 - Professional Responsibilities. The sessions are for HCTA Members only.

Please call us at 813-238-7902 if you would like to RSVP for either session.

Extending Our Rubric Knowledge and Invigorating Our Thinking - Session 1
Monday, March 31, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
We will be visiting two components from Domain 3: Using Questioning and Discussion Skills (3b) and Using Assessment in Instruction (3d). This is an opportunity to examine the language from the Framework for Teaching, consider recent professional literature related to the topics, participate in professional dialog about the focus components, and take away quick tips and ideas to infuse our teaching and promote learning. Join us to invigorate your thinking and to extend your knowledge of Domain 3!

Extending Our Rubric Knowledge and Invigorating Our Thinking - Session 2
Monday, April 7, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
We will be visiting two components: Establishing a Culture for Learning (Domain 2-2b) and Reflecting on Teaching (Domain 4-4a). This is an opportunity to examine the language from the Framework for Teaching, consider recent professional literature related to the topics, participate in professional dialog about the focus components, and take away quick tips and ideas to infuse our teaching to better promote learning. Join us to invigorate your thinking and to extend your knowledge of student expectations and reflecting on teaching!

Teaching Excellence Lecture Series: Richard Gerver

Hillsborough CTA is proud to be a sponsor of the Hillsborough Education Foundation’s “Teaching Excellence Lecture Series”.

All HCTA members are invited to attend the next lecture, featuring author Richard Gerver. The lecture will take place on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at Jefferson High School.

For more information about this event, go to: http://hillsborough-ef.com/TELS-Flyer.html

ESE Certification Requirements

During the 2013 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 1108 was passed and signed into law. Section 9 of the bill added an ESE instruction component of 20 inservice hours or 1 college credit to the professional certification requirements. Read more about the bill and how it may impact you here:

Deduction Worksheet for Teachers

The purpose of this worksheet is to help you organize your tax-deductible business expenses.  In order for an expense to be deductible, it must be considered an “ordinary and necessary” expense.  You may include other applicable expenses.  Do not include expenses for which you have been reimbursed, expect to be reimbursed, or which are reimbursable.


Dues Increase

August 1, 2013

HCTA’s local union dues will not increase this year and there is no increase to pass through from FEA, AFT or AFL-CIO. However, NEA has increased their dues, so there will be a small increase passed through for that. Teacher dues will increase by 41 cents per period and ESP dues will increase by 20 cents per period.