School Board approves its legislative priorities

List includes workforce funding, mental health and safety and support for Flagler programs.


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  • | 5:40 p.m. January 24, 2023
  • Palm Coast Observer
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The Flagler County School Board approved its list of priorities for the upcoming Florida Legislative Session.

Flagler's legislative priorities include 11 items that fall under five general categories: mental health and safety, workforce, personnel recruitment and retention, funding and delegation support.

Flagler's legislative priorities include 11 items that fall under five general categories: mental health and safety, workforce, personnel recruitment and retention, funding and delegation support.

The board approved the priority list at its business meeting on Jan. 17.

Under workforce, the board is advocating funding to provide market value wages for high-skilled Career Technical Education adjunct teachers. Also on the list is operational funding to support secondary career and technical programs.

A recruitment and retention priority is changing the term of temporary certification for teacher candidates with a college degree from three years to five years. Also under retention is funding the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation and increase eligibility to all certified instructional personnel, including experienced teachers.

Funding priorities include increasing the base student allocation by 5% to offset increased operational costs and providing increased transparency of the impacts of Family Empowerment Scholarships.

Under delegation support, the board's priorities include securing a permanent location for the local Adults with Disabilities Program, pushing funds to expand career education in middle schools and making Flagler's Voluntary Prekindergarten program a pilot program in any proposed pre-K legislation.

Under mental health and safety, the board's priorities are increasing the allocation for additional mental health services for students, including those affected by recent natural disasters, and increasing safe schools allocation to fund school safety initiatives and school safety officers.

Instructional materials

Flagler's options for K-12 social studies instructional materials can be viewed in person through Feb. 7 at the district's offices at the Government Services Building or online at http://bit.ly/3DfiaaC.

Job description updates

At the board's information workshop on Jan. 17, Chief Human Resources Officer Bob Ouellette presented updated job descriptions for entry level support positions. 

The new job descriptions includes another option if candidates cannot produce a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. They can successfully complete a basic skill assessment test to demonstrate the ability to read and write.

Request to add mental health provider

The district requested board approval to add Epic Behavioral Healthcare to its mental health plan provider list. Epic provides clinical services, substance use prevention and suicide prevention.

A large component of the company's services can be delivered virtually, John Fanelli, the district's coordinator of student supports and behavior told the board at its Jan. 17 workshop.