Florida House of Representatives
Rep. Diaz and Sen. Flores announce Education ROI bill to bring fiscal transparency to education spending
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Representative Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah and Senator Antiere Flores, R-Miami filed legislation that will improve the quality of education for Florida students by making it easier to evaluate and understand how school spending translates to student performance.
The bill, HB 875, calls for the education commissioner to create a return on investment (ROI) index by January 2015 that will allow parents and others to see how well school districts are using their financial resources to improve student achievement.
The ROI ratings for each school will then be required to be published on the Department of Education’s website in a searchable and easy-to-understand format that allows for comparisons among similar public schools and school districts.
“This bill brings some much-needed transparency to our education spending and allows Florida taxpayers to see which schools and districts are providing the best return on investment for our state,” said Rep. Diaz. “It will allow schools and districts to see what is working and what’s not, and make the best decisions on how to prioritize their budgets.”
“The primary function of our schools is to educate our children and we should be giving schools every possible tool to help them do that successfully,” said Sen. Flores. “Our kids deserve the best education system we can give them. By connecting the financial and academic data the state already collects at the school level, we can gain a better understanding of what programs make the biggest impact on student achievement and then allow schools to make budget decisions accordingly.”
The bill also provides for a schoolhouse funding pilot program that would evaluate whether giving principals more authority over school budgets and personnel decisions can provide a greater return on investment based on student achievement. The pilot program would include 14 schools. Participating schools would be included in the ROI index and their principals would be provided with additional professional development to help them best manage their school and drive student achievement.
Highlights of the Bill
Connects existing school-level academic and financial data to create an ROI index to easily evaluate and compare how well schools use tax dollars to improve student achievement. This data may include, but is not limited to:
- School report cards
- Accountability measures
- Profiles of school districts
- Requires the ROI ratings to be published online in a sortable, easy-to-understand format that allows for comparison among similar public schools and school districts.
- Requires each school to post a link to the most recent ROI rating on its website.
- Establishes a schoolhouse funding pilot program which provides additional training for principals and gives higher-performing schools greater flexibility.
Requires principal professional development to focus on:
- Driving student achievement
- Aligning standards, assessments, curriculum, and instruction
- Using data to drive instruction
- Using best financial management practices for driving student achievement