09-28-2015 Legislative Affairs Workshop - Part I

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a Legislative Affairs Workshop on Monday, September 28, 2015, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Florida Today newspaper on Thursday, Sepember 17, 2015. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Minutes: Chairman Amy Kneessy called the meeting to order at 11:05 a.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call


Members present: Misty Belford, Amy Kneessy, Karen Henderson and Andy Ziegler.

John Craig was unable to be in attendance.

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Chairman Kneessy led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Order of Business
4. Order of Business


Chairman Kneessy welcomed everyone to the workshop, then she turned it over to Superintendent Blackburn to discuss its intent.

Dr. Blackburn explained that the purpose of the workshop was to have dialog to discuss the district's legislative priorities. He introduced Mixon and Associates who would use the information discussed during the workshop to develop a plan for implementation. Dr. Blackburn began the conversation with information that was discussed at the recent FADSS conference which lead to the FADSS Press Release in regards to the accountability system. He stated the reasoning behind why Florida superintendents felt that they needed to take a stand to ensure that no staff member or student is affected by an accountability system that they've lost confidence in.

He then opened to floor to Board members and Mixon and Associates to discuss this topic further and how we can move forward to support this endeavor. Mixon and Associates asked the Board's opinion on the early school start date. Discussion ensued regarding this topic. The Board's position was in favor of the early start date.

Additional discussion topics included: - Class Size - Performance Funding - Dual Enrollment - Retirement/403B Rates - New Construction/PECO Funds - Equalization of Capital Funding - Limited Use of Sales Tax Funds - Increased Flexibility on Instructional Materials - Increased Funding in Categoricals.

Dr. Blackburn stated to Mixon and Associates that we currently do not have a Government Relations office and asked for their advice. Mixon and Associates explained that we should designate a point of contact with exceptional communication skills. They also said that the designee should leverage relationships with local chambers, businesses and citizens. Mixon and Associates explained that they would take all the information received to establish a blanket platform which they will bring forward for the Board's review prior to the workshop on October 26, 2015.  Juhan Mixon  explained that Dr. Blackburn wants the Board to be engaged.

Ms. Belford asked where the Board is as a collective on paying for Dual Enrollment. It has cost the district millions of dollars. The Board asked Ms. Preston to look at the FSBA platform and weigh  the impacts. This conversation should also include virtual school.   


Closing Remarks
5. Closing Remarks

Minutes: Ms. Belford said one of the things that she hears from their delegation is they do not tend to hear from Brevard until things have already cleared committee. She expressed to Mixon and Associates representatives, that as the Board's connection to what is going on in Tallahassee,  to make a point to know that our delegation is up to date on what is going on in education committees,  and that when they have conversations, that they express that they are there representing Brevard as well.

6. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairman Kneessy adjourned the meeting at 1:17 p.m.

For further details pertaining to this meeting, please refer to the published video on the School Board of Brevard County's website (www.brevardschools.org).