Tallahassee, June 15, 2018 – The Florida Department of Education created a webinar to assist charter schools in understanding the mental health assistance allocation included in House Bill 7026 (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act). It provides an overview of the components that are required in the Mental Health Assistance Allocation Plans that all public school — including charter schools — must complete.
Key dates /deadlines to be aware of:
- By May 1, 2018, the Florida Department of Education will hire a Director for their newly created Office of Safe Schools.
- Upon SB 7026 becoming law, DOE immediately began working to implement active shooter training so each teacher, student, faculty member and school safety officer knows what to do during a crisis. This training must be done at least every semester.
- By July 1, 2018, superintendents must designate a district School Safety Specialist.
- By August 1, 2018, each school district must complete a security risk assessment for each public school campus. The assessment must be conducted in consultation with local law enforcement. Although the $99 million in funding for school hardening will be distributed as quickly as possible, school districts should use existing funding to make any critical safety improvements immediately.
- Before the start of the 2018-2019 school year, DOE will begin to identify a security consulting firm for the independent, third-party review of the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool, as required by the new law.
- By September 1, 2018, each school should establish a threat assessment team with expertise in mental health counseling, academic instruction, law enforcement and school administration that will meet monthly to review any potential threats to students and staff at the school.
- By July 1, 2018, each school board, in coordination with their County Sheriff, is expected to determine how many people they intend to train using the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. This program is 100 percent voluntary. Once participation decisions have been made, DOE will work with the Governor’s Office and the Legislature to redirect any unused funding from this program to hire additional school officers.
- In the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, Florida schools were provided $97.5 million to hire additional school safety officers. Governor Scott has stated that his expectation is that there is at least one school safety officer at each school at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. According to the most recent data before the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, approximately 1,500 law enforcement officers were working in our schools.
- Before the start of the 2018-2019 school year, DOE will establish a youth mental awareness and assistance training program to train school personnel to better identify signs of mental illness in students and how to seek the proper treatment.
- In the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, Florida schools were provided $69 million to establish or expand school-based mental health care. Our expectation is that each student in Florida has access to a mental health professional at school by the 2018-2019 school year. Plans must be submitted to DOE by August 1, 2018.
If you have any questions about the points listed above, contact the Florida Department of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SB7026 funding increases/revises safe schools allocation and creates the mental health assistance allocation
Adds $97,500,000 to the safe schools allocation in the general fund, making new total allocation ~$161,500,000
Each district receives a minimum of 250,000, remaining funds: 2/3 distributed based on Florida Crime Index and 1/3 allocated per student
Increases allocation from $22 per student to $51 per student, this will be received through FEFP
Each school district must use these funds exclusively for hiring or contracting for school resource officers
To assist school districts in establishing or expanding school based mental health care
$69,237,286 in 2018-19 school year, will be recurring funds received through FEFP
Each district receives a minimum of 100,000, remaining balance allocated per student
Estimated allocation: $22.11 per student
Charter schools are entitled to a proportionate share of district funding
SB7026 sets aside funds for a one-time grant opportunity for schools to pay for building safety improvements:
Section 44. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum of $98,962,286 in nonrecurring funds is appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of Education to implement a grant program that will provide awards to schools to fund, in whole or in part, the fixed capital outlay costs associated with improving the physical security of school buildings as identified by a security risk assessment completed before August 1, 2018, by a school district or charter school. By August 31, 2018, the department shall submit the grant guidelines, which must include an application submission deadline of no later than December 1, 2018, and the specific evaluation criteria, to all school districts and charter schools. The department shall award grants no later than January 15, 2019, based upon the evaluation criteria set forth in the application guidelines.
Click here to watch the Mental Health Assistance Allocation Plans webinar.
Use the link below to access the webinar powerpoint:
Mental Health Assessment Allocation Documents, Memos, etc from the Florida Department of Education:
School Risk Assessment documents: