Improving Education


  • Holding Schools Accountable

    • Gayle believes that Florida should determine standards for Florida schools, not the federal government.
    • Gayle voted to ensure that school districts have local control of curriculum, empowering local school boards to select K-12 instructional materials they use in their schools thereby assuring parents are given a stronger voice in what their children are taught.
    • Gayle consistently voted to raise the bar for student learning and student achievement.
    • Gayle supported the A+ and A++ plans for education, which implemented Florida standards for our kids and testing to measure progress.
    • Gayle voted to remove references in Florida Statutes to the Common Core Standards insuring that Florida’s standards and assessments are tailored to our state.
    • Gayle voted to establish a new school grading system to make grade calculations less complicated and easier for parents to understand.


  • Providing Opportunities and Choice for Students

    • Gayle sponsored legislation to transform teacher education in reading to assure that struggling readers and students with dyslexia receive an appropriate education.
    • Gayle sponsored legislation to establish a Pilot Program for students with dyslexia
    • Gayle supported legislation establishing the McKay Scholarship Program for children with learning disabilities. She also supported the expansion of these scholarships for students with significant medical conditions.
    • Gayle supported the establishment of the Opportunity Scholarship program and Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship program to provide low-income students with scholarships to attend a participating private school or an out-of-district public school of their choice.
    • Gayle passed the Learning Gateway bill to identify and address the needs of young children with learning disabilities. It was designed to inform parents, pediatricians and teachers of the early warning signs of learning problems according to the best current research and establish a single access point for screening, assessment and referral of services.


  • Funding Our Schools

    • Gayle supported the 2016 Education budget of $21.7 billion
    • This exceeds any previous year’s state funding.
    • Gayle supported the 2016 Pre-K – 12 Education budget with provides the highest amount of state funds ever, totaling $14.5 billion, an increase of $460 million (3.28%) over the base budget.
    • Pre-K -12 funding exceeds the 2007-08 high.
    • Gayle supported 2013 legislation to increase designated funding to teacher’s salaries
    • Increased funding for state universities.
    • Gayle sponsored the “No Strings Attached” and the K-20 Flexibility legislation to provide local school districts with more flexibility to use state dollars to address local education concerns.
    • Sponsored the Recruitment Retention and Retirement bill to increase teacher retirement as a tool for recruiting and retaining teachers.


  • Protecting Student Privacy

     

    Gayle supported legislation to protect student privacy to ensure that your students’ personal information, which has little to do with their education, is kept private and secure. Any agency or institution, including the federal government, is now prohibited from collecting information regarding political affiliation, voting history, religious affiliation, or biometrics of a student or student’s parent or sibling.

     


  • Transforming Higher Education & Keeping Tuition Low

    • Gayle voted for legislation to promote postsecondary education affordability and accessibility and help Florida’s families plan for higher education.
    • Supported legislation to hold the line on increase in state universities tuition
    • Eliminated the automatic annual rate of inflation increases.
    • Reformed payments to the Florida Prepaid College Program and reduced the cost of a new 4-Year Florida University Plan by $10,000 and refund $50 million to families with an existing 4-Year Florida University Plan.


  • The Results

    • Florida had the 5th highest composite scores in nation according to the National Assessment in Education Progress. (NAEP).
    • Florida has been ranked in the Top Ten in Education for 3 out of the past 4 years.
    • Graduation rates have gone up 19 percentage points since 1998, 22 percentage points for African American students and 26 percentage points for Hispanic students.
    • According to the Nation’s Report Card as calculated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Florida students’ achievement is improving, when compared to that of their peers nationally in K-12 Education
    • Florida’s eighth-grader’s math scores have increased a full grade level (10 points) from 2003-2013
    • Florida is the only state to have significantly narrowed the achievement gap in fourth and eighth-grade reading and math between white and African American students since 2003
    • In fourth-grade math and reading and eighth-grade reading, the academic improvement of Florida students is twice as high as that of students nationwide.
    • In 2013, Florida students outperform the national average in every subgroup for fourth-grade reading,
    • Florida fourth-grade readers outperform the national average by more than half a grade level,
    • Florida’s African American readers outperform their peers by more than half a grade level,
    • Hispanic readers in Florida outperform their fourth-grade peers by almost two full grade levels,
    • Low-income readers in fourth grade outperform their peers by a grade level,
    • Students with disabilities perform better than their fourth-grade peers by two full grade levels in reading.