PCPS is guided by the vision that all students will receive the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive citizens and is committed to its mission of delivering a high-quality education to all students. In pursuit of this vision and mission, PCPS has set the following legislative priorities for 2023:




Teacher Recruitment and Retention

  1. Allow instructional staff to return to the classroom after retirement (eliminate the one-year moratorium) and still receive FRS benefits while Florida is experiencing a teacher shortage.
  2. Modify the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation by creating a funding component to address salary compression.
  3. Modify the statute to extend temporary certificates to 5 years for all recipients.
  4. Require increased reciprocity for teacher certification with additional states.

Student Support

  1. Modify transportation statute to allow for passenger vans with a capacity of over 10 students to be utilized to transport students.
  2. Require the FDOE to provide materials to schools for Data Folio in the same manner as provided for other statewide assessments.
  3. Require FDOE to provide online instructional professional development on Data Folio and include a train-the-trainer program.
  4. Modify requirements for FLVS students international testing to require tests to be taken at sites predetermined by contract and contracts to be in place at least 120 days prior to testing dates.

Statewide Funding Support

  1. Continue increases in funding for important student support categoricals, including ESE Guaranteed, Mental Health, Safe Schools, and Transportation Allocations.
  2. Modify Family Empowerment funding language by removing the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation from the calculation.
  3. Modify the funding to statute to ensure public school district students do not receive a funding proration due to increases in scholarships funded through the FEFP.
  4. Provide an increase in the Base Students Allocation above 2022-23 levels to assist in addressing salary compression created by the expedited implementation of the $15 minimum wage.

Hurricane Issues

  1. Allow districts to conduct instructional days using online or e-learning during emergency events such as hurricanes when schools cannot be used for instructional days regardless of district status IF specific conditions can be met.
  2. Require public facilities other than schools to be utilized as hurricane shelters and post-storm support to ensure school can resume as soon as possible following a storm.
  3. Provide funding for power generators for school sites designated as hurricane shelters.

Legislative Resources

What is a Bill?

For an overview of the legislative process, including how a bill becomes a law, we recently visited an American Government class at Mulberry High School. Watch the video below.

Additional resources
for understanding the legislative process:

How to communicate with a legislator:

How a bill originating in the Senate becomes a law:

Visit The Florida Channel to watch
committee meetings, House and Senate sessions and more.

For more information on Polk County Public Schools’ legislative priorities and how you can support our advocacy efforts, contact Director of Legislative Affairs & Policy:

Wendy Dodge
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 863-534-0521 Ext. 760
Cell Phone: 863-838-3632


Melony Bell

Rep. Melony Bell
District 49
[email protected]

Capitol Office
212 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

District Office
107 W Broadway St., Ste B
Fort Meade, FL 33841-3300


Portrait Photo of Representative Sam Killebrew

Rep. Sam Killebrew
District 48
[email protected]

Capitol Office
300 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

District Office
337 Ave. C S.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33880-3262


Portrait Photo of Senator Ben Albritton

Sen. Ben Albritton
District 27
[email protected]

Capitol Office
330 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

District Office
150 N. Central Ave.
Bartow, FL 33830-4742


Portrait Photo of Representative Jennifer Canady

Rep. Jennifer Canady
District 50
[email protected]

Capitol Office
1402 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

District Office
2033 East Edgewood Drive, Suite 1
Lakeland, FL 33803-3660


Portrait Photo of Representative Josie Tomkow

Rep. Josie Tomkow
District 51
[email protected]

Capitol Office
222 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

District Office
315 Pontotoc St.
Auburndale, FL 33823-3444


Portrait Photo of Senator Colleen Burton

Sen. Colleen Burton
District 12
[email protected]

Capitol Office
318 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

District Office
100 S. Kentucky Ave., Suite 260
Lakeland, FL 33801-5093