Companion bill filed for private school safety measure in Florida

There is now a House companion to a Senate bill in Florida that would require private schools to get safety alerts just like public schools.

Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, filed HB 369 Monday. It’s a counterpart to SB 284, filed by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City. Both bills would require emergency response agencies to notify private schools about bombs, fire threats and other major incidents just like they do now with public schools. Only private schools that opt into a school district’s emergency notification policy would be affected. (More here).

School safety is expected to be a leading education issue in the Legislature this year in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. The session begins March 5.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at