The last state standing is FL: It still hasn’t submitted a plan to get billions for public schools

BY: - September 17, 2021

As of Friday, 49 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Education to be able to access billions for COVID-relief programs at public schools. But Florida isn’t on the list. In fact, it’s the only state that has not submitted such a plan. And the deadline was June […]

FL still missing out on billions for public schools; what’s the holdup?

BY: - September 16, 2021

Florida is now one of only two states in the nation that has not submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Education for providing billions in federal dollars to help public schools during the pandemic. Overall, 48 states and Washington D.C. have sent in their plans — which were due on June 7, according […]

The reversals have begun: Some school districts backtrack on opt-out mask policies

BY: - September 15, 2021

At least two school districts — Volusia and Lee — that previously adopted strict mask mandates have recently decided to allow parents to opt their students out of the policy for any reason. Another district, Indian River, has approved a change — a hybrid approach that would require masks only at certain times when COVID-19 […]

DeSantis administration wants to reduce outdated state testing in FL but will the feds approve?

BY: - September 14, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and even the statewide teacher union that often butts heads with the administration are celebrating the potential end of major statewide exams called the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) in reading and math. But whether the federal government goes along with the changes is the big question. Florida’s new […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion agriculture measure passed along […]

University of Florida

DeSantis touts UF #5 ranking among the nation’s top public universities; ceremony was maskless

BY: - September 13, 2021

The University of Florida ranks No. 5 on the 2022 U.S. News and World Report ranking of public universities and No. 28 when ranked among high-caliber national universities in the United States. The new list places UF with such esteemed public institutions as the University of California, Los Angeles; the UC Berkeley; the University of […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

BY: - September 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

U.S. Department of Education opens investigation on FL’s mask policies and possible violations of federal law

BY: - September 10, 2021

On the heels of a court decision allowing Florida education officials to continue penalizing school districts with strict mask mandates, the U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation to determine if the state’s current mask policies are discriminatory to students with disabilities. The USDE sent a letter Friday notifying Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran […]

Some school districts sticking to their mask policies; others unsure following new court decision

BY: - September 10, 2021

Some schools districts say they’re staying put on their strict mask mandates, while others are considering how to proceed following yet another court decision on mask policies in schools. In a Friday decision, the First District Court of Appeal allowed the DeSantis administration and state education officials to continue enforcing a contentious policy which allows […]

DeSantis gets a win: Appeal court allows mask policy that lets parents decide

BY: - September 10, 2021

A state appeal court has freed the DeSantis administration to punish school districts that insist on strict face-masking policies against COVID-19 in defiance of the governor’s insistence that parents be allowed to opt out for their children. A three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal voted unanimously to overrule Leon County Circuit Judge […]

Amid school mask controversy, Dems say FL Education Commissioner should be elected, not appointed

BY: - September 10, 2021

About 35 years ago, Betty Castor campaigned statewide to be Florida’s Education Commissioner, convincing the majority of Floridians that she could take on the responsibility of overseeing the state’s massive school system. Castor won, and she served as Education Commissioner from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Since then, the election process that allowed […]

After state docked pay from board, Broward pushes DeSantis to stop sitting on billions for schools

BY: - September 8, 2021

While state education officials withheld the salaries of Broward County School Board members because of strict mask mandates, the school district has called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to distribute billions in federal relief funds to help schools recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter addressed to the governor, Broward Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright and […]