Education

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 […]

Tampa mask mandate protest

Gov. DeSantis loses again in lawsuit over his schools mask-mandate policy

BY: - September 8, 2021

A state trial judge has cleared Florida school districts to enforce strict mask mandates for students until a state appeals court can decide whether the DeSantis administration holds authority to enforce a parental veto over masks. Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper had ruled last month that the governor abused his authority in ordering the […]

high school classroom, school, education

FL students now have 1 to 2 minutes of silence to start their day — but will it make a difference?

BY: - September 8, 2021

Astatula Elementary School in Central Florida’s Lake County already had a daily moment of silence in place long before a new law demanded it. Prior to the current school year, Astatula students would stand for the daily Pledge of Allegiance, and remain standing for another 10 to 15 seconds for a moment of silence. But […]

COMMENTARY

This Labor Day, let’s renew our commitment to students, educators and public schools

BY: - September 6, 2021

Our country was founded on the premise that in order to protect our democracy, we need an educated electorate. It was our Founding Fathers who established the basis of public schools — an American idea. Today, millions of educators nationwide continue this mission, even in the middle of a pandemic, ensuring that every child in […]

Unfazed by continued legal battle, some school districts are standing by their strict mask mandates

BY: - September 3, 2021

Some school districts will continue to impose their strict mask mandates, even though a key court ruling has been appealed and the legal battle continues over who has control over mask-wearing at public schools — local boards or the DeSantis administration. Chris Petley, a communications staffer for the Leon County School District at the state […]

U.S. House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

BY: - September 3, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farmworker workers; those who hold a Temporary […]

Schools

Leon School Superintendent: Education Commissioner misinterprets mask rules and would violate FL Constitution

BY: - September 2, 2021

In a strong rebuff to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Leon School Supt. Rocky Hanna has stated emphatically that the state’s emergency rule on masks has been misinterpreted and would violate the Florida Constitution. Leon, in Florida’s state capital and at the center of a court case on the contentious mask issue, is one of […]

Several school boards buck DeSantis administration and defend their own strict mask policies

BY: - September 1, 2021

Meeting a 5 p.m. deadline by the state, at least four district school boards defended their strict mask policies to the Florida Department of Education, the State Board of Education and Commissioner Richard Corcoran – even if it means losing their salaries. The local boards wrote in a letter to the state that they are […]

More school boards face pay cuts and a 5 p.m. deadline to comply with contentious FL mask policies

BY: - September 1, 2021

As tensions rise over punitive measures by the state, several school boards face a 5 p.m. deadline today to comply with state mask policies that some school boards believe are not appropriate to combat COVID-19 amid a surge in Florida. Already, two school boards, Alachua and Broward, have gotten pay cuts from the State Department […]

An escalating legal war could be on the horizon for school boards and masks mandates in FL schools

BY: - August 31, 2021

The school mask mandate controversy could involve more legal battles, according to school district officials, with Broward and Alachua discussing their legal options after the Florida Department of Education docked pay for the two local boards because they had implemented strict mask mandates. The move by the DeSantis administration and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran — […]

Catholic school

Unencumbered by state expectations on masks, FL private schools have varied approaches to policies

BY: - August 31, 2021

Tina Meadows, the director of a private school called Grace Success Academy in Miami-Dade County, has had her students and staff under a mask mandate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, back in March of 2020. “We follow the CDC guidelines, pretty much,” Meadows told the Phoenix. There are about 60 students enrolled in […]