Florida Dems introduce new “common sense” gun-control measures, but will they pass?
A year after the Republican-led Legislature reduced access to guns following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, Florida Democrats have unveiled an assortment of bills and proposals to further reduce gun violence. They’ve already introduced more than half-a-dozen measures in advance of the 2019 spring legislative session. And at a press conference at the Capitol on […]
“Bad Actor List” proposed for fly-by-night FL charter schools
Gov. Ron DeSantis has been in the spotlight over proposed education reforms such as revamping teacher bonuses and eliminating Florida’s Common Core academic standards, but he’s also pushing for other initiatives. One of them is called a “Bad Actor List” to ban what DeSantis has called “fly-by-night” charter schools. There’s not a lot of details […]
Getting rid of Common Core: Huge undertaking to help kids or political move for adults?
This is one of those grade-school math problems about fractions: Isabel lives 3/4 mile from school. Janet lives 2/3 mile from school. How much farther, in miles, does Isabel live from school than Janet? Is there anything wrong or worrisome about this 5th-grade-level math question? For parents, kids, teachers, state education officials, politicians and the […]
DeSantis reforms for teacher bonuses will face obstacles
Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing to revamp a multi-million-dollar bonus program for Florida’s best classroom teachers, but it may not be easy. The proposals will pit the governor against the Legislature on configuring the best way to recruit, retain and reward teachers. And educators will be looking for more than just a bonus or “scholarship” […]
Lawmakers are trying to limit how long local school board members can serve
How long should an elected official serve on a school board in Florida? That’s been an ongoing debate that won’t end soon. Last fall, the Florida Supreme Court knocked an education-related state Constitutional Amendment off the ballot, eliminating several proposals, including term limits for school board members. But the term limit issue is back –in […]
Gov. DeSantis moves to get rid of waitlist for scholarships for kids with disabilities, allowing more students to attend private schools with public dollars
With nearly 2,000 families on a waiting list to get scholarships for children with disabilities, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday announced that he’ll put more funds in the state’s Gardiner Scholarship program to cover the waiting list for next school year. DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis made the announcement at the North Florida School […]
Should Florida level the playing field for university performance funding?
Florida has handed out nearly $1 billion in special “performance funding” to its public universities since the fall of 2014. But Florida A&M University, one of the largest and oldest historically black universities in the country, has received less than two percent of that funding – just $17 million. Compare that to the University of […]
A new nonprofit will advance a “school choice” education agenda for FL – but it will face opposition
A new nonprofit called the “School Choice Movement” will push a broad education agenda to expand scholarship programs for kids to attend private schools with public dollars, among other key initiatives proposed for the upcoming legislative session. The organization’s efforts will likely be opposed by traditional schools and teacher unions, but will be bolstered by […]
Good news for families: More money for Bright Futures scholarships to pay for college
State lawmakers have bumped state funding for the merit-based Bright Futures scholarships to $545 million this academic year, up from $520 million approved last spring. The funding comes from proceeds from the Florida Lottery. The $25 million in extra funds will cover the nearly 6 percent unexpected increase in students qualifying for the scholarships. The […]
Are impressive graduation rates in FL for real? State calculations eliminate thousands of kids, boosting results
North Florida’s Suwannee County School District posted an almost perfect record for kids earning diplomas last school year — a 96.2-percent graduation rate showing students met coursework, testing and other requirements. But the impressive graduation rate in Suwannee and other Florida districts also is the result of a math equation that parents, educators and politicians […]
The elected vs. appointed debate: Is it time to go back to electing FL’s Education Commissioner?
Years ago, state officials from Betty Castor and Frank Brogan to Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist had something in common: They went on the campaign trail and got elected by voters to oversee Florida’s massive education system. But the elected Commissioner of Education post has been gone since 2003 because of Constitutional changes and it’s […]
“Broken culture,” improper spending, embarrassment, at University of Central FL
The University of Central Florida is under fire after an investigative report revealed tens of millions in improper spending for construction projects, the News Service of Florida reports. UCF President Dale Whittaker acknowledged a “broken culture” at the Orlando-based university, and has said he’ll terminate four members of the school’s finance and administration division. At […]