The Florida Board of Education’s new budget request promotes Governor Rick Scott’s pledge for record funding of K-12 public schools. If it’s approved by the legislature this Spring, the $17.5 billion request would one for the record books.
Scott has made education funding a priority for the past two years, a reversal from his first year in office when the legislature approved a $1.3 billion cut to public schools. The money has been steadily increasing since then. Now Scott is campaigning on even more money for education.
Florida’s public universities will risk more money this year in an effort to convince Florida lawmakers to give them additional funds. The state university system governing board wants the legislature to increase the public university budget by more than $200 million, half of which would be awarded based on individual schools’ performance.
Florida’s public universities say they need an increase in financial aid to support a growing number of students who are being locked out of the state’s Bright Future’s scholarship program.
Florida officials have increased academic performance requirements for the award in recent years, a move that has largely impacted minority students. Dean Colson, who sits on the board overseeing Florida’s public universities, says he got a letter from Florida International University saying 60 percent of incoming freshman didn’t receive scholarships but would have last year.
The Florida Board of Governors is weighing how national rankings should impact the state’s public universities. When it comes to evaluating schools, the board agrees metrics should matter, but how much?
Florida’s state university system governing board wants the public universities to climb in the national rankings. But which one? Several groups rank schools. U.S. News and World Report is the most popular, but there’s also Newsweek, and Kiplinger. The Princeton Review. And none of the outlets ranks the schools the same way. s
Florida State University’s Faculty Senate is officially opposing Republican State Senator John Thrasher’s bid to be the school’s new president.
The Faculty Senate represents FSU’s nearly 2,000 teachers. Wednesday, in a 2-to-1 vote, it approved a resolution urging the university’s presidential search committee and board of trustees not to recommend Thrasher for the job. Throughout the search process, faculty and students have said Thrasher lacks the academic qualifications listed in the job description.