Education

Florida’s public education board had its say on a controversial ed bill and the state budget Tuesday.  Public school officials and a state lawmaker presented opposing views on how education policy played out during the legislative session.

Joe Webster flanked by Rita Taylor
Nick Evans

Later this month Tallahassee will host the second annual Black Brains Matter Too summit.  Organizers are emphasizing the relationship of education and health. 

Charter School Lobbyist: Education Bill Could End Up In Court

May 10, 2017
U.S. Department of Education Via Flikr / WFSU News

There are growing demands for Governor Rick Scott to veto both the state budget, and a controversial education companion measure that critics say goes too far.  House Bill 7069 covers everything from charter schools to testing to sunscreen.

Hartsfield Elementary School
Leon County Schools

The passage of a massive education bill has Leon residents concerned that the district could lose one of its schools: Hartsfield Elementary. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Florida’s public school districts will now have to share a portion of their locally-generated maintenance dollars with charter schools. The plan is part of a massive education budget bill.

College of the Mainland Library / https://www.flickr.com/photos/comlibrary/

Florida lawmakers want to make it easier for parents and residents to challenge school textbooks. Depending on who you ask, the bill is a slippery slope towards book burning, or a step towards community control. But with just days left in the Session, lawmakers face a tight deadline to pass the measure. At the time of publishing, the Senate was scheduled to consider the measure, but had not yet taken it up.

educationews.org

There’s only one day left for lawmakers to decide what the state of testing will be in Florida’s public schools. It's now up to the House to decide what to do with testing and recess.

U.S. Department of Education Via Flikr / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers appear to be moving forward with a House priority bill boosting funding to charter schools that set up near chronically failing public schools. The measure, dubbed schools of hope, is a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran but its final form is still being debated.

Florida lawmakers are preparing to wrap several education policy issues into a single deal—what’s often called a “train” bill in legislative parlance. The massive proposal represents an emerging compromise on everything from school testing to recess.

peoriapublicradio.org

Tallahassee's higher education establishment is warily eyeing university and community college plans in the House and Senate. Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community college leaders are looking to opposite legislative chambers for support.

Martha T. / flickr.com

After a rough start, a Florida Senate education panel has managed to move a major testing bill forward. The proposal is a mix of two separate testing bills.

Florida has more than 100 schools that it labels persistently failing. Those schools have earned D’s and F’s for several years in a row. Many of them suffer from high poverty and high teacher turnover. The issues facing parents, teachers, and students in such schools are complex. Now a House panel has unveiled a plan that would change the way the state deals with such situations.

Florida State University

Florida State University is considering whether to open a primary care clinic near Sabal Palm Elementary school. The move would give students in the university’s medical school clinical experience.

Affordable housing programs could be getting nearly $6 million more than they did last year.
Nick Evans

A rift has emerged along a now-familiar fault line in the House and Senate Education spending plans. The chambers are again at odds over how to count what’s known as the required local effort to fund public schools.

Florida’s public colleges and universities could lose about $164 million under budget cut proposals rolled out Monday in the House.

A Senate education panel has temporarily postponed a school testing overhaul bill—putting one of the two major testing proposals in jeopardy.

Three charter school companies expressed interest. Two fit the criteria. Only one submitted an application. This week the Jefferson County School District became Florida’s first charter school district. The move got a round of support from the state board of education Wednesday.

Florida Department of Education

The Florida Department of Education says it’s investigating whether some school districts are inflating their graduation rates.  Leon and Gadsden County Schools use a company called EdMentum, also known as EdOptions. Hamilton, Dixie and Levy County Schools use a company called Smart Horizons. Others use Giant Campus. Such programs are at the center of the state's probe.

The Florida House is promising big cut to higher education funding. And it also has another idea for changes that should be made to the system.  The chamber unveiled its answer to one of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities this week.

Bonnie Brown / Flickr.com

The price tag for Florida’s class size amendment is now at $34 billion. The state has spent that much since the measure was put into the Florida constitution by voters back in 2002. Since that time, its caused headaches for schools and districts which undergo the tricky task of trying to meet the standard. Now  state lawmakers are trying again to grant districts a little more wiggle room when it comes to class sizes.

sunshine.com

For the past several years, Florida’s public colleges and universities have sought to shield high-level position searches from the state’s sunshine law. The measure has repeatedly been swatted down, but its effort is back again.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

The Florida Senate has approved wide-ranging changes to the state’s higher education system. It’s a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron. But that doesn’t mean it’s a priority for the House.

Sen. Bill Montford,D-Tallahassee, is flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, and local school district officials as he unveils a testing overhaul bill (3/8/17).
The Florida Channel

Tallahassee Democrat Bill Montford is out with a plan to revamp the state’s testing system. A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Senate and House flanked Montford Wednesday in the Capitol as he unveiled his plan.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

There’s renewed interest in requiring public school districts to share a portion of their locally generated school maintenance funds with charter schools. It’s an argument that’s been around for years and some lawmakers are worried about what that means for the state’s traditional schools.

peoriapublicradio.org

Florida lawmakers are pushing an education agenda that includes big changes to higher education and k-12 schools. Recess could become mandatory, tuition less expensive and Bright Futures expanded under proposals in the House and Senate.

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