Education

Education
7:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Florida Education Board Approves $17.5B Funding Request Amid Testing Worries

Florida's Board of Education

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 4:46 pm

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.

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Education
9:38 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Why The ACLU Is Challenging Single-Gender Classes In Florida Schools

The ACLU is worried single-gender classes might reinforce stereotypes of the 1950s.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints against school districts in Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough and Volusia counties over the use of all-girls or all-boys classes. The ACLU wants the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the programs.

StateImpact Florida’s Gina Jordan spoke with Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, about the complaints.

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Education
6:39 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Florida State Picks Thrasher as President, Despite Opposition

State Sen. John Thrasher is a former state House speaker and chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign
Credit Associated Press

Florida State University is hiring powerful state Sen. John Thrasher as its next president despite significant opposition from people on campus who contended he isn’t qualified for the post.

The FSU board voted 11-2 Tuesday to hire Thrasher over three academics, pushing aside objections from FSU faculty who cited his lack of education credentials. Thrasher, a former state House speaker and chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign, also drew criticism after he sidestepped questions during a campus forum about climate change and evolution.

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StateImpact Florida
11:27 am
Mon September 22, 2014

How Broward College Is Reducing Student Debt

The debt management seminar taught by Kent Dunston is part of the school's efforts to reduce student loan debt.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

To get a student loan at Broward College, you’ve got to sit through a two-hour financial lesson with Kent Dunston first.

At times, it’s a little like “Scared Straight!” – that 1978 documentary about setting juvenile delinquents on the right path -- but for your credit score.

Dunston’s first piece of advice – figure out how much money you’re going to need.

“You’re not going to borrow more than that amount of money,” he told the students. “You’ll be offered more. You don’t need it.”

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Education
12:12 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Census: Floridians Better Educated in 2013

Floridians became a little better educated last year, were middle-of-the-pack in having access to the Internet and had the nation's highest concentration of retail workers.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new figures Thursday that capture the lives of Floridians last year and how they changed from 2012.

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Education
10:05 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

State Universities Want $45 Million To Offset Bright Futures Changes

State university officials are asking for $45 million in needs-based aid to help make up for cuts to Bright Futures.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:32 pm

State university leaders want to add $45 million in needs-based financial aid to help make up for changes to the Bright Futures scholarship program. Those new, higher qualifications will eliminate more than $250 million a year in college aid by 2018.

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Education
6:07 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Lawmaker Says Financial Aid Could Depend On Classes, Not Just Test Scores

Senate Education Chairman John Legg said lawmakers may discuss ways to make state financial aid depend more on classes and less on test scores.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:14 pm

A key Senate lawmaker may put less emphasis on test scores to determine which students qualify for state financial aid for college -- possibly including Bright Futures.

Instead, scholarships  and grants would depend more on taking tougher classes in high school.

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Education
2:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

New Bright Futures Rules Changing College Plans For Florida Students

Jake Seiler had to put his plans to attend the University of South Florida on hold for a year to earn an associate's degree at Palm Beach State College because he didn't qualify for Bright Futures. His dad, Paul, calls changes to Bright Futures an "injustice."
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Most new Palm Beach College Students were going through orientation earlier this month, but Jake Seiler was wrapping up his first three courses.

Despite earning the highest SAT scores of his two siblings — 1100, on six attempts — Seiler didn’t score high enough this year to earn the Bright Futures Florida Medallion scholarship his older sister got last year.

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Education
2:45 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Through Our Eyes: Showcasing St. Petersburg Student Journalists

Surreal Mural
Credit Brandon Sweat, 11th grade, Lakewood

For 10 years, student journalists in St. Petersburg have had the opportunity to present their work at a  Studio@620 exhibit, thanks to a partnership with Journeys in Journalism and the Tampa Bay Times.

Students journalists from Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High schools get to showcase their photographs, writing and multimedia.

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11:29 am
Thu September 11, 2014

‘Bumper Crop of Litigation’ Threatens School Choice in Florida

Lead in text: 
The latest of three lawsuits threatening school choice in the Sunshine State was filed Aug. 28. If it is successful, 67,000 children from low-income families will be forced out of the schools they chose and back into the traditional public schools they had opted out of for so many years.
By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org Students with special needs or from low-income families in Florida are seeing school options threatened by "a bumper crop of litigation," says Joshua Dunn, associate director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Education
10:23 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Donna Shalala Will Step Down As University of Miami President

Donna Shalala is stepping down as president of the University of Miami next year.

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:14 pm

University of Miami president Donna Shalala says she’s stepping down next year from the job she’s held since 2001.



Shalala came to the university after leading the federal health agency for eight years and serving as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 She helped build the national stature of the school's medical school and hospital and increased research budgets.

Frank Nero, former head of the Beacon Council, says even big businessmen were impressed by Shalala

.

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Education
10:39 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

First Latina Elected to Lead the Country’s Largest Union

Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Lily Eskelsen Garcia is the first Latina elected to lead the country’s largest union – the National Education Association.

Thursday was her fourth day on the job and she spent it in Miami-Dade County.

A 6 a.m. airplane tour of the Keys. Visits to two schools. A headliner role stumping for the Democratic candidate in the nation’s most-watched governor’s race.

All in a day’s work for Eskelsen Garcia, who says she will be an outspoken union leader.

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Education
8:38 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Florida Prepaid Lowers Prices, Issues Refunds For 40,000 Families

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 5:07 pm

About 40,000 Families that purchased prepaid college and university savings plans with the state of Florida could see the costs of those plans drop.

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Education
9:50 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida's Teacher Union Says Scholarship Program Is Unconstitutional

The Florida Education Association is challenging the state's private school tax credit scholarship program in court.

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:14 pm

When Florida first approved its private school tax credit scholarship program in 2001, Florida Education Association attorney Ron Meyer said education groups questioned the legality, but no one really objected to helping low-income students get out of low-performing schools.

But then the scholarship program started to grow. Lawmakers approved a law that automatically expanded the program each year. Then earlier this year lawmakers raised the income cap. Now, a family of four earning $62,000 can receive a partial scholarship.

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Education
9:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Florida Ready To Challenge Federal Testing Rules For Students Learning English

Gov. Rick Scott says he's giving the U.S. Department of Education 30 days to change their mind about testing requirements for students learning English or the state could head to court.
Credit John O'Connor / Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott is ready to take the federal government to court over testing rules for students learning English.

The U.S. Department of Education says Florida must count those students’ results after one year in school. Scott and Florida educators want to give students two years to learn English.

Scott said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart will send a letter asking the U.S. Department of Education to reconsider testing rules for students learning English. If they don’t change their mind in 30 days, Scott said the state could go to court.

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