Education

We're dedicated to telling you stories about policy and public spending, and how they affect students in Florida schools. Our WUSF News reporters team up with our public media partners in South Florida to bring you a more comprehensive look at learning.

Our longtime education coverage also includes work as part of StateImpact Florida. You can see prior coverage from that project here.

Marion County Schools

Elementary school students in Marion County won't have any homework to do this school year.

Instead, the newly elected superintendent of the central Florida school district is asking families to read with their kids for at least 20 minutes a night.

With a student population just under 900, New College of Florida in Sarasota has plans to grow to 1,200 students by 2020, and now they have the money to do it. This summer the school started phase one of its growth plan with $5.4 million on funding- another $45 million is expected to be spent on new buildings, forty more professors, and expanding enrollment.

Pixabay.com

The School Boards in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties have voted to authorize legal action to challenge a controversial new education bill.

Tampa Bay area school districts are still deciding whether to join them.

The School Board of Miami-Dade County voted on Wednesday to authorize legal action to challenge the controversial House Bill 7069, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in June. 

"The word that comes to mind is courage," said Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall during discussion. "We've got to have the courage to do what is right."

Some school districts are chafing under a provision meant to adjust funding based on cost of living.  They’re applauding an effort to study the system, but from different perspectives.

On the same spring day Chinese President Xi Jinping dined with President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate, six miles to the south a dozen fifth graders were also sitting down to dine.

Not for lunch. For art class.

At South Grade Elementary in Lake Worth, art teacher Rebecca Hinson is introducing her students to the next art form they’ll be studying: the art of table manners.

“We know that dogs eat, cows eat, pigs eat … but people dine,” said Hinson.

With computers returned to the discount list, Florida retailers are readying for back-to-school shoppers this weekend during the state's sales-tax “holiday.”

The holiday, which will run Friday through Sunday, is a large part of a tax-cut package (HB 7109) that lawmakers passed this spring. The package is projected to provide $91.6 million in tax breaks during the budget year that started July 1.

For many young girls its hard navigating middle and high school. There’s cafeteria politics coupled with changing relationships among friends and family. It’s also a time for body changes, and  one group of young women say with all they have going on, the last thing they want to deal with is a dress code.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida's school districts are figuring out how to respond to a new state law that covers quite a lot, and may have a major impact.

On Tuesday, in what the Sarasota Herald-Tribune calls a "sharply-divided unanimous vote," Sarasota County's School Board voted not join a possible lawsuit.

One part of Florida’s complex public school funding program is drawing fire from two Republican state senators.  They’re calling for a study of what’s known as the district cost differential.

Judge Sides With State On Charter School Standards

Jul 24, 2017
Wiki Commons

Rejecting arguments of charter schools, an administrative law judge Friday upheld a plan that would make charter schools ineligible for state construction and facilities money if they have “D” performance grades in two consecutive years.

Education advocates ran into a buzz saw of tough questions Tuesday in their fight to revive an adequacy lawsuit based on a 1998 constitutional amendment.   Appellants cited test scores, but a three-judge panel with the First District Court of Appeal appeared skeptical.

Citizens for Strong Schools attorney Jodi Siegel argued Florida’s public schools can’t possibly be meeting the “high-quality” and “uniform” standard voters demanded when testing shows thousands of poor and minority students are lagging behind.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a dozen or so kindergartners gather for a pop quiz, next to a coop holding an injured bird.

Next to home mortgages, student loans are America’s second highest amount of debt. Florida U.S Senator Bill Nelson wants to reduce that figure. Jocelyn Beever reports.

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Two recent college graduates have decided to sue the state for skipping out on school payments.

In the middle of the school year, Hayden Dallip was at home in Miami Gardens when he got a call from his seventh-grade daughter. “She was crying—she said, 'Daddy, hurry up and come to the school.' " The phone call home came after a fight with another student. “I said, 'what’s going on, what’s going on?' She said, ‘Please come to the school because they suspended me,” Dallip recounted.

Pixabay.com

The Florida Department of Education has released school grades for the 2016-17 school year.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a law guaranteeing religious expression in schools.

The House version of the bill was sponsored by Rep. Kim Daniels, D-Jacksonville, who's also a pastor. When she presented it to the House in April, she said it clarifies what’s already legal.


Scott Signs Health Care, Renewable Energy Bills

Jun 19, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott late Friday signed 13 bills, including a 59-page health care bill that is linked to the new state budget.

A group of students at Miami Norland Senior High in Miami Gardens spent part of their freshman year writing about their lives in poems and short stories.

The loss of a parent, struggling with low self-esteem, racism and homelessness are among the central themes in the narratives they penned about themselves.

Now sophomores, some of their works are collected in a new self-published book, “iRead, iThink, iWrite.”

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