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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 across Florida to bring you a more comprehensive look at learning.

To see coverage from our prior StateImpact Florida project, visit here.

A bill that would create a new governance board for the state college system and impose a limit on the number of four-year degrees awarded by the colleges advanced in the Senate on Wednesday.

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In 2017, Florida lawmakers passed a law that allows kids to attend any public school in the state, regardless of where they live. 

The state joined 42 other states that have policies allowing students to attend a school outside of their resident district.

Florida’s public community and state colleges could become their own system, and move from under the authority of the state board of education. But with that newfound independence would come strict caps on the number of students that can enroll in bachelor’s degree programs at those schools, and make it harder for community and state colleges to establish such programs.

For the past several years the Florida House and Senate have battled over how to pay for public schools. Now the House is drawing a red line over what it will and won’t do when it comes to deciding how to appropriate those funds.

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The graduation rate for Tampa Bay schools reach above 80 percent for the first time in recent history.

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A report released Wednesday gave a first look at efforts to improve the achievement of minority students in Pinellas County schools.

Florida Gulf Coast University began its spring semester this week, but for some students today, that meant wading through a sea of reporters and officers just to get into their classroom. 

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he won’t raise taxes—either directly or indirectly. Corcoran took aim at the Florida Senate, stating he will also fight any plan that allows an increase in property tax revenue through higher property values to be counted toward public school funding.

First, it was "Bright Futures." Next, it could be "Sunshine."

State Rep. Shevrin Jones, a Broward County Democrat, is pushing to establish a new taxpayer-funded grant that would help low-income Floridians earn certificates and associate's degrees. 

South Florida’s community college presidents are fighting a legislative proposal they argue would especially hurt low-income people and minorities — who make up the majority of their student bodies.

The leaders of Miami Dade College, Broward College and Palm Beach State College — whose schools enroll about half of all community college students in Florida — are teaming up to oppose Senate Bill 540, a chief priority of Republican Senate President Joe Negron.

Florida Lawmakers Look To Make College Even Cheaper

Jan 1, 2018

For Florida residents, attending a state university or college is a bargain.

Using cutting-edge video game technology and animation, the U.S. Army and Homeland Security Department have developed a computer-based simulator that can train everyone from teachers to first responders on how to react to an active shooter scenario.

 

The training center is housed at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and offers numerous role-playing opportunities that can be used to train anyone in the world with a computer.

 

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The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to wade in on the state’s controversial new education law.

The case has now been transferred to the Leon County Circuit Court instead.

The halls of the Leon County courthouse were packed Monday as a grand jury began its investigation into the death of a Florida State University student. The investigation and testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

A House Republican who previously served on the Duval County School Board proposed a constitutional amendment Monday that would place term limits on school board members across the state.

It's no secret that we've had a rough fall and winter with natural disasters. Even as we write this, fires burn in Southern California, adding to the previous wildfires in the northern part of the state that burned over 245,000 acres in October.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastated communities across Florida and Texas, while touching communities in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Louisiana.

Nearly 10,000 students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enrolled in Florida’s public schools since hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean.

Education leaders haven’t yet quantified the financial impact of absorbing them into schools. But it’ll likely take a combination of funding from the state and federal governments to cover the costs.

While visiting a Coconut Grove elementary school late last month, Gov. Rick Scott said the state has reserves that could be used to help.

Saying it's not the role of judges to determine education policy, an appeals court Wednesday rejected a long-running lawsuit that alleged Florida has failed to meet its constitutional duty of providing a high-quality system of public schools.

Cathy Carter

A new law allows any Florida resident to question what's being taught in the state's public schools.

A handful of complaints have been filed in school districts across the state since the law took effect in July. Previously, challenges to curriculum and instructional material could only be made by parents.

Florida Governor Rick Scott highlighted his education budget proposal at Jacksonville’s Englewood Elementary School Wednesday morning.


Marc Haze/WUSF News

As far back as ancient Greece, composers have written music to be performed by children. It's a unique sound that adults can't duplicate.

It seems we hear it more often at the holidays, whether it's singers caroling at the mall or providing heavenly backup for an orchestra or pop singer.

Pinellas County Schools

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego has been named Florida’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year.

Earlier this month, Grego was selected as the Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association. On Wednesday, his fellow Florida school superintendents presented him with the award at a statewide meeting in Tampa.

The leader of Miami-Dade County public schools sharply criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies Tuesday morning during a keynote that sounded like part stump speech, part sermon.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho delivered an impassioned address opening a bipartisan summit on immigration reform at the University of Miami, relating his own “journey” as a Portuguese immigrant who was once in the U.S. illegally.

A proposal prohibiting local school board members from being paid looks unlikely to go before Florida voters. But term limits for those members and making superintendents appointed instead of elected are moving ahead.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Rick Scott stopped at a Tampa elementary school Monday morning, touting what he called a record budget for education. Scott may not get what he wants from lawmakers, but he vowed to push forward, anyway.

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Just three states hold elections for local school superintendents and Florida is one of them. But a proposed constitutional amendment could change things. 

Most superintendents in Florida, 41 of 67, are elected by popular vote.  That stands in contrast to the vast majority in the country where school superintendents are typically selected by members of school boards.

Beginning Monday, members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission will consider whether that position should be one appointed by school boards.

The Constitution Revision Commission is considering a handful of education proposals.

When the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus pulled up at Hialeah Gardens High School, many students didn’t know much about the famous late Beatle.

Some wondered if he was on the bus himself. One insisted to her friend his last name was “Legend.”

But when the educators who drive the bus-turned-recording-studio-on-wheels played the 1971 song “Imagine” and other Beatles tunes, the kids understood the messages. They know what it’s like to yearn for a world without violence.

Local university professors are pushing against the Republican tax overhaul that’s moving through Congress, saying the legislation will irreparably harm graduate education.

Three professors from Florida International University and a peer from the University of Miami visited Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s office earlier this week to share their concerns about the plan.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill to create a statewide board to oversee Florida’s 28 state and community colleges.

The schools are now under the State Board of Education, which also oversees Florida’s pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade system.

The proposal also revives a plan college presidents objected to last year: stricter performance measures for graduation.

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