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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.

The state Senate is considering a $200 million program passed by the House that would speed up the process for closing underperforming public schools and funding charter schools in their place.

The average age when people are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is falling. 

But a climate of growing acceptance doesn't necessarily translate to the current generation of teens wanting to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at school. To some, it's a place that still feels unsafe.

When I was 4 years old, my parents faced a decision. My birthday is in late November, so should they send me to kindergarten as the youngest kid in my class? Or, wait another year to enroll me? — A practice referred to as academic redshirting.

Since I was already the oldest sibling, they decided it was time for me to experience something different. So, they sent me to school.

The Florida House has approved a plan to give bonuses to teachers and principals.  But critics take issue with handing out money based on test scores that are sometimes decades old.

The Florida House will vote this week to establish what members call “schools of hope.” Democratic lawmakers say Republicans want to spend more than a billion dollars over several years on charter schools while starving public schools of funding. But Republican lawmakers and charter advocates argue public schools are failing to educate students.

It’s spring break and for some kids that means going to the beach or visiting family, but for 40 children and teenagers from South Florida it means delivering an important message to President Donald Trump.

The trip to the White House started outside the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez Monday with a protest against the mayor’s compliance with President Trump's immigration policies.

How important is it to have a role model?

A new working paper puts some numbers to that question.

Having just one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade reduced low-income black boys' probability of dropping out of high school by 39 percent, the study found.

And by high school, African-American students, both boys and girls, who had one African-American teacher had much stronger expectations of going to college. Keep in mind, this effect was observed seven to ten years after the experience of having just one black teacher.

Legislators and community college presidents are pleading with leaders in the Florida House and Senate to spare community colleges from budget cuts. The House and Senate have very different budget proposals. But college presidents said they don’t like either one.

A group of top economists and innovators met in Palm Beach Monday to sound an alarm: radical change is coming to the American workforce.

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.

Pembroke Pines sixth grader Ethan Greenberg traveled to Tallahassee last month to testify before the education committee of the Florida Senate about a bill he thinks can help him land his dream job. “I love Nintendo,” he said. “I want to become a game programmer for Nintendo.” 

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.

Subcommittee Approves Bill For Coding Classes

Mar 28, 2017

The Florida House is considering allowing students to take a computer coding course to fulfill credit requirement in lieu of a foreign language. The Bill was amended before voted on.

The Florida House is pushing for $164 million in budget cuts in its initial higher-education budgets.

Under a plan outlined by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday, universities would see a $110 million cut, while state colleges would face $61 million in reductions. Small increases in other higher-education programs, including workforce education and private colleges, lowers the proposed net reduction to $164 million.

Courtesy Carlos Childs

The first thing you notice at Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg are all the signs. An oversized poster reads "No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses" in big block letters. A wooden plaque is inscribed in flowering cursive with the phrase, "Always Be Kind." The affirmations are just a part of an effort to transform the school's culture in the wake of a newspaper investigation on failing majority black schools in Pinellas County.

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.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is down.

If those words don't send a shiver up your spine, it means you're not a high school senior or college student rushing to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The FAFSA is the form — famously complicated and difficult to finish — that stands between many low-income students and the federal, state and institutional aid they need to pay for college.

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.

Colleges Balk At Budget Cuts

Mar 14, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — State college presidents on Friday expressed dismay that the 28-school system is being targeted for three-quarters of the cuts in the Florida Senate's initial plan to trim $131 million in higher-education spending.

“It is of great concern that the first thing out of the chute is a 74 percent reduction impacting the Florida college system and it is directed at programs that support our most at-risk student populations,” said Ed Meadows, president of Pensacola State College and the chairman of the Council of Presidents, which represents all the state colleges.

Legislation extending the Best and Brightest scholarship program for teachers and principals is on the move in the Florida House. The measure allows more educators to qualify as highly effective.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

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.

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.

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.

Higher Education Package Headed To Senate Vote

Mar 7, 2017

The Florida Senate is poised to approve a major higher-education package that would expand the use of Bright Futures scholarships and tighten graduation standards for universities and state colleges.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted to combine the major elements of Senate President Joe Negron's higher-education initiative into one bill (SB 2), which also creates funding pools that will allow state universities to hire and retain top-level faculty and reward outstanding graduate programs.

 

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon in Miami, and a couple dozen teenage soccer players are on the field behind Edison high school, in Little Haiti, trying to run a scrimmage in the mud.

Courtesy Melinda Hohman

A state appeals court has overturned a ruling concerning school testing in Florida.

The judgment is a major setback for the “Opt-Out” movement.

Florida schools should teach their students how to save, invest, and otherwise understand personal finances. That’s according to members of the Florida Financial Literacy summit. Now lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it a graduation requirement. Mark Anderson is with the Florida council on economic education.

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