LISTEN LIVE

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.

empty desks with students at desks in background
iStock

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is recommending the state’s K-12 public schools remain closed through May 1.

On March 17, the state’s district and charter schools implemented distance learning for all students through April 15 because of the threat of COVID-19.

Edsby error message
COURTESY: DONNA CLARK

If you're having trouble logging into your child's Edsby account, you're not alone.

As Hillsborough County schools make the switch to remote instruction, teachers and parents are having trouble logging into the county's online learning platform.

Bull statues on USF Tampa campus
Carl Lisciandrello/WUSF Public Media

State officials made the decision to cancel all in-person classes for the remainder of the school term.  

Schools and universities across the Tampa Bay area are now having to gear up for the transition to online instruction.

Gov Ron Desantis at podium during a press conference
Facebook Live

Florida students will not return to classes until after April 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, all remaining testing will be cancelled for the remainder of the school year and there will be no school grades released for the 2019-2020 school year.

empty classroom
iStock

The coronavirus outbreak has led the Florida Department of Education to close all public schools across the state through March 27.

Local public schools are preparing for online learning in case they have to close due to coronavirus.

Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

After it appeared the House and Senate had agreed on spending $500 million to increase teacher salaries, the Senate on Sunday proposed increasing the amount to $600 million.

A bill aimed at making Florida schools safer just passed a full chamber vote in the House. The proposal includes penalties for school officials and adds members to a school safety committee, among other changes.

Holocaust history lessons could be expanded in Florida if a bill heading to the Senate floor becomes law. The measure would require teachers to show current examples of antisemitism as well as historical ones, among other requirements. Magda Bader, a holocaust survivor, came to the Capitol this week to support the proposal.

Sen. Manny Diaz Jr.
News Service of Florida

After starting a school-voucher program last year, Florida lawmakers appear ready to speed up its expansion.

Addison Davis, 43, was previously superintendent of Clay County Schools.
Hillsborough County Schools

Hillsborough County Schools formally approved a contract for its new superintendent Tuesday.

Addison Davis will be paid $310,000 per year. That's $85,000 more than his predecessor, Jeff Eakins.

About one hundred teachers rallied in downtown Orlando today against Governor Ron DeSantis’ plan to solve a statewide teacher shortage by raising teacher salaries.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called 2020 the year of the teacher. 

Florida may soon be adding to its list of scholarship programs. Rep. Shevrin Jones (D- Broward)  is sponsoring a bill that would help low-income students pay any remaining tuition their other scholarships and grants don't cover.

Lori Alhadeff picked up a mallet and banged a small, colorful drum. At one point, she closed her eyes to feel the rhythm of the others in the small circle, who were also improvising with percussion instruments.

Alhadeff, who lost her daughter, Alyssa, two years ago in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, joined in during the music therapy activity at Pine Trails Park in Parkland Friday afternoon. 

NPR has launched the second annual Student Podcast Challenge, which invites students in 5th through 12th grade to submit their own podcast for a chance to have it air on NPR.

Public school teachers advocating for increased pay have found an ally in the Florida business community. 

Members of both the Council of 100 and the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council have grown vocal in their support of increasing teacher salaries. 

CORRECTION: In an interview published today by WUSF, an opponent to proposed changes in Florida education standards incorrectly stated when the changes could be implemented. WUSF did not verify this information with the Florida Department of Education, which is our normal reporting practice.

The Department says there will be no changes to statewide assessments or the school grades calculation in the 2019-2020 school year. The department also provided a link to a website with details of the implementation plan for English-Language arts and math.

Fifth Third Bank said Friday it will resume contributions to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, reversing course after saying it would stop contributing over concerns about vouchers going to schools with anti-LGBTQ policies.

pic of school board meeting
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

The Sarasota County School Board on Tuesday voted to award a $305,000 settlement to an employee who said she was sexually harassed by her boss.

Debate Rages On Florida School Vouchers And LGBT Exclusion

Feb 4, 2020

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday a decision by Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank to pull contributions to a Florida school-voucher program is a “publicity stunt aimed at earning wokeness points with the radical left.”

On Friday's Roundup we discussed the decision by Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank to no longer donate to Florida’s school voucher program after learning some of the state-funded schools have policies that discriminate. We also looked at how this Sunday's Super Bowl in Miami is going green.

State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando is working to change Florida’s private school voucher program ‘Step Up for Students’ because he says it violates state law. Smith says Floridians have a constitutional right not to face discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identification.

Senate's Version Of DeSantis' Teacher Pay Plan Includes Raises For Veteran Instructors

Jan 28, 2020
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

The Florida Senate on Tuesday unveiled an education-budget proposal that includes $500 million for teacher salary increases and no funding for bonus programs, a departure from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ more-ambitious teacher pay plan.

Photo of Hedda Sharapan
Desiree Deli

Hedda Sharapan worked with Fred Rogers for more than 50 years, but one thing in particular stands out. It was a typical day on the set of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and the cameras were rolling when the beloved host started buttoning one his signature sweaters.  

A top administrator for Hillsborough County’s school district has been selected to lead Providence, Rhode Island's troubled public school system.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new education standards on Friday, a year after he vowed to eliminate the “vestiges” of the controversial Common Core standards.

The Hillsborough County School Board has selected Addison Davis to serve as its new Superintendent.

Davis, who currently is the Superintendent of Clay County Public Schools, is the first superintendent hired from outside the Hillsborough County School District’s ranks since 1967.

Two French teachers and their American students sit in a classroom
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

A House education panel on Thursday unveiled an early budget recommendation that includes $462 million for teacher pay raises after conducting a “budget exercise” for the coming fiscal year.

Florida’s average teacher salary is among the lowest in the nation. The Florida Education Association says the state suffers from high turn-over rates and teacher shortages. The teachers union wants to change that and Monday, it brought educators from across the state to the Florida Capitol to demand more funding for education.

Poverty has long been an obstacle to reading. A new program called the Big Plan aims to boost reading scores by giving extra, individual attention to a select group of young readers who are close to reading at their grade level, but not quite there.

Pages