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Florida Releases Plan To Reopen Schools

Jun 11, 2020
man stands at podium with flag and interpreter behind him
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials on Thursday released a plan to reopen public schools at full capacity in August, saying that vulnerable kids and Floridians need the return to in-person instruction.

“While there may be challenges regionally, Florida’s workforce and students with the greatest needs are counting on schools to fight to stay open,” the Florida Department of Education stated in the 143-page plan issued Thursday.

WFSU

Gov. Ron DeSantis is on the fence about shutting school campuses statewide for the rest of the academic year, but he said on Thursday some students may return to school sooner than others.

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.

Here Are 10 Big Issues From The 2020 Florida Legislative Session

Mar 21, 2020
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida lawmakers finished the 2020 legislative session Thursday by passing a $93.2 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

empty classroom
iStock

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

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.

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly 87% of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year, an increase of close to 1% over the previous school year.

Hillsborough County, the state’s third largest school district saw a slight graduation rate increase of 0.4%. The region’s largest bump was in Pinellas County which climbed by 2.5% to a total graduation rate of more than 88%.

How Many Teachers Are Carrying Guns In Florida? State Keeping It Under Wraps

Dec 11, 2019
Gun and bullets
ST. LOUIS CIRCUIT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Republican lawmakers who pushed to allow teachers to carry guns in schools say they do not need to know how many Florida teachers are armed and participating in the so-called guardian program.

Florida education czar Richard Corcoran bristles at being called a disrupter.

The Title I school serves an economically disadvantaged student population and was in its first year of a turnaround process, the state's system of school improvement.
Cathy Carter WUSF

When the state released school grades recently, 20 in Manatee County received an A, and for one school in Palmetto, that score signified a jump of three full grades.

Students at Ridgecrest Elementary School in Largo show off their drone flying skills to Governor DeSantis.
Carrie Pinakard / WUSF Public Media

By Carl Lisciandrello

The number of schools receiving an A grade increased by 63%, while the number of those receiving a grade of F dropped to just 15, according to number released by the Florida Department of Education on Thursday.

The state is taking public input on new testing standards for Florida K-12 schools, as the Florida Department of Education works to overhaul Common Core following Gov.  Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order. Common Core is a set of academic standards in math and English that students are required to master.

The  Manatee County School Board is scheduled on Tuesday to consider a long term contract for the district’s embattled interim school superintendent.

Florida is facing a teacher shortage that stakeholders say is a growing problem. State Department of Education data for this school year shows nearly 3,300 teacher vacancies across the state.

Wikipedia Commons

Florida's newly hired education commissioner is getting paid nearly $300,000.

Wikimedia Commons

The federal government is reimbursing Florida schools that took in thousands of Puerto Rican children displaced by Hurricane Maria.

Florida remains the only state that hasn't received approval of a federally mandated education plan.

Now, civil rights groups are weighing in on the delay.

The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states latitude in creating systems for measuring student success, but they still have to be accepted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Florida's ESSA plan was initially rejected for failing to address several provisions including testing for English language learners.

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The Florida Department of Education has released test scores for the state's third grade reading exam and the Florida Standards Assessment results are a mixed bag for Tampa Bay area school districts.

Florida College Students Can Now Use Bright Futures For Summer Term

May 4, 2018

For the first time in 17 years, top-performing students will be able to use their Bright Futures scholarships to attend summer classes at state universities and colleges.

Wikimedia Commons

An elementary school in Brooksville is removing all of its teachers at the end of the school year. 

In a letter sent to parents on Monday, Lori Romano, the superintendent of the Hernando County School District said Moton Elementary School needs a fresh start.

Educators from across Florida are aiming to make schools safer in the wake of last week’s Parkland shooting. The Florida Department of Education hosted a roundtable Thursday to prevent future school massacres.

Wiki Commons

In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into federal law. ESSA passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. It's a long-term plan that succeeds the No Child Left Behind Act.

Wikimedia Commons

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

State Seeks Dismissal of Challenge To Education Law

Nov 24, 2017

The Florida Department of Education this week asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a controversial law that is expected to boost charter schools.

A group of teachers and Florida's teacher union are going to court to stop the state's "Best and Brightest" teacher bonus program.

Judge Sides With State On Charter School Standards

Jul 24, 2017
Florida’s retail industry is gearing up for this year’s back-to-school sales tax “holiday” on clothes, classroom supplies and computer equipment, with the state offering the tax break for five days .
Wikimedia 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.

Florida Releases School Grades For 2016

Jul 8, 2016
Florida’s retail industry is gearing up for this year’s back-to-school sales tax “holiday” on clothes, classroom supplies and computer equipment, with the state offering the tax break for five days .
Wikimedia Commons

Florida has released its annual report card for the state’s public schools.

The number of F-rated schools in the state dropped but there were also fewer A-rated schools.

AP Photo

The Florida Department of Education says that the math tests taken by nearly 550,000 students won't count this school year.

The department sent out a memo this week to school districts telling them the results from end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II will not be available until September.

State officials told districts to calculate final grades without the test grades. The tests are supposed to count for 30 percent of the grade.

Did you hear that?

It's the sound of hundreds of thousands of public school students in Florida breathing sighs of relief.

The state's largest school district, Miami-Dade County, just cut the number of district-created, end-of-course exams it will require from roughly 300 to 10. And even those 10 will be field-tested only, on just a sampling of students.

Governor Rick Scott has issued an executive order suspending at least one of the state-mandated exams students have to take, and that’s just the start of Florida’s efforts to dial back its testing requirements amid public discontent.

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