Businesses need to support school districts as they switch to new, tougher education standards which will help stock American companies with a competitive workforce. That’s what Kelli Wells, who heads education efforts for the GE Foundation, told a Florida business group at an Orlando discussion of Common Core State Standards. More from StateImpact Florida and the Florida Current.
Senate President Don Gaetz (right) and Frank Fuller will work together on education reform efforts during the legislative session. » Story
During the six years that they ran the Okaloosa County school system, Don Gaetz and Frank Fuller engineered a dramatic overhaul of the 30,000-student district. Nearly a decade later in Tallahassee, the two are back together — working on what Gaetz, Florida's new Senate president, calls a “bold but very sensible” agenda of statewide educational reforms. Full story.
» Frank Fuller: Education Point Man
The U.S. Small Business Administration is proposing changes to streamline its loan application process to ease access to borrowers. The idea is to have less paperwork and an expanded access to capital so small business owners can create jobs. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]
Gov. Rick Scott is pitching a proposal to set aside $5 million a year in the state budget to help keep major-league baseball teams from fleeing the Sunshine State to Arizona. Along with dedicating $5 million, Scott also proposes updating the state’s public facilities incentive program to cap at $20 million the amount a club can receive from Florida for upgrades to a publicly-owned facility in exchange for extending an existing lease. More at Florida Today and Central Florida News.
April 3 will mark the 500th anniversary of Señor Ponce's arrival on the shores of what the bearded one named La Florida. For J. MIchael Francis, perhaps our state's most prominent Spanish-Florida historian, it's showtime. During most of his career, he has performed only in the classroom. But now he has been handed the public microphone. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Orlando firms won't follow Yahoo's move to end working from home [Orlando Sentinel]
Yahoo's move to stop allowing employees to work from home has not convinced some Central Florida companies to follow the Internet giant's lead. "We allow everyone to optionally work from home Tuesdays and Thursdays. We've done this for three years and it seems to work great," said Gregg Pollack, CEO and founder of Envy Labs, an Orlando-based Web-app-development company.
› Lake Worth planning murals for economic development [Palm Beach Post]
Murals should be popping up in different parts of the city this summer through a Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency program that uses art as an economic development tool. The CRA’s LULA Lake Worth Arts program plans to commission artists to create two or three additional murals, enough to make a mural tour possible in the fall.
› Guide to the 2013 Florida Strawberry Festival [Tampa Bay Times]
The Florida Strawberry Festival has made a name for itself with its stellar music lineup, but what about the festival itself? Like any county fair, it's pure Americana with a lineup of midway rides and deep-fried wonders and all manner of meat on a stick. But there's also lots of free entertainment to occupy the crowds.
› South Florida still a top spring break destination [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
South Florida's sunny climes, sandy beaches and vast dining and entertainment options continue to be a lure for spring break travelers. This year Fort Lauderdale and Miami rank among the top 10 destinations for spring breakers.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› Winter Park could get minor league baseball stadium [Orlando Sentinel]
Winter Park would become home to a baseball stadium shared by Rollins College and a minor-league team under a proposed deal involving the city, the college, the team and Ravaudage developer Dan Bellows.
› Tampa Bay the new hotbed of craft beer [Tampa Bay Times]
What's orange and quenching, sometimes fruity and sour, and oh-so-Florida? If you guessed orange juice, you haven't been paying attention. It appears beer is Florida's new liquid gold. In the past 18 months, craft beer has exploded in the Tampa Bay area.
› Florida faces gun bill standoff [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
For a gun-friendly state like Florida, there’s a lack of gun-friendly bills that will be considered in this year’s legislative session. Instead, Democrats are trying to control the gun agenda with a slew of bills that mostly try to undo or change what Republicans have done in the past. Other bills would allow local governments the right to ban guns at certain events. Good luck with that.
› Brass Tap expanding to Orlando [Orlando Sentinel]
A Florida craft-beer chain called Brass Tap plans to open its first Orlando bar later this year. The Brass Tap has more than 300 craft beers and wines. It also sells cigars and features live music.