The State Board of Education is considering a plan to simplify Florida's school grading system. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has proposed a plan to remove items that automatically cause a school's grade to drop. The plan also eliminates SAT scores and certain graduation rates from the complex formula used to evaluate high schools. More from the AP and ABC Action News. See the proposed plan here.
The drought-parched states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida are back at it -- fighting for a slice of water rights in a decades-long water war that’s left all three thirsty for more. The 24-year dispute is emblematic of an increasingly common economic problem facing cities and states across the country – the demand for water quickly outpacing the supply as spikes in population soak up resources. [Source: FOX News]
Early weather reports predict mostly clear skies and balmy temperatures this week in Boca Raton, Fla. But for some of the food companies attending an annual consumer-industry conference in the Florida resort city, the good times will be overshadowed by a recent run of gloomy news. [Source: Wall Street Journal]
For $1 million, would you leave Florida and move to another state? Georgia is betting that you will to take advantage of its Invest Georgia Exemption, an intrastate equity crowd-funding law that permits entrepreneurs to raise up to $1 million in capital to start and grow a small business. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
For many older Americans who lost jobs during the recession, the quest for health care has been one obstacle after another. They're unwanted by employers, rejected by insurers, struggling to cover rising medical costs and praying to reach Medicare age before a health crisis. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Flagler company lands statewide contract [Daytona Beach News Journal]
The newly rebranded CareerSource Florida, formerly known as Workforce Florida, has hired Flagler County-based Coastal Cloud to provide technology services to its Expanding Business Engagement initiative.
› Florida lobbying haul for 2013? $226 million [Orlando Sentinel]
An Orlando Sentinel analysis of the 2013 lobbyist compensation data filed last week indicates Florida’s lobbyists were paid roughly $132.3 million to ply the Legislature, up from $123 million in 2012. They also reported being compensated to the tune of $93.8 million to lobby Gov. Rick Scott’s office and executive branch agencies, also up from $88.5 million last year.
› Three Questions For Florida Senate President Don Gaetz [StateImpact Florida]
Senate President Don Gaetz sat down with StateImpact Floridato talk about some of the biggest education issues for lawmakers this spring, including what kind of test will replace the FCAT.
› Lee County sets record year for sports tourism [Naples Daily News]
Lee County hosted more than 100 amateur sports events in 2013; amateur baseball accounted for 85,000 of those room nights, Lee officials said, adding that nearly 137,000 people came to Lee to attend them.
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› Univision announces bump in revenues, new digital products [Miami Herald]
Univision, the New York-based communications company with a large Miami presence, reported gains in fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 revenues. The private media firm also announced a new digital-production unit with a location in Miami-Dade County.
› Private School Scholarships Could Come With New State Testing Requirement [StateImpact Florida]
The debate over whether to require students using one of the state’s private school scholarship programs take state standardized tests is flaring up again.
› Volunteer work with Pérez Art Museum Miami has changed lawyer's life [Miami Herald]
Cultural institutions usually name buildings, wings and spaces for donors who contribute substantive amounts of money. When the Pérez Art Museum Miami opened, it named one space, its Café Lounge, for a volunteer.
› Momentum grows to raise bar for bay area business start-ups [Tampa Bay Times]
Can regional momentum raise the bar for entrepreneurs? Sure feels that way given the uptick in plans to stimulate start-ups. "I think it's because the economy is better and people are more optimistic and excited about technology," says Heather Kenyon, CEO of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum.