How state lawmakers could shake up Florida's higher education system
An idea in the legislature fundamentally remakes higher education in the state, with less of an emphasis on serving the masses and more on elevating a few of the very brightest. The idea is to enact more budget cuts to state colleges. Florida isn’t alone in this. Several states have begun siphoning money from state and community colleges to afford increases to universities. Preston Cooper, education data analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, says that instead, states should be looking at where students are going and send money there. In Florida, more than 855,000 students a year take state college courses, making up three out of five higher-education students. [Source: Fort Lauderdale Daily]
» Florida House Democrats vow to oppose GOP education priority
Earlier, from Florida Trend:
» Editorial: Florida's state colleges are better than good enough
» Why does Senate President Joe Negron have it in for the state's community colleges?
When U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Florida in ninth place among the nation’s top public universities, tied with the University of California-Irving and UC-San Diego, UF and its leadership celebrated. Then, the work continued. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]
Proposals to ask voters in November to expand vouchers and school choice were given a predicted green light Friday as a key committee of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission moved forward in what is a top priority of Florida’s Republican leaders. More from the Times/Herald and My Panhandle.
Florida school districts will still have to share locally raised funds for construction and maintenance projects with charter schools as planned after a judge on Tuesday denied districts’ requests to suspend the payments. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A for-profit Florida college chain reached a $600,000 settlement agreement with the Department of Justice on Wednesday over allegations that college employees submitted false federal financial aid claims. More from the Miami Herald and the South Florida Business Journal.
› FIU lags other universities in hiring enough mental health counselors [WLRN]
Florida International University in Miami is lagging behind other public universities in an effort to hire more mental health counselors, according to a recent report. Universities should have one counselor for every 1,000 to 1,500 students enrolled, according to the International Association of Counseling Services.
› USF names new education dean tasked with shaping the college’s future [Tampa Bay Times]
The University of South Florida has named Robert C. Knoeppel its new dean for the College of Education, tasked with crafting a "distinctive vision for the future of the college." Amid declining enrollment in teacher-preparation programs at USF and across the nation, Knoeppel will have his work cut out for him when he joins USF in May.
› Ringling College announces $15 million donation [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The Ringling College of Art and Design announced it received a $15 million donation Monday that will partially go toward capital projects, the school’s Virtual Reality program and the Sarasota Museum of Art.
› UF launches new Center for Regenerative Medicine [UF News]
The University of Florida has launched a Center for Regenerative Medicine to develop lifesaving therapies “to heal the body from within” using stem cells that repair damaged tissue and organs.