November 29, 2021
Florida university leaders urge students to get vaccinated

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Florida university leaders urge students to get vaccinated

| 7/29/2021

Florida university leaders urge students to get vaccinated

The presidents of Florida’s 12 state universities are asking students returning to campus for the fall semester to get vaccinated against COVID-19. An open letter to students published Tuesday by the university system’s Board of Governors “strongly” recommended students get vaccinated before coming back to school. The letter was signed by the leaders of each state university. More from the  News Service of Florida and the Tampa Bay Times.

The feds earmarked $15 billion for Florida schools to help kids in the pandemic, but it’s largely an unused stockpile

On May 18, 2020 the U.S. Department of Education under the Trump administration released $770 million dollars to Florida schools to address the impacts of COVID-19. More than a year later, and now under President Joe Biden’s administration, the amount has spiked to some $15 billion — a largely unused stockpile of federal relief funds designated to pull Florida schools out of the COVID pandemic and mitigate its effects for this school year as well as the next few school years, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

Pandemic-induced lotto-buying frenzy expected to taper off, economists predict

The pandemic induced nothing short of a lottery buying frenzy, leading to record-breaking funding for Florida’s education system. But economists are expecting sales of tickets to trail off in the coming months. State economists met for a Revenue Estimating conference Tuesday to update revenue projections from Florida Lottery ticket sales. [Source: Florida Politics]

Calls grow for universal masking in Florida schools

Florida reported more than 73,000 COVID-19 infections last week. It’s the highest since January and that has some Floridians renewing calls for universal masking when students return to school in the fall. The pressure is building on school districts, which are trying to balance safety and personal choice. Teachers, community members and activists urged elected officials to follow the universal masking recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics. More from WJXT and the Orlando Sentinel.

Need a break on back-to-school shopping? What to know about a tax holiday starting soon

Florida is poised to enter its second fall semester of school under the cloud of a pandemic. And while there is renewed discussion and some confusion as to exactly how classrooms may look and function in terms of masking, social distancing and other precautions as COVID-19 once again surges in the state, there is one thing we know solid: The familiar back-to-school tax free week is happening again this year — pandemic or not. [Source: Miami Herald]


› UCF researchers develop new nanomaterial to derive clean fuel from the sea
Hydrogen fuel derived from the sea could be an abundant and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, but the potential power source has been limited by technical challenges, including how to practically harvest it. Researchers at the University of Central Florida have designed for the first time a nanoscale material that can efficiently split seawater into oxygen and a clean energy fuel — hydrogen. The process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is known as electrolysis and effectively doing it has been a challenge until now.

› Florida Tech to host in-person commencement for first time since start of COVID-19 pandemic
Florida Institute of Technology will return to in-person commencement ceremonies for its summer term. Many colleges, universities and schools — including Brevard Public Schools and Eastern Florida State College — held in-person commencement ceremonies this spring, but Florida Tech opted not to.

› UF welcomes first Ph.D. plant breeding program, first in Florida
After almost seven years of discussions and proposals, UF will welcome its first class of Ph.D. plant breeding students Fall 2020. The new program is one of six in the country and the only one in Florida. Led by newly established plant breeding graduate program director Patricio Muñoz, the program will bring students hands-on experience in the fields and labs ensuring crops resists diseases, fruits taste good and plants emit a pleasant aroma.

› Pinellas school district inks law enforcement agreement amid community concerns
After months of review, the Pinellas County School Board on Tuesday approved a new working agreement with 13 law enforcement agencies that operate inside the schools. Originally set for adoption in February, the document came under fire from community groups, including the local NAACP chapter, for being devised without community input. Some civic leaders contended the proposal would lead to overpolicing of students in a district where Black children have been arrested at disproportionate rates.

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