December 2, 2021
Feds threaten action against Florida for fining school districts over masks

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Feds threaten action against Florida for fining school districts over masks

| 10/28/2021

Feds threaten action against Florida for fining school districts over masks

Don't do it or else. That was the notice this week from the U.S. Department of Education telling the state not to cut federal grant dollars dedicated to districts violating Florida's mask mandate ban. The Florida Department of Education says it will continue to uphold state policy banning school mask mandates and the state Board of Education will continue to dock salaries of school districts that violate the law. More from the Tampa Bay Times, the Center Square and WPTV.

State board wants $150 million to push three Florida universities up in national rankings

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees all public universities, is requesting an additional $150 million from the Legislature to fund efforts to improve three Florida universities’ national rankings. The request is part of the board’s $3.57 billion budget request for the next fiscal year submitted to House lawmakers. If approved, the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida would each receive $50 million. [Source: Miami Herald]

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UNF to create and operate the Crowley Center for Transportation and Logistics

With two deep-water ports, three major interstates, three major railroads and an international airport, Jacksonville has become one of the nation’s top logistics hubs. The center, which will be established in UNF’s Coggin College of Business, will support transportation logistics education, research and industry engagement. [Source: Florida Trend]

School lunches in Florida hit by supply chain woes

Pizza, fruit, chicken, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have long been staples on Hillsborough County’s school lunch menus. But they’ve been harder to come by this school year. Across the state, the St. Johns County School District will cease free meal service for all students beginning Dec. 1. The change in policy is in response to nationwide supply shortages affecting lunchrooms across the country, according to the district. More from the Tampa Bay Times and First Coast News

Proposal seeks mentoring for teachers

Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, on Monday filed a bill for the 2022 legislative session that seeks to create a training and mentoring program for teachers. The proposal (SB 618) would pair retired or current classroom teachers who have been evaluated as highly effective with educators who are new to the job, in an effort to increase “effectiveness and involvement” through mentorship. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› USF program for students with intellectual disabilities ready to grow, change more lives
Logan Lavery is living the life she never thought she’d live. She’s a college student at the University of South Florida’s St. Pete campus. She’s living in on-campus housing, making friends and joining campus groups like the dance and puppy lovers clubs. Lavery, an outgoing 19 year old, is an inaugural student of USF’s UMatter program.

› Brevard Federation of Teachers requests $13.5 million in raises, bonuses for next year
The Brevard Federation of Teachers brought its salary proposal to the bargaining table at a virtual session with Brevard Public Schools Monday. Brevard Federation of Teachers President Anthony Colucci said the salary package is designed to increase pay for veteran teachers. It would include an increase of $300 to the district’s longevity supplement, which is currently a $1,200 annual pay supplement provided to teachers with 12 years or more experience.

› Surgeon general's hiring at UF was fast-tracked, emails show
Top brass at the University of Florida College of Medicine fast-tracked the hiring of Dr. Joseph Ladapo, knowing that Gov. Ron DeSantis was eyeing him for the position of state surgeon general, according to emails obtained by the USA TODAY Network-Florida. They also knew they needed to get it done quickly to coincide with the governor's desire to announce Ladapo's appointment the day after his predecessor, Dr. Scott Rivkees, stepped down.

› Manatee voters to decide fate of tax that helps pay teacher salaries
In one week, Manatee County voters will decide whether to extend a property tax, allowed under state law only where the local public approves, for the School District of Manatee County. It is a pivotal vote for the school district, with 70% of the money collected through the tax going to employee pay supplements. The one-mill tax is equivalent to $1 for every $1,000 of a home's taxable value, so the owner of a home with taxable value of $200,000 would pay $200 a year, or roughly $17 per month.

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