May 17, 2022
Florida teachers among worst paid in US even with budget surplus

Florida Trend Education

Florida teachers among worst paid in US even with budget surplus

| 4/27/2022

Florida teachers among worst paid in US even with budget surplus

In a Florida political season dominated by education headlines and arguments over everything from policy to sexual orientation and curriculum, Florida’s teacher’s union, the Florida Education Association, says state teachers are still near the bottom of the barrel for salaries. It comes as the governor and state lawmakers continue to promise higher salaries. [Source: WFLA]

Why some college students dropped out during the pandemic, and how others struggled through

Nationally, college enrollment is at a historic low with one million less students enrolled today then before the pandemic. Moreover, there has been a 5.1% drop in enrollment in the last two years since the pandemic as of fall 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. With Florida having among some of the least expensive universities in the nation, enrollment has steadied. And yet Florida college students are not absolved from the effects of COVID-19. [Source: WUFT]

Why did Florida pick just one publisher for math elementary textbooks? A closer look at the controversy.

When the state of Florida rejected all but one publisher of elementary math textbooks this month, many people wanted to know why. The state Department of Education is rejecting “publishers’ attempts to indoctrinate students” with topics such as “critical race theory” and social-emotional learning, it said. The only winning company for K-5 math, Accelerate Learning, had been rejected by some school districts in the state because it didn’t offer a print version. Since then, the Florida Democratic Party, as well as some community members, have questioned what, if any, political influence was wielded. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Prepaid offers new incentives for college savings

The Florida Prepaid College Board is urging families to lock in the future cost of college with a Florida 529 Prepaid Plan. The program is the largest and the longest-running prepaid college program in the nation, and for the first time ever it is offering families an incentive for enrollment. Families that enroll in a Prepaid Plan prior to April 30, 2022, will earn a bonus that can be used toward additional college expenses. [Source: WUSF]

Florida mental health advocates worried after education officials cut CDC student well-being survey

Mental health advocates are calling it a "dangerous precedent" after they say the Florida Department of Education quietly dropped out of a CDC survey for high school students that included questions of mental and physical well-being. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) has been led by the CDC for 31 years in Florida public schools. According to its website, the survey monitors six categories of health-related behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults. [Source: WESH]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› University of Miami vast development program speeds up
Changes to the physical plant of the University of Miami that are projected as multimillion-dollar developments continue after a pandemic hiatuses. After the university announced plans to build Centennial Village, a freshmen on-campus housing project on the Hecht Residential College site, in January 2019, work to demolish the property on site is to begin in May.

› UNF narrows search for new president to 4 candidates
The University of North Florida Board of Trustees announced recently that four finalists are being considered to lead the institution. Dr. Pamela S. Chally was named the interim president last year to replace former president David Szymanski who transitioned to lead UNF MedNexus, a collaborative effort he created to expand educational programs and enhance medical research created last year with $6 million in funding from the Florida Legislature.

› FAMU Provost Maurice Edington elected to serve as SUS CAVP chair
Florida A&M University (FAMU) Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maurice Edington, Ph.D., has been elected chair of the State University System (SUS) Council of Academic Vice Presidents (CAVP). As CAVP chairman, Edington will take the lead in working with Chancellor’s and Vice Chancellor’s Offices in coordinating joint initiatives among the provosts from all 12 campuses, will give updates to the Board of Governors (BOG) on initiatives and take the lead in addressing any strategic priorities or directives from the BOG.

› Under new Florida law, activist requests 62 school districts to ban the Bible
School districts across the state are reviewing dozens of books, like "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison and "50 Shades of Grey" by E.L. James, at the request of parents who question whether these books are harmful for students. But Leon County Schools has only received one official complaint so far, and it's about banning the Bible. "Let's be honest — banning books is never a good idea, but what's fair is fair, and with that in mind, please find attached my request to ban the Bible," said Chaz Stevens in an email to Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

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Education Video Pick

The Weekly: Central Florida's affordable housing crisis
The Weekly: Central Florida's affordable housing crisis

Florida is now considered to be the least affordable place to live in the entire country, with home prices and rent soaring in the last year. Ryan von Weller with Wendover Housing Partners, an Altamonte Springs-based real estate company that focuses on affordable housing, joined News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to discuss whether the crisis has already reached a tipping point.

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