December 4, 2023
Florida voters back public school taxes as they send conservatives to school boards

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Florida voters back public school taxes as they send conservatives to school boards

| 11/10/2022

Florida voters back public school taxes as they send conservatives to school boards

For months, Floridians heard about the importance of school board races. The outcomes could determine the direction of education policy for years to come. On Tuesday, the voters weighed in. In several tax referendums, they showed they back the public schools. And in voting for board members, they signaled support for a more conservative education agenda. More from the  Tampa Bay Times and Florida Today.

Schools are closing across Florida ahead of Nicole

Schools and universities across Florida are closing their doors as Nicole closes in on the state. A partial list of closures is available here from the Florida Department of Education. It includes dozens of K-12 school districts, from Miami-Dade County in the south to as far north as Clay County, just south of Jacksonville. Some of the districts were closed as early as Wednesday, while others have canceled classes for the rest of the week. More from the  New York Times and the Miami Herald.

Florida recognizes Holocaust Education Week

At the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Education recognizes Holocaust Education Week, observed in recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht — widely acknowledged as an event that led to the Holocaust. Holocaust Education Week is an opportunity for students to learn the history of the Holocaust and antisemitism, as well as the consequences that followed. [Source: Florida Trend]

FSU receives most 2022 Florida TaxWatch Awards of any state university

Florida State University employees representing teams, centers, offices and departments throughout the university this year claimed 15 Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards, the most by any institution in the State University System. The Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards recognize and reward state employees and workgroups who find ways to improve services, increase efficiencies and save Florida taxpayers millions of dollars each year. [Source: FSU News]

University of Tampa announces major Morsani family gift for honors college

The University of Tampa on Monday announced a donation from local philanthropists Frank and Carol Morsani, calling it one of the largest gifts in school history. The funds will be used to benefit the honors college, the school said. A spokesperson said the private university’s policy is to not disclose gift amounts. The donation will support the Morsani Honors College, to be housed in a new building, as well as a scholarship fund for honors students and the Morsani Excellence Fund for honors programming and activities, a news release said. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Sasse faces ‘huge hill to climb’ as University of Florida president
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse said he embraced and respected all people and pledged to divorce himself from partisan politics as UF’s 13th president. But following weeks of high emotions over his selection for that job as UF’s 13th president, many are waiting to see exactly how he’ll address the deep rifts created by his candidacy.

› Brevard County school uses urban farm to teach lessons in science, math, history
Verdi EcoSchool, a not-for-profit, urban farm school, focuses on place-based learning. Yes, students, ranging from elementary age to teenagers, receive instruction in reading, math and history, Ayana said, but 60% of the school day takes place outside. Learning comes by doing: planting, cultivating, harvesting. Students study water samples from the Indian River Lagoon. Science lessons are detailed on a whiteboard in an open-air classroom.

› 'We're just trying to support our families': St. Johns County teachers hold protest over low pay
The yard right in front of the St. Augustine Fort was full of teachers, retired teachers and their spouses Sunday - protesting that they want to see more pay. They're hoping it will catch the district's attention. "It's a creative job, and when you're able to work with the kids and feel like you're making a difference and feel like these are people who are going to make a difference in the future, then that's really a privilege to be able to work with them," said Protesting Teacher Danielle Babineau.

› St. Petersburg school building to become teacher and staff housing
In its past life almost a century ago, the historic Tomlinson building off downtown St. Petersburg’s Mirror Lake was known as St. Petersburg Junior High. The building became a vocational high school in the 1930s and, until its closure in December due to low enrollment, an adult education center that taught thousands of Pinellas County’s grownups. Now, school district officials hope the three-story building on 1.7 acres will be the district’s first project to provide affordable apartments to teachers and school staff.

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