April 23, 2024
The Class of COVID: This year's seniors fell behind, missed traditions but are moving on

Florida Trend Education

The Class of COVID: This year's seniors fell behind, missed traditions but are moving on

| 5/11/2023

The Class of COVID: This year's seniors fell behind, missed traditions but are moving on

This year's senior class has the unique distinction of spending its entire high school experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. These seniors were freshmen when a two-week shutdown to stop COVID from spreading, in the spring of 2020, stretched into nine weeks. After two additional years of restrictions, learning loss and periods of mandated social isolation, this year's graduates finally have had what most consider a "normal" year of high school. [Source: Florida Today]

DeSantis signs bill restricting teacher, public sector unions

Potentially setting the stage for a legal fight, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that will place additional restrictions on public-employee unions, including preventing dues from being deducted from workers’ paychecks. DeSantis signed the bill (SB 256) during an event with other state leaders in Miami. While the changes would affect a variety of public-employee unions, much of the attention has focused on teachers unions, which heavily backed DeSantis’ opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, in last year’s gubernatorial election. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida rejects, amends many social studies textbooks

The Florida Department of Education announced Tuesday it has rejected 35% of the social studies textbooks submitted by publishers, a year after a messy math book adoption cycle. The social studies books were expected to be more contentious than the math ones, as their topics are potentially more divisive in the current political climate. Florida has banned the teaching of several ideas, including the notion that “equality of treatment under the law is not a sufficient condition to achieve justice.” Critics argue that the state is attempting to whitewash history. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Here are the 34 social studies textbooks that Florida just rejected

2023 high school grads could take on $37K in college debt

As millions of Americans with federal student loan debt hang in the balance, waiting to learn whether some of what they owe will be forgiven, the machine that has churned out this debt for decades is ready to welcome a new class of college students. This year’s high school graduates could take on $37,300 in student loan debt in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, according to NerdWallet analysis of data from the Department of Education. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Where does Florida rank in cost of school-shooting threats to taxpayers?

TDR Technology Solutions works with school districts and municipalities on security technology, tracks school threats and swatting incidents across the country. Florida, according to TDR's data, saw more threat calls, more students impacted and a greater cost to taxpayers than any other state between July 2022 and Wednesday.  [Source: Daytona Beach News Journal]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› UF’s new president, Ben Sasse, has yet to make a big splash on campus
In March, about six weeks after Ben Sasse started as the University of Florida’s 13th president, flyers began popping up around campus asking where he was. “MISSING,” said the headline over his photo. “Have you seen this man?” Those with information were asked, tongue in cheek, to call the president’s office in Tigert Hall. “UF needs a leader,” the message declared.

› University of Miami plans major developments
Several new developments on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus are to open this year and in the upcoming years, all aimed at transforming education, research, and innovation as the university is approaching its centennial anniversary. The Centennial Village at UM, which is to be the campus housing complex hallmark of the Coral Gables campus, began its second phase of construction, replacing the Hecht Residential College, which was demolished last summer. Work to build this village began in January 2019, but was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

› Deadline approaching for high school seniors to apply for federal aid for Florida schools
Time is running out for parents of high school seniors to fill out the free application for federal student aid. The online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is used to apply for federal aid like grants, work-study, and loans and helps streamline the financial aid process. The deadline to fill out the form for Florida schools is Monday, May 15th.

› Second vote seals closing of Tampa’s Just Elementary
Repeating its vote in April, the Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday decided 4-3 to close West Tampa’s Just Elementary School. Board members said they were moved to action by statistics showing that nearly half the classes were being taught by substitutes and few students were proficient in reading and math.

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