February 23, 2024
DeSantis signs 3 bills bringing major change to Florida universities

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DeSantis signs 3 bills bringing major change to Florida universities

| 5/18/2023

DeSantis signs 3 bills bringing major change to Florida universities

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed three bills that will bring major changes to Florida’s colleges and universities, staging the moment at a school that has come to be the centerpiece of his campaign to remold higher education. The measures, which also apply to state colleges, would restrict classroom topics, affect who gets hired and erode tenure protections. More from the Tampa Bay Times, the News Service of Florida, and WUSF.

At a Florida high school, business is the focus. Can it work?

Chamberlain High was losing strong students to magnet and private schools. More than a third empty, it had not seen better than a C grade from the state since 2012. So when principal Jake Russell was offered a new business curriculum, courtesy of the venerable Junior Achievement organization, he thought, why not? Three years later he presides over events like Market Day, where students line the gym with tables hawking shoeshine kits, retro candies and costume jewelry. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

A closer look at Florida’s rejected social studies textbooks

When Florida education officials announced Tuesday they had rejected more than 30 social studies textbooks for next school year, they also revealed they had worked with publishers to edit at least 47 others. Gone from one book were passages about Black Lives Matter and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In another, the state removed a prompt asking students to discuss people who knelt in protest during the national anthem. More from the Tampa Bay Times and WPTV.

Florida schools underuse federal law on reporting sex abuse

While Florida ranks 12th in the nation for its K-12 student population size, it is fourth from the bottom in use of Title IX, the federal law that protects students from sex discrimination. Experts call the discrepancy alarming, and say it indicates Florida’s public schools and legislators are failing their students and parents by not giving them the tools to keep children safe. The results are prompting questions from leaders. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

New College students spurn changes by holding their own graduation

In one final act of defiance, New College of Florida students plan to hold their own graduation ceremony Thursday, eschewing an official commencement that organizers said felt disrespectful to the college community. The Commencement On Our Terms event caps off a tumultuous five months for the Sarasota liberal arts school that began in January when Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed six new trustees with a mission to overhaul the school’s culture. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida’s largest school district seeks more funding amid sharp rise in immigrant students
Since August, about 19,000 students have enrolled in public schools throughout the county, according to the district. Miami-Dade County Public Schools recently surpassed Chicago Public Schools as the third largest in the nation. Schools are already dealing with a deficit of teachers, and they have reached the financial cap for students of English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, which is estimated at the beginning of every school year.

› At a Tampa Bay high school, business is the focus. Can it work?
Chamberlain High was losing strong students to magnet and private schools. More than a third empty, it had not seen better than a C grade from the state since 2012. So when principal Jake Russell was offered a new business curriculum, courtesy of the venerable Junior Achievement organization, he thought, why not?

› New FGCU President's contract eyed
As Florida Gulf Coast University prepares to usher in a new era with President-elect Aysegul Timur, one member of the state university system’s Board of Governors suggested Wednesday that Timur get a “shorter contract” when she steps into the role. After a more than year-long search for a successor to retiring President Mike Martin, the FGCU Board of Trustees last week voted 7-6 to tap Timur for the job.

› USF football on-campus stadium finally has a budget and debt estimate
The USF proposed on-campus football stadium finally has an initial price tag: $340 million. That’s according to the agenda of a board of trustees finance committee meeting set for Tuesday. USF will seek approval to take on $200 million in debt over 20 years, with an expected taxable fixed interest rate of 5.5%. The debt will be secured by liens on revenue streams like ticket sales, concessions, parking, merchandise, advertising and non-gameday uses for the stadium.

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