December 2, 2023
Contract talks progress amid teacher shortage across Florida

Florida Trend Education

Contract talks progress amid teacher shortage across Florida

| 10/5/2023

Contract talks progress amid teacher shortage across Florida

When speaking about the shortage of applicants for positions, teachers across Florida have pointed to the state’s level of pay compared to other states. With average salaries near the bottom, according to various sources, attracting educators to work here can be a task — particularly when paired with high costs to live here and the politics that can demoralize even the most dedicated professionals. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

‘It’s been a crazy ride’: Voucher payments for private schools late, incomplete amid expansion, new online system

As the number of families using private school vouchers has exploded in Florida, ”Step Up For Students,” the nonprofit tasked with distributing the money, has been struggling to get it into the hands of families and schools this fall. It’s left teachers unpaid and administrators and parents panicked. Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz has acknowledged that the greater demand for vouchers this year placed added pressure on the system. [Source: News 4 Jax]

New College of Florida's business plan is “not financially viable” according to a UF business school professor

A business plan outlining sweeping changes at New College of Florida is “not financially viable” in its current state, a University of Florida business-school faculty member said in an analysis that critiqued New College’s “strategic vision.” The plan details efforts to increase New College’s enrollment from roughly 800 students to 1,200 in the next five years, overhaul curriculum over the next three years and make improvements to the Sarasota campus. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Federal student loan payments resume: Here's what you need to know

Federal student loan payments are back on after a three-year pause and some borrowers are worried about making those payments. Teja Yendapaloy, a University of Miami graduate student, is one of them. “The first year of undergraduate was 70K a year or so on loans,” he said. When asked if he is ready to start making those payments,” Yendapaloy said. “I got to start making them at some point, but no, I'm not ready to be honest. It’s kind of like we're all, we all just have our head just above water.” [Source: NBC Miami]

Book bans are growing across Florida. So, a church and bookstore teamed up in protest

Iris Mogul yearned for a space in South Florida where she could indulge in discussions about the written word with like-minded people. That’s when the 16-year-old came up with a bright idea: start a group that meets at once a month at Books & Books in Coral Gables. The books they dissect in the meetings, however, have been banned. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Miami Dade College AI program rolls skyrocketing
The Miami Dade College School of Engineering and Technology’s three college-level artificial intelligence (AI) programs’ enrollment numbers have skyrocketed since their initial fall term launch. Around 300 students are currently taking AI courses, said Antonio Delgado, MDC’s vice president of innovation and technology partnerships. College credit certificates, associate and bachelor’s AI degrees are now being offered at the college, which are the first of their kind in the state.

› UF to spend $9M in state funding on launching of 19 new initiatives UF to spend $9M in state funding on launching of 19 new initiatives
The University of Florida has announced 19 new projects set to receive strategic funding from the state Legislature. This year, UF received $130 million in new funding from the Florida Legislature. For the first time, over half of this funding will be used for strategic purposes, UF announced Tuesday.

› Some Palm Beach County teachers get second jobs to pay bills. Now they're in for a 7% raise
Palm Beach County school teachers are in for welcome news this year: They're likely to get double the raise they did last year. A new contract between the School District of Palm Beach County and the Classroom Teachers Association, the union that represents educators, includes a raise of 7% for teachers. The proposal will be up for a vote by the school board on Wednesday.

› Florida Polytechnic plans third academic building on Lakeland campus
Only a year after opening the second academic building on campus, Florida Polytechnic University has announced plans for a third. The school revealed details Monday for a 40,000-square-foot facility, the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building, with construction scheduled to begin next spring. The building will sit just south of the Barnett Applied Research Center, which opened last fall.

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