February 25, 2024
Florida schools prepare for ‘painful' task of changing start times

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Florida schools prepare for ‘painful' task of changing start times

| 1/4/2024

Florida schools prepare for ‘painful’ task of changing start times

Citing the importance of sleep for teens, Florida lawmakers changed the legal time at which public middle and high schools may begin daily classes. They gave school districts until fall 2026 to start high school no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and middle schools no earlier than 8 a.m. So far, just 15 of 67 have made the switch. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

This year's FAFSA form has changed. Here's what students and parents need to know

The Department of Education announced a soft launch of the new financial aid application, aiming to streamline the process for students and families. During this initial phase, the form will be available periodically to ensure the website's smooth operation and the form's functionality. The FAFSA application has received a significant update for the upcoming 2024-25 academic years. [Source: NBC Miami]

Lawmakers will look to curb student absenteeism in Florida schools

Florida lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session could look to address the problem of chronic absenteeism among public-school students. Data collected by the Florida Department of Education showed that 20.9% of students in public schools, including students in adult education courses, missed 21 or more school days during the 2021-2022 academic year. [Source: News Service of Florida]

College pays: Study shows value of degree for Florida’s Black students

There is a robust amount of research that shows college is worth it. However, there is comparatively little research focused on the value of college for Black students. Helios Education Foundation and the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida released a two-part research study that seeks to better understand the advantages to college enrollment for Black students in Florida, how the state can benefit as a result, and the role of Florida’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in educating Black students. [Source: Miami Times]

Florida’s 2nd back-to-school sales tax holiday underway

Is it time for a new notebook? The New Year starts off with the Florida back-to-school sales tax Holiday. Certain items, including clothing, school supplies and electronics are exempt from sales tax starting on Monday, Jan. 1, and ending on Sunday, Jan. 14.  It’s important to note that some supplies must cost under a certain amount, according to the Florida Department of Revenue. More from the Miami Herald, WINK News, and WSVN.


› Central Florida college prepares students for career in robotics
One local college is preparing students for careers in the high-tech world of robotics. On Valencia College’s Osceola Campus, the Advanced Robotics Learning Factory is training students in just 22 weeks to become semiconductor and robotics technicians. The curriculum was designed in collaboration with professionals at BRIDG and Skywater Technology. The program recently received a $4.1 million grant from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.

› Three finalists vie for Pasco County teacher of the year. Who are they?
Armed with balloons and surrounded by supporters, a crew of Pasco County school district officials led by superintendent Kurt Browning visited three schools in the weeks leading to winter break with one goal in mind. They wanted to surprise the district’s finalists for 2024 teacher of the year. The Pasco Education Foundation working with United School Employees of Pasco picked the three from among all school-level honorees.

› Miami Beach planning school speed detectors
An ordinance is to be drafted by the Miami Beach city administration to move forward with installation and operation of speed detection systems in six school zones in the city. The action follows Miami-Dade County legislation last fall that authorized speed detection systems in 206 school zones in the county’s unincorporated areas.

› Florida Tech launches grant program to make private schooling affordable for local talent
There’s a new option for students in Brevard County looking at Florida Tech, a private university. The Brevard Boundless Opportunity Grant program just started a few weeks ago and could make a difference for some students in the county in being able to afford Florida Tech.

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