February 24, 2024
Education key for Florida leaders as they open 2024 legislative session

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Education key for Florida leaders as they open 2024 legislative session

| 1/11/2024

Education key for Florida leaders as they open 2024 legislative session

Florida’s 2024 legislative session opened Tuesday with leadership speeches (along with a handful of committee meetings). Education was a key topic in each official’s remarks. House Speaker Paul Renner celebrated the 2023 expansion of state funded school vouchers, and promised more of the same. For their part, leaders of the House and Senate Democrats called for a shift away from culture wars to solving issues such as increasing funding for public education. More from the Tampa Bay Times and WLRN.

Should school board races be partisan? Florida voters weigh in

Public school boards have been nonpartisan in Florida for more than 20 years. However, a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot could change that. The amendment was approved by the state Senate in April 2023. If passed by voters in this year’s general election, it would require partisan elections for school board members on or after November 2026. It would also apply to the primaries for the 2026 general election. [Source: WLRN]

In Florida, new school laws have an unintended consequence: Bureaucracy

Got a cut and need a Band-Aid? Want to be called Will instead of William? Or get your vision checked? Across Florida, hundreds of thousands of students need permission slips for what was once routine in schools. Educators in the state say recent laws and regulations around parental consent have created an entirely new bureaucracy, filled with forms and nagging phone calls to parents. [Source: New York Times]

Federal judge slams Florida Virtual School in newly released ruling

In a harshly-worded ruling last week, a Florida federal judge slammed the government-run Florida Virtual School (FLVS), calling it a “trademark bully,” rejecting a lawsuit FLVS pursued for years against one of its private competitors, K12 Inc. The ruling was a blistering rebuke of FLVS. The judge asserted that FLVS’s trademark infringement claims were “feeble” and “inherently weak” and that it had brought “no credible evidence” to support its case. [Source: Florida Daily]

New threat assessment plan in place at Florida schools

There's a new model at public and charter schools in Florida for assessing school threats. This plan will try to help solve issues before there's even a threat. It went into place at the start of the new year. This model includes a school-based threat assessment team at every public and charter school in Florida that will include a law enforcement officer, mental health counselor, school administrator and teacher. [Source: WTSP]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› UCF to break ground on new College of Nursing building
The University of Central Florida will break ground on its new Lake Nona home for its College of Nursing this week. UCF on Jan. 12 will break ground on the Dr. Phillips Nursing Pavilion at its Lake Nona Academic Health Sciences Campus. The $68 million, 90,000-square-foot facility will allow UCF to graduate an additional 150 nurses per year than the roughly 260 it averages now by providing the college with more capacity.

› Jacksonville groups rally to end book bans ahead of first Duval school board meeting of 2024
Several Jacksonville groups are rallying outside Duval County Public Schools headquarters Monday, calling for an end to book bans across the state. Members from Public School Defenders Duval, Florida Freedom to Read, Families for Strong Public Schools, Rebel Readers, 904WARD, Equality Florida and Moms Rising are making their voices heard ahead of the Duval school board’s first meeting of 2024.

› Martin County considers year-round school pilot program
Could students in Martin County move to a year-round school schedule? The topic is on the table after Florida lawmakers passed a bill last year to create a pilot program in five districts across the state. Year-round school doesn't mean more days in the classroom. It just means they are spread out differently.

› University of Florida names a new provost
The University of Florida has tapped interim provost J. Scott Angle to serve in the permanent role of its top academic officer. In a news release, UF President Ben Sasse said Angle was picked after five months in the interim role. He succeeds Joseph Glover, who served for 15 years.

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