February 24, 2024
Graduation rates are up in Florida. So is student absenteeism.

Florida Trend Education

Graduation rates are up in Florida. So is student absenteeism.

| 1/25/2024

Graduation rates are up in Florida. So is student absenteeism.

Florida set a new record for its non-pandemic high school graduation rate in 2023, at 88%, slightly edging past the level it reached a year earlier and the pre-pandemic rate of 2019. The only time the rates were higher came during the pandemic, when the state suspended graduation testing requirements, which officials said boosted the percentage of seniors receiving their diplomas. At the same time the state celebrated its graduation statistics, it also has lamented a dramatic increase in student absenteeism. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Center Square.

See also:
» Florida has a chronic absenteeism problem. Here's how two districts are trying to fix it

Florida lawmakers move to ban convicted offenders from school sports

Florida lawmakers took a step Friday toward preventing teens convicted of the “worst of the worst” crimes from participating in high school sports. The bill (HB 545) would instruct the Florida High School Athletic Association to write bylaws banning students who have been sentenced as adults for homicide, sexual assault or lewd and lascivious offenses from taking part in its athletic competitions. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida's teacher shortage persists: 4,000 vacancies remain despite progress

While the amount of teacher vacancies is down compared to last year here in Florida and across the United States, we still don’t have enough teachers in the classroom. A nationwide teacher shortage affecting schools everywhere is an issue the National Education Association president Becky Pringle says is very troubling. [Source: WPEC]

They studied, passed the exam but were denied nursing licenses. Is Florida at fault? 

A number of Florida nursing candidates have been burned after attending private, for-profit schools, which, in some cases, can have shaky accreditations and disappear overnight. It’s happening at a time when nurses are in short supply. According to Nurses.org, a clearing house for those in the profession, Florida is in the top five states projected to have the largest shortage of nurses. [Source: Miami Herald]

Parents who send their kids to ‘hybrid’ private schools still won’t get Florida school vouchers

Parents of Florida schoolchildren who attend “hybrid” private schools and don’t get state vouchers say the attempt to fix the law doesn’t work for them. The issue came up in a House committee meeting Tuesday, where lawmakers were tweaking the state’s voucher program that allows families to use public dollars for private education. [Source: Florida Phoenix]


› YMCA, Pinellas County Schools partner on unique $48M project
A unique partnership between the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg and Pinellas County Schools is almost complete. The Speer Family YMCA at 495 62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, was finished and started use in December. The public middle school it has partnered with will be open in the spring and ready for a full school year in the fall, according to Josh Bomstein, president of Creative Contractors of Clearwater, the project's general contractor.

› ‘Agriculture is in everything:’ Why Orange County is expanding agriscience classes
In 2018, Orange County Public Schools committed to bringing agriscience back into schools. Now every public high school in Orange County offers it as an elective. Agriscience is now in 11 middle schools, with an initiative to expand it to every middle school.

› Broward School Board not yet ready to embrace uniforms. First, the community will be surveyed.
A proposal to mandate uniforms in Broward schools isn’t generating much excitement or opposition, so the School Board now wants to hear more from the public before moving forward. The School Board rejected a proposal Tuesday from Board member Daniel Foganholi to start developing a new policy that would mandate all K-12 students wear “unified dress,” such as solid, colored, collared shirts with solid, colored khakis, shorts or skirts.

› UNF is prioritizing first-years and rising sophomores for on-campus housing. What the new changes mean for upperclassmen
The demand for on-campus bed space is extremely high for students at the University of North Florida. The Office of Housing and Residence Life is changing how students will apply for housing for the upcoming Fall 2024 semester by giving underclassmen priority placement. That’s causing concern for the upperclassmen already living on campus. Many are wondering if they’ll even be able to stay in on-campus housing.

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