April 13, 2024
Florida lawmakers continue debate over school red tape, education spending and more

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Florida lawmakers continue debate over school red tape, education spending and more

| 2/29/2024

Florida lawmakers continue debate over school red tape, education spending and more

It’s do or die time for several education-related proposals as Florida lawmakers enter the final days of their 2024 legislative session. This week has seen several bills advance, while others appear to have stalled out. In the key area of budgeting, House and Senate negotiators reached consensus on how much to fund PreK-12 education, but had some more specific details unresolved. More from Florida Politics and the Tampa Bay Times.

Survey finds majority of Floridians support public education

In a survey of more than a 1,000 Florida residents, the Southern Poverty Law Center found Floridians overwhelmingly support public education. Four out of five of Floridians surveyed said they support public education in Florida and think it’s a right. But Jonathan Weber, the Florida policy director for the Southern Poverty Law Center said the most striking statistic is this one: that 92% of Florida parents say educational experts alone should be charged with writing curriculum. [Source: WMFE]

Florida Virtual School to appeal judge’s ruling they were a ‘trademark bully’

Florida’s public online school spent more than $2 million pursuing a trademark infringement case it lost in federal court last month but now plans to appeal to defend the school’s quarter century of “educational services and reputation in Florida.” The Florida Virtual School — financed with $300 million in taxpayer money — has used four outside law firms on its case against Stride, a Virginia-based online education company that was called K12 when the virtual school sued it in 2020. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Parents divided on proposal to allow Florida high school students to get NIL money

Under a new proposal, Florida High School students could be getting paid to play sports. The proposal from Florida High School Athletic Association would allow students to monetize their name, image and likeness. It’s a topic that not all parents see eye-to-eye on. [Source: WFLA]

Florida students, superintendent debated cell phones. Here’s how it went.

Word spread quickly last November after a television report aired saying Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning planned to ban student cell phones starting in August 2024. Browning worked afterward to clarify that he simply wanted phones off and out of sight unless teachers give permission. But even that possible change disgruntled teens across the school district, who this year faced new rules saying they could use their phones only during passing periods and lunch time. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Which Broward schools may be at risk of closing? Enrollment numbers may provide answers
Last year, the Broward School Board tasked its superintendent with a tough mission: Close or repurpose at least five schools in the 2025-26 school year. “If you ask superintendents around the country, it’s something they never want to do. It’s incredibly challenging,” Broward Public Schools Superintendent Peter Licata told the Herald in early February about the work. Closing schools is complicated, he said, because families get emotionally attached after multiple members attend the same ones over time.

› New College of Florida is sanctioned by national faculty group
A national faculty union has voted to sanction New College of Florida, saying the Sarasota school’s leaders have imposed “an aggressively ideological agenda” since taking over more than a year ago. The American Association of University Professors, which has placed 12 other universities on its sanctions list since 1995, pointed to its investigation last year in justifying the addition of New College.

› FSU College of Nursing tops national rankings in federal research funding
Florida State University’s College of Nursing is topping the rankings for federal funding for nursing programs in the latest data from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to the NIH funding data, the college earned the top spot nationally among public schools of nursing in combined funding from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other agencies.

› This UM professor is building a next gen eVTOL, and NASA wants to bring it to Mars
The electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft revolution is coming, and South Florida is shaping up to be one of the first places we’ll see these in action. University of Miami professor Ge-Cheng Zha is one step ahead of even the most tech-forward of eVTOL builders.

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Florida school board member wants to formalize teacher exit interviews
Florida school board member wants to formalize teacher exit interviews

During a Sarasota County school board meeting Tuesday evening, member Tom Edwards asked for the district to begin conducting exit interviews with teachers who leave the district. Edwards said he was inspired after seeing a WFTS investigation last week which obtained hundreds of teacher exit surveys from other districts revealing the “brutal” truth behind why so many Florida teachers keep leaving.

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