June 16, 2021
Florida's education budget is the largest ever. Why do districts fear cuts?

Florida Trend Education

Florida's education budget is the largest ever. Why do districts fear cuts?

| 6/10/2021

Florida’s education budget is the largest ever. Why do districts fear cuts?

When he signed Florida’s 2022 budget last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared the state had never spent more on education. He touted the $22.8 billion funding package as one that would boost teacher pay, mental health services, school safety and more. School district financial planners did not share in the enthusiasm. While the numbers look good on paper, they said, the added money won’t make a significant positive impact on local public schools. In fact, many said they expected to make cuts to keep the books balanced. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive

Full Sail University & Orlando Health collaborate on e-sports health research and care

Two years ago, Full Sail University in Winter Park opened the largest e-sports arena the country — a $6-million, 11,200-sq.-ft. facility known as the Fortress. The venue can seat up to 500 spectators and features 354 LED panels with just under 10 million pixels that display live videogaming competitions. Full Sail recently announced a naming rights deal with Orlando Health that rebrands the competition space as the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress. [Source: Florida Trend]

Column: Florida should reward, not antagonize, its veteran teachers

Over the past 15 months, lawmakers have been appropriately singing educators’ praises in public. But privately, they are dismantling public education and undermining our teachers. For the past decade, policy and funding surrounding public education has slowly deteriorated, causing teacher and staff shortages. Many classes are taught by full-time substitutes — an oxymoron if ever there was. Florida’s funding for public schools continues to rank near the bottom in the nation — 43rd out of the 50 states. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

USF’s College of Education, once on the chopping block, gets a new dean

After a search conducted under heightened public scrutiny, the University of South Florida announced Tuesday that Anthony Rolle, a former professor and department chair at the school, will lead its College of Education. The dean’s position was almost eliminated when the university said last year that it planned to phase out its undergraduate education programs and turn the college into a school. The plan was met with harsh backlash from faculty, students, local school district superintendents and others, prompting the university to preserve some undergraduate programs and keep the college intact. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

FAU gets $10 million donation to boost biotech

Florida Atlantic University’s efforts to turn its Jupiter campus into a biotech hub got a boost Tuesday thanks to a $10 million donation. The gift, from Jupiter philanthropist David J.S. Nicholson, “will welcome an era of unprecedented research, education and discovery” to the northern Palm Beach County campus, FAU said in a release. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida Poly again spurns national trends with new application surge
Defying national trends in higher education, Florida Polytechnic University is enjoying a significant increase in the number of students applying to and committing to attend the University. Applications at Florida Poly are up 17% over fall 2020 and new student deposits for fall 2021 have increased by a hefty 48%.

› Schools expand summer academics. Just don’t call it summer school
After spending much of the school year at home, thousands of South Florida students will be spending much of their summer at school. Summer school, once limited to high school students who needed to make up failed credits, is experiencing a massive expansion into all grades this year due to the academic losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many school officials are avoiding using the name “summer school”, saying the name has a stigma.

› ‘We survived it.’ How these Miami students coped with getting through the pandemic
Last fall, Glenda Moton greeted her ninth graders with a prompt on the white board: Hopes and Fears. She had her own concerns about coming back to school to teach during a global pandemic. But she wanted to hear from her freshmen braving a new world at North Miami Senior High. On Monday, during the last week of a wildly unprecedented school year, 32 students in Moton’s Honors English and Pre-International Baccalaureate classes got to see their names in print in their own paperback copy of “Hopes and Fears: Learning Academically in a COVID-19 Environment.”

› Bradenton charter school names CEO, board members
Visible Men Academy (VMA) recently announced the permanent appointment of interim CEO and co-founder Louis Parker, as well as the addition of seven new members to the board of directors. The Bradenton K-5 charter school was founded in 2012 to provide boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment, according to a press release.

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