January 25, 2022
Florida unveils online tool to weigh universities based on pay, student debt

Florida Trend Education

Florida unveils online tool to weigh universities based on pay, student debt

| 1/20/2022

Florida unveils online tool to weigh universities based on pay, student debt

The Florida Board of Governors launched an online tool this month aimed at helping students decide on a major at one of the state’s 12 public universities. The tool, MyFloridaFuture, was mandated during last year’s legislative session by House Bill 1261, which also protected universities from liability lawsuits related to COVID-19, offered in-state tuition for the grandchildren of Floridians and “buy-one-get-one-free” tuition on some STEM courses. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Omicron has only made Florida’s statewide teacher shortage worse. So how are schools coping?

Hundreds of teachers are calling out sick every day in districts across Florida as the highly infectious Omicron variant continues to spread. These absences only compound a teacher shortage that’s been decades in the making spurred on by low pay, according to teacher advocates. In 2019, one year before the pandemic, Florida had more than 5,000 open teaching positions. [Source: WMFE]

Commentary: Florida education scandal reveals conflicts, money-grubbing for tax dollars

Over the holidays, a scandal emerged at the highest levels of Florida’s education system — one state leaders now want to bury. Two top officials, including a former chairman of the State Board of Education, tried to score a $1.8 million contract off the very division they were helping run — a blatant conflict of interest. Both resigned. And the governor’s office now suggests that should be the end of the story, allowing the conflicted parties to slink away after being caught. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Study: ICUF schools create 100,900 jobs, have $15.7 billion economic impact

A new economic impact study released this week that Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida institutions create 100,900 jobs and contribute $15.7 billion to the state’s economy. The study, conducted by The Regional Economic Consulting Group, also found that ICUF schools generate $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenues. [Source: Floriad Politics]

From a former airfield to an educational powerhouse — FIU’s first 50 years

In 2022, Florida International University will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Miami’s only state university began with 5,667 students when it opened in 1972 at the old Tamiami Airport off Southwest Eighth Street, a commuter school for juniors, seniors and graduate students only, with no dorms, no sports teams and no sororities or frats. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› University of Miami sets application record
The University of Miami has broken its record for number of first-year applicants, soaring 16% from 2021 at 42,000 to 49,000 for the fall of 2022, university officials say. Programs to guide students’ decisions on majors and careers, they say, have been growing along with the mushrooming of fall applications. “We are launching a new career mentor program,” said John Haller, vice president of enrollment management.

› Lawmakers want to ensure there’s lead-free water at Florida public schools
Florida’s constitution binds schools to promise a “safe” and “high-quality” education to those under their care. You might assume that promise would include that the water schools provide to young students is lead-free. However, most schools are unable to make that promise. Under current state law, lead testing at public schools is optional and most school districts — advocates say — don’t test.

› FSU helps launch early childhood education certification program
Florida State University and the Florida Association for Education of Young Children (FLAEYC) launched a professional certification program which will help teachers develop skills to educate students and support their emotional needs. The program is open to many, with a wide range of participants. This includes high school and college students who hope to earn early childhood degrees, those currently working in early education fields and anyone who works in “a position of influence” in education that provides “technical assistance” to both educators and families.

› Principal fired in Holocaust controversy goes to Florida Supreme Court
A Palm Beach County school principal whose comments about the Holocaust spurred a high-profile controversy is challenging his firing at the Florida Supreme Court. An attorney for William Latson filed a brief Monday asking the Supreme Court to take up a dispute about the Palm Beach County School Board’s decision to fire him. The filing came after the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the firing in November.

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