Florida lawmakers continue to look for ‘alternative pathways’ to high school graduation
Florida lawmakers and school leaders make a big deal about the state's rising graduation rates, citing the importance of earning a diploma to finding success in college and career. Yet despite the climbing percentages, many students cannot pass the state's required tests in reading or math. Some turn to alternate exams, some to adult education. Some walk away. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Chief legislative economist Amy Baker tells lawmakers "required local effort" is one of the most critical financial decisions they will make this year Baker suggested that the Legislature's decision on how to generate state and local dollars for K-12 education will represent perhaps the key action on balancing spending. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A sharply divided Florida Supreme Court is rejecting a lawsuit claiming the state isn't living up to its constitutional requirement to provide a "high quality" education for all. The 4-3 decision essentially renders meaningless a 1998 constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters that sought to strengthen guarantees for K-12 education. More from the AP and the Orlando Sentinel.
State lawmakers on Wednesday began their probe of the University of Central Florida’s improper use of operating funds to construct a major campus building. The consequences of the legislative investigation will have an impact on UCF, the state’s largest public university, but it could also raise questions and change spending policies for all 12 state universities. More from WJXT and WFTV.
Twenty employees at the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee got pink slips on Thursday, though they’ll remain on the job through the end of the month. All of the employees worked in the Office of Student Financial Assistance, which serves as a guarantor for the Federal Family Education Loan Program. More from the Tallahassee Democrat and WTXL.
› SF students shut out due to shutdown [Gainesville Sun]
A handful of incoming Santa Fe College students have been unable to enroll at the start of the spring semester because of being unable to obtain tax documents for financial aid due to the federal government shutdown.
› UWF to showcase cybersecurity program on Capitol Hill [UWF News]
. The critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals and educators will be a primary topic of discussion at the showcase. Some estimates predict the shortfall nationally will surpass 250,000 by 2020.
› Bill to eliminate 'gun free zones' on campus to be considered again this session [WJCT]
In the coming session, Florida’s Legislature will consider a bill aiming to eliminate “gun-free zones” on college campuses. For state lawmakers, the issue has come up before.
› FSU GAP awards help faculty commercialize inventions [FSU News]
Three teams led by Florida State University faculty members have received funding from the university to propel their pioneering research from the lab to the marketplace. The researchers have been awarded a combined pot of $110,000 following their successful pitches at the university’s biannual GAP competition.