Florida needs teachers but a 'significant backlog' leaves applicants waiting months for clearance
Florida classrooms remain short 2,217 teachers according to the Florida Educators Association, the state teacher's union. According to the union, the current shortage is roughly 700 more than at the same time last year. Despite the desperate need for teachers across the state, found thousands of aspiring teachers are stuck in limbo, waiting months for the state to process their applications. Read more from WFTS, WMFE, and the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday endorsed a continued freeze on tuition rates at Florida’s public universities. Keeping the tuition at a stable price has been good for Florida, DeSantis said, and he has no plans to change existing policy. [Source: WUFT]
Florida Prepaid has announced that open enrollment for its 2019 plans will start on Feb. 1 and run through April 30 — a shift from past years when enrollment would begin in October. The Florida Prepaid College Board said the change in dates would allow families to recover from holiday expenses, start the year with a financial plan, and consult with financial experts during tax season. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A Florida Panhandle school district hit hard by Hurricane Michael stands to lose up to $51 million because so many students were displaced by the storm. Bay County school district officials said at a workshop last week that operational losses up to $17 million were expected for the current fiscal year, and operational losses up to $34 million were expected for the next fiscal year. More from the AP and the Panama City News Herald.
Florida has handed out nearly $1 billion in special “performance funding” to its public universities since the fall of 2014. But Florida A&M University, one of the largest and oldest historically black universities in the country, has received less than two percent of that funding – just $17 million. Compare that to the University of Florida, which has received $214 million in state performance funding since 2014. [Source: Florida Phoenix]
› Argosy University, in federal receivership, faces demand from accrediting agency [Tampa Bay Times]
Argosy University, with an enrollment of 450 and an iconic cigar-factory campus off Interstate 275 in Tampa, has been ordered to explain whether it can stay afloat financially or face the loss of its accreditation.
› FAMU trustees want to move swiftly in nailing down plans to begin hemp research [Tallahassee Democrat]
Florida A&M University trustees are eager to finalize the university’s plans to explore the possibilities of hemp production in the state. In June 2017, Gov. Rick Scott signed the Industrial Hemp Pilot Projects bill into law. The legislation gave FAMU and the University of Florida approval to conduct research on cultivating industrial hemp in rural areas of the state.
› FSU’s interior architecture and design program among nation’s best [FSU News]
Florida State University’s Department of Interior Architecture and Design climbed in the national rankings published by DesignIntelligence, which ranks programs based on reviews from professionals in the field, architecture and design deans, program chairs, department heads, students and graduates.
› Florida bill calls for alternatives to climate change, evolution education [WKMG]
A Florida Republican lawmaker's bill would change the way public schools educate K-12 students about climate change and evolution, topics he calls controversial. Sen. Dennis Baxley, who represents Marion and Sumter counties, said Florida Senate Bill 330 would allow school districts more academic freedom of how they teach science topics but Baxley said the measure is not intended as an attack on science.