Florida teachers call for increase in education spending with statewide walk-in
Teachers, parents and community members marched outside schools across Florida on Wednesday in a push to increase education funding in the state. The "walk-in" was organized by the Florida Education Association, which said public schools have been facing a funding crisis. Currently, Florida ranks 42nd in per-student spending and 46th in teacher pay. More from WKMG, Bay News 9, WMNF, the Saint Augustine Record, and the Northwest Florida Daily News.
» Brevard teachers hold walk-in to bring attention to 'funding crisis' in Florida schools
» Collier, Lee educators join statewide 'walk-in' for more state funding
» Orange teachers join 'walk in' for Florida public schools
Under President John Kelly, who arrived at Florida Atlantic University in 2014, the university’s in-house high school in Boca Raton has grown from about 100 students to more than 500 and racked up honors while building ground-breaking programs. [Source: Florida Trend]
The bar for entry-level positions is moving higher as marijuana companies grow so fast it is no longer practical to train workers new to the industry. Growers and dispensaries increasingly want employees with academic training. The result: More colleges are starting to offer, for lack of a better term, a degree in growing marijuana. [Source: Herald Business Journal]
After Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle in October, a state college in the epicenter of the storm has seen its student enrollment numbers drop. A new proposal would allow state colleges with a service region in the Hurricane Michael-impacted area to waive out-of-state fees for a period of three years for the purpose of recruiting and retaining students More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Orlando Sentinel.
A campaign about free speech on Florida college campuses — a hot-button issue across the nation — is being backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and public university presidents, who signed a resolution vowing to welcome all types of debate unless they promote “true threats or defamation.” At the request of the governor, all 12 university presidents signed the resolution late last week. It says institutions will not “stifle the dissemination of any idea,” even when individuals find that speech to be “abhorrent.” [Source: Gainesville Sun]
› University of South Florida ranked lowest in state for safe college campuses, study finds [Bradenton Herald]
A study ranked the University of South Florida as the most unsafe campus in the state and near the bottom of the list in the country as well. Alarms.org ranked the Safest Colleges in America, with the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus landing at No. 382 overall. The Tampa campus ranking was also the worst of the 14 Florida colleges included in the study.
› Florida Virtual School faces leadership crisis after resignation, investigations, unexpected death [Orlando Sentinel]
Well-known Orlando attorney Frank Kruppenbacher’s ties to former Gov. Rick Scott helped him amass authority at the state-run Florida Virtual School until a clash with its new leader led to his abrupt departure last summer, touching off a crisis at the school considered a national pioneer in online education. Six members of its board of trustees have resigned in the past six months, including two last week, and a former executive has called on the state to investigate the administrative turmoil.
» See also: DeSantis: Restore accountability to Florida Virtual School
› Education is key priority for Florida Influencers in 2019 [Miami Herald]
With Florida lawmakers debating the arming of school staff and the sharing of teacher raises to charter school employees, education issues in the Sunshine State stood out as the forefront topic for the 50 respondents to the Miami Herald’s first 2019 Influencers survey.
› Manatee County educators focus on absenteeism [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
A table surrounded by teachers from Manatee County’s Samoset Elementary School rattled off a list of reasons kids miss school: Rain, long commutes, dirty uniforms. Around the room at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, tables of Title I school administrators and teachers nodded in agreement as they spoke about the frustrating hurdles that so often kept kids from school.