Israeli, Florida universities agree to work together
Gov. DeSantis spent Memorial Day fostering academic and business relationships between Florida and Israel. In particular, he signed memorandums of understanding with Space Florida and several state universities, including Miami Dade College, the University of North Florida and Florida Atlantic University. John Kelly, president of FAU, said a collaboration with Haifa University, would provide for student exchanges and would allow for more research into aquaculture, or aqua farming. See the announcement from Gov. DeSantis and read more from WJCT, WCTV, and Florida Politics.
Florida’s new school voucher program, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law earlier this month, could mean another lawsuit for the state at the forefront of the national school-choice movement. Florida’s teachers union is considering a legal challenge, likely in partnership with other education advocacy groups upset more public money could soon go to private, often religious, schools that are unaccountable to the state government funding them, said Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
In a proactive effort to diversify Florida's commodity crops and advance the state's economy, Green Point Research (GPR) established a collaborative relationship with University of Florida'sInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to support an industrial Hemp Pilot Project. GPR signed a material transfer agreement for the industrial hemp project with UF/IFAS on March 12th. Two weeks later, GPR has initially donated 200,000 seeds and 100 living plants, with more to come, which will eventually total more than $250,000 to the University. [Source: Florida Trend]
For would-be teachers and other educators in schools across Florida, it’s a big deal to get a teaching license, or what’s called an educator’s certificate. But for months this year, the process of getting a certificate in a timely way had been stymied, for reasons not entirely clear to the public. [Source: Florida Phoenix]
With a two-sentence order Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court left intact a Pennsylvania school district’s procedure allowing transgender students to use the restroom and locker room of the gender they identify with. The Court denied a request to hear the Boyertown Area School case, in which other students at the school said their rights might be violated because they might be seen by students of the opposite sex while not fully dressed. A similar situation has been playing itself out in Pasco County, although not in court, since fall 2018. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
› Disney will pick up tab for workers to enroll at UCF [Orlando Sentinel]
For the first time, Disney workers who want to get a free education can enroll at UCF, the state’s largest university and one that’s only a short drive away from Walt Disney World Resort. Disney and the University of Central Florida announced that the Orlando school is the latest option for workers who may choose certain schools and programs to further their education paid upfront by Disney.
› FSDB receives matching gift endowment in honor of board member [St. Augustine Record]
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind recently received an endowment gift of $250,000 from the Lastinger Family Foundation in honor of Dr. Thomas M. Zavelson, a member of the FSDB Board of Trustees. The foundation encourages the FSDB community and supporters to donate as well, as they will match donations dollar for dollar, to up to a maximum amount of $250,000.
› Twenty percent of Florida third graders face possible retention as state test results are released [Tampa Bay Times]
As they headed toward their final day of classes, third graders across Florida began to learn Friday whether they passed the state’s reading test that stood between them and fourth grade. Without fanfare or public statement, the Department of Education released the results from the Florida Standards Assessment language arts test that third graders took earlier in the spring.
› Miami Dade College faculty warn of an effort to rig the search for a new president [Miami Herald]
A push by new members of the Miami Dade College Board of Trustees to drastically lower the bar to become the college’s next president is fueling speculation that the search to replace the retiring Eduardo Padrón is being rigged to favor a specific candidate.