Florida wants to amass reams of data on students’ lives
Florida may soon compile a vast collection of student records and social media posts in hopes of trying to prevent another school shooting, a move that has advocates concerned about children’s privacy. The new state database intended to prevent school shootings represents a "massive surveillance effort" that should be immediately halted, a coalition of nearly three dozen advocacy organizations told Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a letter delivered Tuesday. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Post, and Education Week.
Out of the $1.6 trillion owed in the student debt crisis, a hefty $89.4 billion is owed by Floridians. In fact, student loan debt in Florida is growing at a faster rate than any other state. Three of the six metro areas with the biggest student debt increase in the country are in Florida: Orlando, Tampa and Miami. [Source: Florida Times-Union]
After years of wrangling, a divided appeals court Monday rejected a property-tax exemption for a Gainesville acupuncture school that argued it qualified because it is an educational institution. The 1st District Court of Appeal sided with Alachua County Property Appraiser Ed Crapo, who in 2014 rejected an exemption for Academy for Five Element Acupuncture Inc., because he said it did not meet the legal definition of an educational institution for tax-exemption purposes. [Source: Gainesville Sun]
At Sarasota County schools, fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs that are served in the cafeteria can come from local farmers. Sometimes, those farmers are students at the school. The district’s farm to school program buys food from Jones Potato Farm in Parrish, Joshua Citrus in Arcadia, M&B Products in Tampa, and other farmers throughout Florida. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Part of a new elections law that requires “sufficient nonpermitted parking” at early voting sites will create an unconstitutional burden on young voters attending colleges or universities, plaintiffs in a long-running dispute over campus early voting argued in documents filed earlier this week. The parking requirement was tucked into a sweeping elections package during the waning days of the legislative session in early May. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.
› The new USF president is here — and he brought ideas [Tampa Bay Times]
He’s met with student government leaders, hung artwork on the walls inside his on-campus home and twice dined at Ybor City’s Columbia Restaurant. A week into the job, Steve Currall is settling in as president of the University of South Florida.
› FAMU seeks to educate public about medical marijuana [WJXT]
Peter Harris runs Florida A&M University's Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative that’s charged with educating minority communities. “The Department of Health is funding us to look into educating the public on the value of medical marijuana, but at the same time, educating the public on consequences of illicit use,” Harris said. FAMU has already held more than a dozen forums and a dozen more are scheduled.
› Starting pay boost fortifies spotty teacher recruitment in Miami-Dade [Miami Today]
Recruiters at Miami-Dade County Public Schools say the hiring season for new teachers looks promising with a boost to starting salaries. Miami-Dade County Public Schools averages 20,000 full-time and part-time teachers across the district. Ana Flores, senior recruiter and executive director of instructional recruitment, says staff gaps have been the same for some time.
› Peace Corps and the University of South Florida announce new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program [Florida Trend]
Peace Corps and the University of South Florida today announced the launch of four new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows programs housed in the College of Public Health, the Department of Anthropology, the College of Engineering, and the Patel College of Global Sustainability. The USF programs offer financial assistance to returned Peace Corps volunteers pursuing a graduate degree in public health, applied anthropology, civil and environmental engineering, or global sustainability.