Florida to seek waiver on student testing rules
With pressure mounting to cancel the consequences of spring academic testing, Florida state education officials on Wednesday announced their plan to request a waiver of the accountability rules set forth in federal law. If approved, a waiver wouldn’t stop the tests from taking place, as occurred a year ago. The Biden administration did not go that far in its flexibility offer, much to many parents’ and teachers’ consternation. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida Bright Futures’ revamp steamrolls opposition, advanced by key Senate panel
Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program has paved the way over the years for thousands of high school students to go to college. Students earn either 75% or 100% of tuition and fees at any Florida state university or college, based entirely on their performance in high school. So any change to the program generates controversy. On Tuesday the Florida Senate’s education committee approved Senate Bill 86, which would make radical alterations to Bright Futures. More from NBC Miami and The Center Square.
Gov. DeSantis details $106 million proposal for civics education in Florida
Governor Ron DeSantis said he wants to put $106 million towards his new initiative for civics education. The governor made the announcement during a news conference in Naples Wednesday that the state would release the $106 million proposal to make Florida the national leader in civics education. The money would potentially come from a relief fund through the CARES Act. This would allow for high quality civics education in Florida, according to Governor DeSantis.More from NBC 2 and First Coast News.
To fully reopen, growing teacher shortage must be addressed by Legislature, union says
The Florida Education Association says school districts will not be able to fully reopen successfully unless state lawmakers prioritize higher salaries and multi-year contracts to address teacher shortages. It tops the list of legislative priorities for the state’s largest public teachers union. President Andrew Spar says state lawmakers should be doing whatever they can to protect resources for schools. [Source: WTSP]
As school districts around the U.S. continue to grapple with whether to reopen classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic, data shows Florida started in-person learning without turning schools into superspreaders. The state was one of the earliest to resume in-person instruction in August, following an executive order by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that directed districts to provide families the option of classroom learning five days a week or risk losing funding. [Source: Wall Street Journal]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› USF announces in-person graduation ceremony, first since pandemic began [Tampa Bay Times]
The University of South Florida announced Monday it will hold its spring graduation ceremonies in-person at Tropicana Field. The ceremonies, which are set to take place May 7-9, mark the first in-person graduation ceremonies at the university since December 2019, albeit with modifications. Participants and guests must wear face coverings, including those who have been vaccinated, according to a message from USF president Steve Currall.
› Broward County Public Schools district faces budgetary uncertainty [WPLG]
The School Board of Broward County met on Tuesday to discuss Broward County Public Schools’ next year’s budget which is based on a blend of federal, state and local funding. The state ties the disbursement of some funds for public education to the number of students enrolled in each district. Superintendent Robert Runcie said there was a decline in enrollment of about 11,000 students. “We need the kids back in school, not just for the money — because they belong in school,” Runcie said.
› Florida Tech earns STARS Silver rating for sustainability in all aspects of higher education [Space Coast Daliy]
Florida Tech has earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The newest results elevate Florida Tech’s STARS rating from its 2017 Bronze rating.
› Price-check: How much will it cost to rename 9 Duval County schools? [Florida Times-Union]
As Duval County Public Schools continues the process to consider renaming schools that have ties to Confederate Generals and the marginalization of Native Americans, one question still looms: how much will it cost? In total, if all nine schools were approved by the community, school board and superintendent in the renaming process, it would cost the district approximately $2 million based on the district's projections. But the district doesn't intend to spend all of that from its own budget.