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Colleges hope students get COVID-19 vaccines for fall semester – but can they require it?

Colleges hope students get COVID-19 vaccines for fall semester – but can they require it?

Almost all of the nation's 4,000 degree-granting colleges, however, are encouraging or helping their students to get their COVID-19 shots. The University of Florida has not issued a vaccine mandate, but has hosted a massive vaccination clinic that aimed to inoculate thousands of students daily. And some colleges are even offering incentives such as cash, university swag or tuition-free courses. [Source: USA Today]

New Florida budget supports education 'more than the state has ever done'

From bolstering education to protecting the environment, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday touted the state's new budget. During a signing ceremony in New Smyrna Beach, DeSantis said the $101.5 billion budget supports K-12 education "more than the state has ever done." That includes $1,000 bonuses for school district and public charter school teachers and principals, as well as increasing the average minimum teacher salary to $47,500. [Source: WPTV]

Florida college football programs brace for in-person recruiting, other significant changes

Ready or not, in-person recruiting across the NCAA is resuming. And, on July 1, college athletes in Florida and other states will be able to earn money from third parties for their name, image and likeness. Welcome to the new world of college football/athletics. “It’s not just the kids that are ready for in-person recruiting. The college coaches are chomping at the bit,” said Bobby Burton, a 30-plus year recruiting analyst now with 247sports.com. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

Florida parents can request students repeat a grade after ‘COVID slide’

Parents of public-school students in kindergarten through fifth grade will be able to request that children be retained in their current grade levels for the 2021-2022 school year under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Lawmakers approved the issue during the spring legislative session to help combat lagging learning gains during the COVID-19 pandemic -- what has become known as the “COVID slide.” [Source: WJXT]

Input sought on civics, Holocaust education standards in Florida

How should civics and English be taught to our children? That Florida Department of Education has launched a listening tour to give you a chance to weigh in.The changes call for studying the influence of religion on America, and new standards on teaching about the Holocaust in schools. The latest drafts of the Civics and Government and Holocaust Education standards are now posted here. More from  WINK Newsand the Tampa Bay Times.


› USF College of Engineering to offer an undergraduate degree in environmental engineering
The College of Engineering at the University of South Florida will initiate a new undergraduate program in environmental engineering for fall semester 2022. The Florida Board of Governors approved the new degree during the recent spring session. The field of environmental engineering is supported by public sentiment for protecting natural resources, human health and by laws aimed at curtailing environmental damage.

› Florida board renames schools that had honored Confederate leaders
A Florida school board has voted to rename six schools named for Confederate leaders, but will keep three others named for a French colonizer and a U.S. president who supported slavery and forced Native Americans to move west along the Trail of Tears. Following a months-long debate, the Duval County School Board decided on the names Tuesday night, news outlets reported.

› Florida State University seeks to scuttle COVID-19 lawsuit
Florida State University is asking a judge to reject a potential class-action lawsuit that seeks to recoup money for students who were forced to learn online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. FSU attorneys last week filed a document in Leon County circuit court arguing that a judge should dismiss the case or issue a judgment in the university’s favor. In part, the document pointed to sovereign immunity, which helps shield governmental entities from lawsuits.

› Florida A&M University’s Institute of Public Health earns reaccreditation
Florida A&M University Institute of Public Health (FAMU IPH) recently received the maximum reaccreditation with no non-compliant findings by the Council on Education for Public Health. The CEPH Board of Councilors rendered the decision for reaccreditation for seven years (until 2028) — the maximum reaccreditation period.