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College is unaffordable for many Florida students, but available financial aid is going unused

College is unaffordable for many Florida students, but available financial aid is going unused

For the second year in a row, undergraduate enrollment is down at the nations’ colleges and universities, including in Florida. A recent study released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that so far this fall, undergraduate enrollment is down in Florida by 2.6% since last year. That compares with a 3.2% drop in undergraduate enrollment nationally. [Source: WUSF]

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FIU's nursing dean sends out a plea for help to train faculty

Each year, Florida International University graduates 170 to 175 nurses. About 85% stay and work in Florida, says Ora Strickland, dean of FIU’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She spoke to FLORIDA TREND about the effects of COVID-19 on the nursing profession: "There was a nursing shortage even before COVID hit, primarily related to the fact that a lot of nurses were aging out and retiring, and we weren’t producing nurses fast enough to replace them." [Source: Florida Trend]

The State Board of Education will consider a cease-and-desist complaint filed by federal education leaders

The State Board of Education has scheduled a meeting next week to consider a U.S. Department of Education complaint seeking to prevent Florida from withholding funds from school districts that received federal money to cover school board members’ salaries. The cease-and-desist complaint was filed Oct. 28 in the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. It stems from the state imposing financial penalties on school districts that required students to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Source: WMFE]

DeSantis proposes pay increase, bonuses for Florida teachers

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is again proposing to increase teacher wages and to provide another round of bonuses, he announced Wednesday. DeSantis held a news conference at a Jacksonville school to highlight education budget proposals, which still need to be approved by the Legislature. It includes $600 million to raise teacher salaries. “Our goal is to increase, particularly, the average minimum salary in the state of Florida so we can continue to attract great people into the teaching profession,” DeSantis said.  [Source: AP]

Florida’s new special education rule misinterpreted, state official says

Florida students with significant cognitive disabilities should not be at risk of losing services because of a recently approved state rule, a top Florida Department of Education official says. “It’s never been the intent of the rule,” senior chancellor Jacob Oliva told the Tampa Bay Times. Yet many parents and educators have complained that the measure, adopted by the State Board of Education in June, appears to have exactly that effect. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Trend Mention

Mention ImageUF research spending at record $942.2 million in 2020 despite pandemic

UF Research spending reached a record $942.2 million in fiscal year 2020, despite a two-month pause in most operations due to the pandemic. According to a new report to the National Science Foundation, research expenditures supported by the federal government increased to $397.2 million, while state and local expenditures increased to $169.2 million. Learn about ongoing UF research in areas such as Alzheimer’s, early childhood learning and agriculture.


› Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship to honor ‘7 Under 30'
The Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship at Florida State University will honor seven graduates who are making their mark as entrepreneurs at its 10th annual “7 Under 30” event. The event is being held in conjunction with Tallahassee Startup Week and will spotlight seven successful FSU alumni entrepreneurs who started businesses before the age of 30.

› Bill would require Asian American & Pacific Islander education in Florida schools
Amid a surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic, a pair of Democratic bills would require public schools across Florida to teach about the communities’ immigration, citizenship, civil rights, identity, culture and contributions. The bills, HB 281 and SB 490, were intended to better represent understanding of Asian American & Pacific Islanders in statewide lesson plans in American history.

› Ralph Wilcox is stepping down as provost of the University of South Florida
Another high-ranking leader at the University of South Florida is stepping down. Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox announced Monday that he would be departing his current position in 2022 to spend more time with family. He is expected to stay with USF in a faculty role. Former President Steven C. Currall recently retired in August.

› Hillsborough program helps migrant students stay on track during pandemic
A hybrid system of education, with some taking classes in person and some virtually, helped students in Hillsborough County get through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. For students in migrant farmworker families, who spend weeks on the road following the crops, every year is a hybrid school year. The coronavirus made it worse.