If property values are soaring, why do school districts need more money?
Several Florida school districts are seeking support for property tax referendums this fall, as a way to bolster their general operating funds. It’s not an easy sell, with inflation so severe these days. Complicating matters is the fact that property values are soaring in the area. As they rise, some reason, tax collections should go up too. Critics want to know why they should have to approve a rate increase if districts should be flush with cash. But It’s not that simple. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A lawsuit over a Florida university's response to the pandemic can go forward
An appeals court Wednesday refused to dismiss a potential class-action lawsuit against the University of South Florida over fees that were collected from students for on-campus services that were not provided because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The USF case is one of numerous lawsuits in Florida and across the country stemming from campus shutdowns early in the pandemic. The ruling Wednesday by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal centered on whether USF breached a contract with student ValerieMarie Moore. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Florida school safety bill on DeSantis’ desk focuses on mental health
As the nation shudders from another inexplicable school shooting, Florida is moving forward with tweaks to its law relating to school safety, but the measure won’t touch the state’s gun laws. The measure, passed during the regular legislative session, attempts to improve transparency around school emergencies, tightens requirements on who can serve as school safety officers, increases training relating to youth mental health and, for the first time, requires the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools to adopt a plan for family reunification when K-12 public schools are closed or unexpectedly evacuated. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
UCF police department to acquire college-specific accreditation
Fewer than half of all law enforcement agencies in Florida are accredited, meaning their standards have been reviewed and approved by an independent commission. For the past nine years, the University of Central Florida’s police department has been accredited by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA), the state standard. Now for the first time ever, the UCF PD is seeking an additional, significant accreditation only for colleges and universities. [Source: Click Orlando]
Florida’s students are — for the most part — back to the constant humdrum of classroom learning. But the coronavirus pandemic has almost certainly made its lasting effect on Florida’s budding students. This year, just 53 percent of Florida's third graders scored a passing grade or higher on the reading portion of the Florida Standards Assessment. That's one point lower than in 2021, according to the state Department of Education. [Source: WUSF]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida PTA now among 100 appeals for state to return to CDC youth health survey [Orlando Sentinel]
The Florida PTA has joined a plea for the state Department of Education to restart a CDC survey of public school students that measures a wide range of physical and mental health factors — from diet and exercise to bullying to sexual orientation and gender identity. “Florida PTA uses the detailed data collected to … help us advocate for our most underserved and vulnerable children,” Jennifer Martinez, Florida PTA’s president, said in a written statement. “Taking the time to create and pilot a new survey would contribute to children not receiving the valuable services they need.”
› DeSantis appoints former Florida education commissioner Corcoran to Board of Governors [Click Orlando]
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday tapped former state education commissioner Richard Corcoran to serve on the state university system’s Board of Governors. The Board of Governors oversees Florida’s 12 state universities and is tasked with such responsibilities as adopting regulations designed to carry out state laws related to higher education. Corcoran, a former Republican House speaker, served three years as the state’s top education official overseeing Florida’s public-school and college systems.
› New nursing degree at Keiser University addresses Florida's critical nursing shortage with a focus on women's health [Kesier University News]
Keiser University has launched a new Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree meant to address Florida’s nursing shortage in women’s health. The new Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) program explores the complexities of providing primary care to women throughout their lifespan. The new MSN program at Keiser University is the only women’s health master’s program offered in Florida and comes at a critical time as the state is facing a shortfall of nearly 60,000 nurses by 2035 according to Florida Hospital Association.
› 2 Central Florida students reach National Spelling Bee semifinals [Orlando Sentinel]
Two students from Central Florida spelled their way through four rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee to make their way into the semifinals. Aaron Kuebler, 12, who just finished 6th grade at St. Luke’s Lutheran School in Oviedo and Ekansh Rastogi, 13, who just finished 8th grade at Markham Woods Middle School in Heathrow, both spelled their words correctly Wednesday progressing into round 5.