‘Our children are at stake:' Teacher shortage in Florida among worst in the nation
‘Our children are at stake:’ Teacher shortage in Florida among worst in the nation
Florida’s public schools continue to deal with a shortage of teachers. Vacancies have doubled in the Sunshine State over the last two years, and it’s estimated more than 100,000 students do not have a full-time teacher. Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to explain why the shortage is getting worse and how it can improve. Read the story at Click Orlando or watch the video below.
Florida eyes banning TikTok at state universities
University officials in Florida are considering a possible ban on TikTok that could block students from using the popular application on 12 campuses across the state. Members on the Board of Governors over state universities, meeting Tuesday in Miami, expressed support for creating a system-wide policy outlawing the app. The change could be introduced in the next two months with scrutiny mounting towards the Beijing-based company. [Source: Politico]
Florida plans to ‘curb’ diversity efforts at colleges, universities, Nunez says
Florida will be looking to “curb” diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the state’s colleges and universities, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said Tuesday, offering a preview of what higher education leaders can expect from lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session. Her statements, delivered at a state Board of Governors meeting in Miami, marked the first time the DeSantis administration has explained why its budget office this month requested a detailed accounting of how much colleges and universities spend on such efforts. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida’s voucher plan could cost public schools nearly $4 billion, report says
The proposed expansion of Florida’s voucher programs would inflict significant “fiscal damage” on the state’s public schools, likely costing them nearly $4 billion within five years, according to a progressive state think tank. The Florida House last week announced it wants to offer “universal choice,” allowing parents of any school-age child to get state funds that could pay for private school tuition or homeschooling services and supplies. The plan would represent the largest expansion to date of Florida’s voucher programs, which began in 1999 and already make the state a national leader in school choice efforts. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida still pushing to make schools safer five years after Parkland shooting
Nearly five years after the Parkland school massacre, some police departments still don’t have policies in place for stopping mass shooters. But a state panel on Friday moved closer to making it a requirement to have such policies in place across Florida. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Safety Commission has drafted a policy to guide police departments on how to respond during and immediately after an active-shooter emergency. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Pinellas schools remove book by prize-winning author Toni Morrison [Tampa Bay Times]
Pinellas County high school students no longer will have access to Toni Morrison’s first book “The Bluest Eye” in their classrooms or libraries. School district officials announced Tuesday that they had removed the title from circulation after a review prompted by the complaint of a parent at Palm Harbor University High.
› Alachua County Public Schools sees slight increase in graduation rates [Gainesville Sun]
Alachua County schools have seen an increase in their graduation rates, according to data released by the Florida Department of Education. By excluding charter schools, which are independently operated, the district saw its jump to 91.4%, up from last year's 90.9%. That's higher than the state's overall graduation rate of 87.8%, which came in almost 3% lower than last year.
› These are the 8 biggest projects for Orlando colleges, universities [Orlando Business Journal]
Multiple local colleges and universities have major construction work lined up for the future. The area's state colleges and universities have eight projects that are among the most expensive that haven't kick off yet. Colleges have taken on projects which range from enhancing their athletic programs to growing capacity for their programs to add more trained workforce.
› Political ousting? ‘Come to your own conclusions,’ says Broward superintendent after removal [Miami Herald]
The Broward County School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to part ways with Superintendent Vickie Cartwright by mutual agreement — ending a three-month chaotic run that included the board scolding her in October, dismissing her in November and rehiring her in December. The negotiations between the board and Cartwright, the first woman to hold the highest position in the 107-year history of Broward County Public Schools, will begin as soon as possible. The board will vote on the severance agreement on Feb. 15.