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Florida university leaders bash plan to downgrade sociology

Florida university leaders bash plan to downgrade sociology

Department leaders at 10 of Florida’s public universities say they “strongly object” to a plan that would remove sociology as an option for courses students must take as part of their college studies. The plan was proposed Nov. 9 by state Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and advanced by the Board of Governors, which oversees Florida’s university system. Introductory sociology courses have been “an integral part of higher education for nearly two centuries,” and thousands of Florida students take them each year, the department heads wrote in a follow-up letter to the Board of Governors. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

How will Florida's recent expansion of public funding for private schools impact public education in the state?

Florida began offering school vouchers under certain circumstances back in 1999 under then-governor Jeb Bush. It was the first statewide voucher program in the country, and opponents criticized the plan at the time on constitutional and educational grounds. Over the years, the program has faced both support and criticism. [Source: WGCU]

3 million Floridians started college but didn’t finish. Some need a push.

Close to 3 million Floridians entered a higher education degree or certificate program, but for some reason never completed it. Seeing the economic value in having them finish, the state of Florida invested millions of dollars into a counseling and scholarship program to assist these students. In 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the budget item, all but killing the initiative. Still, pieces of it remain. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Opinion: Banning cellphones in Florida schools is a smart idea

Smartphones in schools need to go. The state of Florida passed a law last spring requiring school districts to ban student phones during class time. This does not go far enough. Phones should be banned all day long, between classes and at lunch, just like they are in Orange County. A study by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization claimed that just having a phone nearby distracts a student from learning, and it can take 20 minutes to refocus. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida students walk out in support of staff who flouted Florida's trans ban

Hundreds of students at a south Florida high school walked out of lessons on Tuesday in support of a principal and senior staff who were reassigned for reportedly violating Florida's law on transgender athletes. James Cecil, the principal of Monarch high school in Coconut Creek, his assistant Kenneth May, the school’s athletics director, a volleyball coach and an information management technician were removed from campus on Monday by the Broward school district, citing “allegations of improper student participation in sports”. [Source: The Guardian]

See also:
» Florida high school principal reassigned over transgender student athlete


› Why are Hillsborough schools under federal scrutiny for discrimination?
At a time of heightened fear among communities with ties to the Middle East, the Hillsborough County school district is among numerous educational institutions being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education. But neither the district nor the department will say why.

› 'Ready for it?': Taylor Swift course being taught at the University of Florida
Are you "ready for it," Swifties? Taylor Swift is about to make her debut at the University of Florida (UF) in the form of a 13-week course during the spring semester of 2024. According to the UF Honors Program website, the class will be called "Musical Storytelling with Taylor Swift and other iconic female artists" and will discuss Taylor Swift's discography while focusing on evergreen songwriting.

› Music program proposed for Florida middle schools
A State Senator on Tuesday filed a bill aimed at supplementing middle school science, technology, engineering and math education with “music-based” learning materials. Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, filed the measure (SB 590) for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will begin in January. It would create the “Music-based Supplemental Content to Accelerate Learner Engagement and Success Pilot Program,” or mSCALES, at the state Department of Education.

› New College of Florida hires Ballard Partners for federal lobbying work
New College of Florida will have one of Florida’s top lobbying firm representing its interests. Ballard Partners was hired to monitor federal education and infrastructure legislation, according to O’Dwyers, a public relations trade publication. The publication also reported Ballard Partners founder Brian Ballard and Daniel McFaul, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach, will handle lobbying duties for the New College Foundation.