Education

Florida House Backs Study Of School Funding Issue

Feb 15, 2018

With backing from Republican education leaders, a key House committee Wednesday approved a bill that could be a first step toward trying to revise how money is distributed to school districts.

In 2013, Las Cruces High School in New Mexico created a training video to teach students how to perform a "lockdown" drill.

In the video, the teacher turns off the lights, locks the door, and places a black strip of paper over the door's window. The students close the blinds and huddle on the floor, away from the windows and the door.

A free day at the aquarium! For Marcey Morse, a mother of two, it sounded pretty good.

It was the fall of 2016, and Morse had received an email offering tickets, along with a warning about her children's education.

At that time, Morse's two kids were enrolled in an online, or "virtual," school called the Georgia Cyber Academy, run by a company called K12 Inc. About 275,000 students around the country attend these online public charter schools, run by for-profit companies, at taxpayers' expense.

Donalds is the lead sponsor of a proposal that would allow parents whose children have been bullied at public schools to obtain state vouchers to help pay tuition at a private school.
Associated Press

From third to fifth grade, Alyson Hochstedler says bullies slammed her son into lockers and punched him. One threatened to stab him. The public school's administration did little to stop his tormentors, she says, so the mother of five transferred her son to private school, using a state grant for low- and middle-income families to pay his tuition.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN

Broward County Public Schools and another large Florida school district begrudgingly distributed more than $15 million in local construction funding to privately-run charters on Friday after they were urged to — and, the districts claim, threatened — by the state Department of Education.

Tampa Bay Times

Last May, two Miami-Dade public school employees resigned amid investigations into allegations that they had engaged in inappropriate relationships with female students.

Alex Osuna, then 34, a marine science teacher and girl’s lacrosse team coach at Miami Palmetto Senior High, and Darryl Ward, then 49, a security guard at Coral Reef Senior High and a part-time coach for the school’s football and track and field teams, quit their jobs within a day of each other.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

The leaders of Miami-Dade County Public Schools opted to negotiate with state lawmakers — rather than sue — over a controversial new law that diverts millions in construction funding from traditional public schools to privately-run charter schools.

It looks like their strategic gamble could soon pay off — at least in the short term.

Even though Jane Austen died in 1817, the English author’s works – like “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice” – have lived on for more than two hundred years.

Laura Runge, the chair of the University of South Florida Department of English, thinks she knows why.

“People comment on the realism or the realistic characters. People relate to these characters, and they still do," she said. 

Now, Runge’s students are doing their part to help Austen’s legacy live on, through the internet.

In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into federal law. ESSA passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. It's a long-term plan that succeeds the No Child Left Behind Act.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Democrats in the state House of Representatives are employing a more aggressive strategy in fighting Republicans’ education priorities this year after they felt like they got burned by the chamber’s GOP leadership during the last legislative session.

Miami Herald

A month-long suspension of Greek life at Florida International University is about to come to an end, and President Mark Rosenberg said the school will have some answers on Feb. 1 about what’s going to happen next.

The university will make a formal announcement then, but Rosenberg said he plans to strengthen student misconduct policies and enforcement. He also said the university will hold several “public dialogues” with alumni who are members of Greek organizations during the month of February.

Miami Herald

Florida International University in Miami is lagging behind other public universities in an effort to hire more mental health counselors, according to a recent report.

Universities should have one counselor for every 1,000 to 1,500 students enrolled, according to the International Association of Counseling Services. In recent years, the State University System’s board of governors has asked the Legislature for money to help schools meet this standard. Lawmakers haven’t specifically funded the request.

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