Education

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Broward County property owners could pay a little more for public schools next year.

The county school board tentatively approved a $3 billion spending plan Tuesday.

The Broward County schools’ budget cuts tax rates slightly, but rising property values will mean larger tax bills for homeowners. The owner of a $225,000 home would pay $14 more per year, district officials said.

The school board is expected to take a final budget vote in September.

In November, Broward County voters will determine whether to allow the district to borrow $800 million.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Math is a language. And like any language, teachers need to help students translate the language into terms they understand.

“This idea is to learn a language you have to talk it... you have to engage in it,” says Algebra Project founder Bob Moses.

miller_center / Flickr

Fifty years ago Bob Moses organized volunteers to register voters in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer.

And for decades, Moses has been fighting for civil rights as an educator.

He won a MacArthur Genius Grant to develop a new way to teach algebra in largely low-income and minority schools.

Step Up For Students

If you want one of the roughly 1,800 new scholarships for students with disabilities that allows parents to mix and match services for their children, you better get an application in soon.

More than 1,200 families applied for a Personal Learning Scholarship Account, or PLSA, in the first week of applications. The scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and are intended for students autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other significant learning challenges.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott spent Monday touring high-tech South Florida companies looking to hire.

He wants to make sure firms like Boca Raton's Modernizing Medicine, which designs electronic medical record systems, have workers ready.

“I’ve got kids and even... grandkids – the jobs of the future are going to be science, technology, engineering and math-related," said Scott, a Republican. "So we need to do workforce training in those areas.”

Jackie Mader / The Hechinger Report

For the past year the Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida have taken you into two schools to hear what preparations for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sound like. The standards outline what students should know in math and language arts. When classes start this fall every grade in every Florida public school will use them. But are schools ready?

Now, we share with you what we've learned along with the Hechinger Report's Jackie Mader.

William Rolle / YouMedia Miami

Over the past few months, we've been covering the efforts of Miami-Dade library supporters to keep libraries fully funded. Advocates say libraries are more than just books -- they're major learning centers. One popular library program is YouMedia Miami where teenagers learn about technologies like coding, graphic design and music production.

Kirk Carapezza / WGBH

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

Diana Schnuth / Flickr

Blame science – and not your teenager – if they’re slow starters in the morning.

Teenagers just can't get eight hours of sleep if high schools starts much before 8 a.m.

University of Minnesota researcher Kyla Wahlstrom said that's because adolescents go through something called the sleep phase shift.

"Teenagers are basically unable to fall asleep on a regular basis every night,"Wahlstrom said, "say, before 10:45 or 11. It’s just a biologic almost impossibility.”

Students and civil rights activists are still asking Florida to hold black and Hispanic students to a higher standard.

It’s been a little more than a year since the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County filed a federal civil rights complaint against the state’s race-based academic goals.

There have since been a number of protests by activists who oppose lower expectations for minorities.

Tony Bennett / StateImpact Indiana

Former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett will pay a $5,000 fine as part of a proposed deal with Indiana ethics investigators, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the Associated Press.

Bennett admits using state resources for his 2012 reelection campaign. But Bennett was also cleared of any ethics violations related to changes he sought to Indiana’s school grading formula in 2012.

Alonzo Mourning mans the pump for the unveiling of the Overtown Youth Center’s STEM program. CW GRIFFIN / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The Overtown Youth Center is introducing a new STEM curriculum to its summer program, aimed at underserved kids. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Aerospace company AAR funded the $350,000 program.

In a recent study, The National Science Board found while diversity in the science and engineering fields has improved, African Americans, Hispanics and women remain underrepresented in the workforce. 

Tina Brown, who runs the center, says that’s why they’re introducing this program to the kids this summer.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Curtis Lanoue teaches music in a trailer behind Oliver Hoover Elementary School in Miami. His colleagues have interactive smart boards in their classrooms.

Those are like 21st-Century chalk boards that can can plug into the school’s network -- and the Internet.

But Lanoue doesn’t have a smartboard --- or the Internet -- in his portable classroom.

“YouTube might not be the greatest thing to let a kid use unattended," he said, "but for the teacher to use it there’s a ton of resources on there.

Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

The public got a sneak peak of the proposed budget for Miami-Dade County Public Schools at its most recent budget workshop.

It’s not final yet, but the superintendent has sketched out a plan for the $2.9 billion budget.

You can hear more on where school leaders would like the money to go:

And you can see the presentation from the meeting:

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