A loose-knit network of education activists generally opposed to the direction Florida has been taking its schools recently is attempting to organize into a more potent political force.
The groups include parents, people who want more state funding for schools, and others who are fed up with the brand of testing-based school accountability that Florida has become famous for. Under the umbrella of the Alliance for Public Schools, they are hoping to bolster their fundraising capacity and step up their efforts to influence legislation at the statehouse.
More than half of Florida’s Hispanic and black students at state universities currently eligible for the state’s Bright Futures college scholarship would no longer qualify when new standards take effect on July 1, according to a University of South Florida analysis obtained by the Florida College Access Network.
By comparison, about 40 percent of white and Asian students at state universities would no longer be eligible for the scholarship.
We spoke with the governor about his hopes for this legislative session, his political turn to the left, his support of Medicaid expansion and teacher raises, the issue of illegal internet cafes, guns, jobs, property insurance and a proposed texting-while-driving ban.
More than two dozen states are expected to adopt new national science education standards that include teaching children as young as elementary school about the effects of climate change. Florida was not among the 26 states that helped to "provide leadership" during the development stage of the Next Generation Science Standards, and it is unclear if it is among the roughly 15 states "that have indicated they may accept them," according to Inside Climate News.