education

Georgia Guercio / Wikipedia

The former head of the Broward Teacher’s Union is facing new criminal charges.

Pat Santeramo has been charged with mail fraud for misappropriating more than $35,000.

Investigators say Santeramo took money intended for teacher training, speakers or special projects and instead paid himself and another union employee.

He could serve up to 20 years in prison for each of the two charges.

His attorney says Santeramo will fight the charges.

It's just the latest criminal charges for the former union boss.

Miami Herald

Florida House members were so impressed by testimony about school uniforms earlier this year -- convenience, improved safety and better discipline -- that they offered up $10 million to districts requiring uniforms.

The Miami-Dade school board likes the idea too. They required uniforms for elementary and middle schools.

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho says that’s easy money.

New Database Will Track Who Runs Charter Schools

Aug 4, 2015
comedynose / Flickr

Florida school districts will have a new way to track the financial and academic records of charter school operators.

For the first time, a new database is connecting charter schools to who runs them. The goal is to reduce the number of charter schools that close.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers wants to create a paper trail. The group has launched a database that lists who is operating a school and includes performance data from the website GreatSchools.org.

Miami-Dade Adding Healthier Choices To School Menus

Aug 3, 2015
John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami-Dade school meals are going lean and green this school year -- with more veggies and heathier, low-calorie choices.

The district is adding smoothies made with Naked brand juices, greek yogurt and vegetarian lasagna.

But at an event Monday unveiling the new dishes, the district was most proud of its version of a Miami classic.

The “guavalito” is a whole grain, lower-sugar version of a guava and cheese pastelito, made by a local baker.

Students who are considered homeless by Florida schools can be living in hotels, trailer parks, in campgrounds or doubled up with friends or relatives. And with as many as 71,000 or more homeless students in the state the challenges can extend beyond the kids and families to include the schools.

For most kids school is a place of achievement and learning, or just a place to socialize with friends. But for kids without stable living arrangements it can mean much more than that.

Marsha Halper / Miami Herald Staff

This weekend the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Coconut Grove will be hosting its last Scientist Sunday at its current location before moving to its new home in downtown Miami next year.

The events are held on the first Sunday of each month and feature scientists who are doing research in the community through the museum's Science Communication Fellows Program.

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr
Judi Durand / National Urban League

Besides bringing presidential candidates to South Florida, this week’s National Urban League Conference in Fort Lauderdale is also bringing a variety of programs that could benefit South Florida’s residents.

One of these initiatives is the National Urban League’s Youth Leadership Summit. 

This annual summit will bring together nearly 600 youth leaders from around the country at Nova Southeastern University. 

Sattva / freedigitalphotos.net

Miami-Dade County Public Schools plan to eliminate out-of-school suspensions this year, preferring to keep kids in class and address behavior problems.

School districts around the country have made similar decisions because research and experience shows suspended students often find more trouble outside of school while on suspension. That can mean more neighborhood crime – and more suspended students getting arrested and charged.

The Schultz Center

At one point, the Schultz Center had state funding and a big, multi-million dollar contract with Duval County schools to help teachers improve their craft.

The Schultz Center has trained thousands of teachers since it was founded in Jacksonville in 1997. But when state revenues declined, the Schultz Center funding was cut.

Sean Dreilinger / Flickr

The State Board of Education approved a new statewide standard for the test-based portion of teacher evaluations Thursday.

Florida Board of Education

A State Board of Education member is questioning the number of sexual assaults reported on state college campuses.

Rebecca Fishman Lipsey believes it is unlikely that, in the most recent data, there were only seven forcible sexual assaults reported by the 28-college, 400,000 student system. Those figures do not include crime data for the dozen schools in the state’s university system.

Palm Beach County Lowers Bullying Rate

Jul 22, 2015
Ebony Joseph / WLRN

In the past two years, Palm Beach County schools have slashed the number of reported bullying cases by nearly 30 percent, down to 544 cases during the 2013 to 2014 school year from 748 cases the school year before.

As the district with the highest bullying rate in the state, the data supports a push to leave that status behind. 

To tackle the issue, nearly 60 school board officials, students and parents met Tuesday -- in the middle of summer -- for the county’s first anti-bullying roundtable.

Broward County School District

South Florida school leaders traveled to Washington Wednesday to share ideas on how to reduce on-campus arrests and suspensions.

Superintendents from Broward County and Miami-Dade County shared how their districts dealt with the problem at a summit hosted by the White House.

Research shows that students who are suspended before ninth grade are less likely to graduate. And on-campus arrests can stick with a student for life, hindering chances at a college education or finding a job.

Sarah Gonzalez/ StateImpact Florida

Last year nearly every Florida teacher was meeting goals according to statewide teacher evaluation that includes student test scores.

And two of every five teachers were rated “highly effective.”

But that could change soon at Thursday's State Board of Education meeting. The ratings are important because they influence teacher pay and can determine which teachers remain in their jobs and which teachers require extra training.

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