legislative session 2015

New Florida Teacher Bonus Program Draws Complaints

Oct 12, 2015
John O'Connor / WLRN

In Brigette Kinney’s design class at Ada Merritt K-8 center in Miami, one of the key concepts is editing and revising ideas after getting feedback.

Her 8th graders create role-playing games based on books they read. Then they adjust the games  after watching their classmates play.

Kinney hopes Florida lawmakers will be as open to change as her students.

“I feel that legislators are out of touch with what it means to be a good teacher,” she said.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami teacher Brigette Kinney said she doesn’t always hear about school news when classes are out for the summer.

So Kinney missed the word that state legislators set aside $44 million for bonuses based on SAT and ACT scores during a special summer budget session. Teachers who scored in the top 20 percent the year they took the exam and earned a “highly effective” teacher evaluation are eligible.

But Kinney said she didn’t learn about the bonuses until she returned to school in August -- and that may have been too late.

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.

Zack Mccarthy / Flickr

Florida lawmakers are getting closer to a budget deal that will add more money for schools.

Florida schools would get $207 more per student if the Florida House agrees to a Senate education budget, or $7,097 per pupil.

Gov. Scott Pushes Lawmakers On School Funding

Jun 1, 2015
John O'Connor / WLRN

 

Gov. Rick Scott visited a Miami elementary school Monday to ask lawmakers to meet his request for school funding.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee today to finish the budget. The big disagreement is how to pay for health care. And that could affect how much money is left for education.

The 2015 Florida legislative session came screeching to a halt three days early, when House and Senate lawmakers could not agree on health care funding.

The House wants no part of Medicaid expansion. The Senate has warmed up to the idea of a type of expansion that would steer federal dollars into private healthcare plans. They'll try to get this worked out during a special session that’s scheduled to begin Monday, June 1.

One of the arguments against Medicaid expansion is that Florida takes billions more from Washington, D.C.  than it gives - and that the money being offered to Florida isn't Florida's to take.

On Dec. 17, almost three months before the annual legislative session began, new Senate President Andy Gardiner met with reporters in the conference room of his Capitol office. He talked with the press for 30 minutes, touching on a wide variety of issues, including a plan by business groups and others that would use Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Florida lawmakers’ decision to end mandatory final exams for every class will mean that more teachers’ performance will be judged on subjects they don’t teach.

Concerned about the amount of testing in schools -- and pressured by activists and educators -- this year lawmakers rescinded a state law that requires school districts to have a standard final assessment in any class that doesn’t already have a statewide exam. In most cases that’s a test, but it could be a final project or compilation of a student’s work.

Steve Martin / flickr Creative Commons

  On the Florida Roundup, the date for the special session has been set to organize a budget.

Florida Legislature

After no agreement during the legislative session, lawmakers will meet again on June 1 for budget discussions. They must decide before July 1.

Police behavior

Steven Martin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A twist to the end of the state legislative session means lawmakers need to reconvene again. 

Legislative Session

The Florida House has adjourned for the 2015 lawmaking session. The move comes as the legislature was gridlock over whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Florida Roundup: Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush

Apr 3, 2015
MarcoRubio.com

Editor's note: This is a pre-recorded episode of the Florida Roundup. There is no live chat this week. 

On the Florida Roundup, we talk about the week's top news with the area's top journalists.

National Politics

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald news you heard:

 

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

wcsryanhartley / Flickr

Testing experts say so far Florida's problems with its new statewide exam, the Florida Standards Assessments, are likely not serious enough for the state to consider throwing out this year’s test scores.

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