Putting Education Reform To The Test


Florida Legislature

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A Billion-Dollar Education Budget Wishlist: Teacher Raises And New Technology

Gov. Rick Scott wants teachers to get a $2,500 raise in next year’s state budget. But Scott’s proposal will cause some problems for state budget writers facing down other big-ticket education requests. Chief among them is the $441.8 million the state Department of Education has requested to upgrade school technology. The upgrades are needed as […]

Tony Bennett Q&A With Senate Education Committee

The Senate Education Committee peppered education commissioner Tony Bennett with questions today. He was supposed to share the podium with Gov. Rick Scott, but the governor canceled his appearance at the last minute. So Bennett got more attention than he probably anticipated. He acknowledged that the only thing he has mastered in his eight days […]

Government Watchdog Recommends Tougher Bright Futures Requirements

Bright Futures money is being targeted again, this time by a government watchdog group that says the state should raise requirements for the merit-based scholarship program. The lottery revenues which fund the scholarships aren’t stretching as far as they used to. Lawmakers made changes to the Bright Futures program in recent years, as more college […]

Teachers Union Responds To Supreme Court’s Pension Ruling

Teachers and other state workers will have to continue contributing 3 percent of their salary to their retirement. The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the pension law passed by the Legislature in 2011 will stand. Now, the state teachers union is blasting lawmakers for imposing what it calls a tax on working families. The […]

Commissioner Tony Bennett: ‘Florida Sets The Compass’ In Education

Florida’s new education commissioner made his debut before the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee this morning. Tony Bennett clearly knows how to schmooze the folks responsible for funding his office. Bennett began by telling the 13-member committee he has been an admirer from afar. “I was taught at a very young age that you can always […]

The Florida Senate’s 2013 Agenda So Far: In-State Tuition; Teacher Pay; Disabilities

While the Florida House has plenty of education-related bills to consider, Senators have introduced even more. The Senate has also introduced a bill, SB 180, granting the U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition rates. Those students would have to attend school in Florida for four years and apply to college within twelve months […]

Additional Florida School Security Could Cost $100 Million

Two Florida Senate committees will discuss ideas to improve school safety and security in Tallahassee this week. It’s an issue that is suddenly considered a priority for lawmakers. Districts have been reviewing their security procedures since 26 people were killed – most of them students – inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last […]

Florida Legislature Puts Tuition For Children of Immigrants At Top Of Agenda

Florida lawmakers are holding committee meetings in the state capital this week, preparing for the start of the legislative session on March 5th. So far, just a handful of education-related bills have been filed in the Florida House of Representatives. The big issue is complying with a federal court ruling that says Florida can not […]

Florida School Board Leader Supports More School Security, Opposes Arming Teachers

Reinforced entry gates. School resource officers in elementary schools. Teachers with guns. Politicians, pundits and school officials have tossed around ideas how to beef up security since the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last month. The Florida Legislature will be asked to increase security funding for school districts when it convenes in March. Dr. […]

Who’s Required To Take The FCAT?

Gov. Rick Scott says students receiving tax credit scholarships to private schools should be subject to the same regulations as other public school students. That would means taking the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or PARCC, the state’s next generation of standardized test which will replace FCAT. But it’s important to note that not every public […]

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