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Gov. Scott Avoids Question About House, Senate Private School Scholarship Dispute

Gov. Rick Scott issued a record amount of budget vetoes Tuesday, including many education projects.

House and Senate leaders are divided over whether students who receive a tax credit scholarship to attend a private school should have to take the state’s standardized test. The dispute — the Senate wants the requirement, the House does not — has threatened to derail a bill which would expand eligibility for the private school [...]

Gov. Scott Supports In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants

Gov. Rick Scott said he will support a Senate bill granting in-state tuition to some undocumented immigrants because the bill also would prevent universities from raising tuition above what lawmakers approve, according to the Associated Press. Lawmakers have considered in-state tuition the past several years, but the bill has never made it through both the [...]

Opposition To Florida Education Standards Growing As Lawmakers Return To Capitol

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Tallahassee next week. House Speaker Will Weatherford expects Common Core will be a big topic.

The last time lawmakers all gathered in Tallahassee, the opposition to Florida’s new math and English standards was just getting started. But opponents of the standards, known as Common Core, have turned up the heat throughout the spring and summer. The opposition hails from the political right and the political left, and their concerns range [...]

A Q & A With House Speaker Will Weatherford

House Speaker Will Weatherford, a Republican, takes questions from the Suncoast Tiger Bay civic club.

We caught up with House Speaker Will Weatherford at yesterday’s meeting of the Suncoast Tiger Bay civic club. Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican, took questions about Obamacare, Stand Your Ground and requiring power customers to pay the cost of new nuclear plants up front. We asked him about the expected legislative debate over Common Core [...]

What To Watch At This Week’s Education Summit

Gov. Rick Scott has called state education leaders together for a three-day summit in Clearwater starting today. Scott has put four items on the agenda: State education standards known as Common Core; the test which will assess those standards and (mostly) replace the FCAT; how Florida should revise its A-through-F school grading formula; and teacher [...]

PARCC: Florida’s Departure Won’t Sink Next Generation Test

Massachusetts education commissioner Mitchell Chester, right, says PARCC is in good shape even if Florida leaves the partnership.

Florida Legislative leaders left no wiggle room in last week’s letter to Education Commissioner Tony Bennett: They want Florida to pull out of a multi-state partnership developing a next generation standardized test to (mostly) replace the FCAT. Florida is not the first state to consider withdrawing from the group, known as the Partnership for the [...]

House And Senate Leaders Want Florida Out Of PARCC

Both leaders of Florida’s legislative chambers are asking Education Commissioner Tony Bennett to withdraw from a coalition of states developing a new standardized test. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, both Republicans, have sent a letter to Bennett requesting the state withdraw from the Partnership for [...]

House Speaker On Proposed Budget: ‘Education Is The Big Winner’

Speaker Will Weatherford says the House budget proposal goes above and beyond what Gov. Rick Scott requested when he asked lawmakers to prioritize education.

The Florida House has released its proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Speaker Will Weatherford says education was prioritized over everything else. “The big winner is education,” Weatherford said. “We invested over a billion dollars into our K-12 education system from last year.” He said that amounts to a 6.2 percent increase [...]

Union Says Eliminating Pension Will Cut Teachers’ Annual Retirement Income By $8,400

The FEA says Florida's pension system is strong, and changing it would result in retirement insecurity for teachers.

While the Easter Bunny is delivering festive eggs this week, the Florida Education Association said lawmakers are trying to take a chunk out of teachers’ nest eggs. The teacher’s union held a news conference in Tallahassee blasting state leaders for trying to impose “changes to the pension system that guarantee retirement insecurity.” The Florida Legislature [...]

House Speaker Says New Tests May Not Be Ready By Deadline

House Speaker Will Weatherford says Florida needs to be ready in case the test accompanying new education standards isn’t ready by a spring 2015 deadline. The standards, known as Common Core State Standards, are scheduled to be taught in every Florida grade beginning with the 2014-15 school year. The standards are a new way of [...]

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