Statewide grand jury delves into school safety

A statewide grand jury charged with investigating whether school districts are complying with safety requirements following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will start hearing testimony “as early as next month,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Tuesday.  The Florida Supreme Court impaneled the grand jury in February, at the request of…

Florida adds new voucher program, more schools receive public money as participation declines

The number of students using state vouchers to attend private schools has dipped for the first time in recent years as corporate contributions have slowed.  At the same time, the number of campuses receiving state-backed scholarships continues to grow. The funding allows children to attend largely unregulated and mostly religious schools. Read More

Congress finally passes Hurricane Michael aid

The U.S. House on Monday voted to approve a massive $19.1 billion disaster aid bill that includes money for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts in Florida.  The sweeping package — which will also fund disaster recovery efforts in other states and territories — passed the House with broad bipartisan support after being stalled by a series…

Draft revisions to Florida high school math, language arts standards released for comment

Sticking closely to its posted timeline, the Florida Department of Education on Friday announced the release of a first draft of high school math and language arts standards revisions for input from the general public.  Groups of experts from around the state have been reviewing the current standards, based primarily on the Common Core, in…

FSBA Friday Five – May 31, 2019

Each week, FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina handpicks 5 things you should know in education news. Read. Learn. Retweet.  Gamers are the new athletes Memory and learning breakthrough US Children Better Off Today Than In 2020 Yes, school librarians matter School district found guilty of violating copyright laws to the tune of $9.2m

Florida Plan for a Huge Database to Stop School Shootings Hits Delays, Legal Questions

It was supposed to be operational six months ago, part of Florida’s wide-ranging effort to prevent the next school shooting: a sprawling new database that would merge people’s social media posts with millions of records on individuals who have been bullied, placed in foster care, committed a crime, or even been mentioned in unverified tips…

55% of Florida kids who need mental health help don’t get it. One official has a solution

Florida has an estimated 400,000 children who need behavioral-health services, but 55 percent of them don’t get any treatment, members of a health care panel were told last week.  That translates to 220,000 children across the state, or about one child in every classroom, health official Jeffrey Brosco told members of the Florida Healthy Kids…

Quality pre-K found to have multi-generational effects

Can talking during snack time and making Jell-O in pre-K help break the cycle of poverty?  One of the leading experts on the effects of early education thinks so.  A bevy of research touts the benefits of high-quality early education, but Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman’s most recent published work from the University of Chicago…

Florida education commissioner gives his department an A for its legislative successes

Calling the recently wrapped Florida legislative session “amazing,” education commissioner Richard Corcoran said his team earned a top grade for achieving its goals.  “We pretty much got 93 percent of the legislative agenda,” Corcoran told the State Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday in Tampa.  He included among those successes bills — now laws…

Twenty percent of Florida third graders face possible retention as state test results are released

As they headed toward their final day of classes, third graders across Florida began to learn Friday whether they passed the state’s reading test that stood between them and fourth grade.  Without fanfare or public statement, the Department of Education released the results from the Florida Standards Assessment language arts test that third graders took earlier in the…