Spending Bill Boosting Education Funding Clears Congress, Heads to Trump

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is very close to knowing how much money her department has to spend in the next fiscal year.  On Wednesday, the House approved a spending package that includes fiscal 2019 funding for the U.S. Department of Education. The legislation, which the Senate passed last week, includes several increases for…

Florida wins approval for its federal accountability plan

Florida has finally gotten its federal education accountability plan accepted.  U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sent Florida commissioner Pam Stewart a formal letter acknowledging the approval on Wednesday.  Florida had been the only state in the nation not to have an approved plan. It went through five revisions — including one submitted on Monday — before DeVos…

Florida ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus lawsuit heads to mediation

A year-old case contending Florida’s “Best and Brightest” teacher bonus program discriminates against educators of a certain age or race is headed to mediation in November.The complaint focuses on the part of the 2015 program that relies upon  college entry exam scores, which many teachers — particularly those who entered the profession through a community college…

When New Teachers Get Mentoring, Student Math Scores Can Go Up, Study Shows

When new teachers get ongoing support from mentors, they’re better able to engage students and use assessment in instruction, and their students score higher on math assessments, according to a new study.  The study, conducted by SRI Education, is an independent analysis of the New Teacher Center’s mentorship program, funded through a 2016 federal Investing…

More Florida counties are voting to raise local taxes for schools. Is it a message to lawmakers?

In a video that appeared on YouTube in mid-May, the Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives said “union bosses and their media allies” were pushing a “myth.” It wasn’t true, they said, that state funding for public schools had increased only 47 cents per student this year.  Three months later, as the new school year got…

State Education Board Wants a $200 Per-Student Increase and $100 Million More For Cops

The Florida Board of Education on Friday advanced a $21.8 billion request for public school funding in the next budget year, including a $200 boost in per-student funds and increased funding for school-safety initiatives.  Highlights of the 2019-20 budget proposal include an overall $673 million, or 3.5 percent, increase, compared to the current budget for the…

Court got half its rulings right on amendments | Bill Cotterell

If a ballplayer batted .500, it would be stupendous.  If a team wins half its games and loses the other half, it might be called a rebuilding year. If you broke even in a casino, you’d figure it’s better than losing.  But Florida voters had a coin toss land on its edge this month in…

Florida legislators rebuff Gov. Scott, won’t shift $58 million for school Guardians

Florida legislators are sticking to their guns — and splitting from Gov. Rick Scott.  More than $58 million will stay with a budding program to arm and train school employees instead of being redistributed across the state to ease the cost of paying school guards, as Scott requested. Read More