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

Deal on local property tax rates helped stabilize Florida’s budget

A leading Senate budget writer claimed vindication Friday in a lingering dispute with House leaders over whether to allow local school boards to capture all of the value of rising property values when setting local tax rates.  Rob Bradley, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission, underscored the point during a presentation on the state’s three-year fiscal…

Florida legislators reject Gov. Scott on school security

Despite repeated requests from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, legislative leaders have officially refused to steer $58 million to school districts to help them hire more campus police officers.Scott in late August asked that legislators shift unused money from the state’s guardian program to pay for more officers. Read More

Florida Supreme Court strikes Amendment 8 from November ballot

A controversial proposed constitutional amendment that could have significantly altered Florida’s public education landscape will not go to voters in November.  In a narrowly divided 4-3 decision, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled Amendment 8 should remain off the ballot. It upheld the order of Leon County Judge John Cooper, who found the measure’s title and summary misleading. Read More

Florida justices ask pointed questions during hearing on Amendment 8

Florida Supreme Court justices poked holes in both sides of an ongoing debate whether to place Amendment 8 back on the November ballot during a 45-minute hearing Wednesday afternoon.  They didn’t issue a ruling, but one is expected soon. Read More

Grant trains K-12 staff to help students with mental health difficulties

Faculty and staff at Florida’s K-12 schools will receive training on how to recognize and assist students with emotional or mental health difficulties.  It’s thanks to a new $2.2-million dollar grant awarded to USF St. Petersburg’s College of Education. Read More

Status of up to seven Nov. 6 measures uncertain as ballot-mailing deadline nears

Legal challenges to at least three and, perhaps, seven of the 13 proposed Constitutional amendments Florida voters will see Nov. 6 remain unresolved as the deadline for mailing ballots to out-of-state voters draws near.  The Florida Supreme Court has scheduled two hearings Wednesday – one day after the deadline to set ballots for mailing by Sept.…