Florida school officials seek clarity on rules for private-school scholarships to bullied students

Now that private-school scholarships for bullied Florida students are a reality, public school district leaders want to know exactly who will qualify for the available funds.  They made clear Wednesday their concerns that the program could be ripe for abuse by families more interested in getting vouchers than in protecting  children who really were victimized.…

Florida rates poorly in per-student funding, in new Education Week report

Critics of Florida’s public education funding system got another piece of ammunition Wednesday, as Education Week rated the state’s school spending an F alongside 25 other states.  The publication, which annually issues a well regarded national rating of state education systems, noted that Florida does exceedingly well in finance equity, or the way it allocates across…

Romano: Florida’s schools engaged in double standard of epic proportions

Your religious views matter, and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.  This goes for evangelicals and agnostics, and everyone in between. A lawyer might argue it’s a First Amendment right, but it’s also a courtesy we should all embrace.  Even, or especially, when we don’t agree. I mention this because of a story I…

Florida school board term limit backers jump start campaign for Amendment 8

The November general election might seem distant to many Floridians, who still await a list of candidates for many of the August primaries.  But the bottom of the ballot will be filled with more than a dozen amendments that will compete for attention with more high-profile races including U.S. senator and the state’s governor. Attaining the…

A cop in every public school by August? Easier said than done

After the Parkland school shooting in February, the state’s mandate was simple and swift: Put an armed officer in every public school by August.  But the new state requirement — passed three weeks after the February school massacre in the hopes of deterring future campus shootings — is proving difficult for schools to carry out…

Schools Without Rules: Private schools’ curriculum downplays slavery, says humans and dinosaurs lived together

Some private schools in Florida that rely on public funding teach students that dinosaurs and humans lived together, that God’s intervention prevented Catholics from dominating North America and that slaves who “knew Christ” were better off than free men who did not.The lessons taught at these schools come from three Christian publishing companies whose textbooks…

Florida House says per-student bump of 47 cents is a myth. Here’s why that’s overstated

Florida House Republicans are playing mythbusters on claims of stagnant school spending.  The House Majority Office, which is overseen by Speaker Richard Corcoran, released a five-minute video May 17 that takes aim at teachers’ unions and state educators (and unnamed “media allies”) who say the 2018-19 education budget isn’t enough to cover the costs of…

Florida prepares suspicious activity reporting app for schools

After the Parkland school shooting, state and local leaders began making plans to enhance school security.  The latest effort is a suspicious activity reporting application, to be launched by the Florida Department of Education and Attorney General’s Office.  The agencies announced the idea to administrators and teachers on Friday.  Fortify FL will allow people to…

The Sunshine Economy: State of Teachers’ Unions

Florida teachers’ unions are planning to sue the state over a new law that threatens their long-term survival.  Unions’ right to collectively bargain for their members has been enshrined in the state constitution since 1968 and state law since 1974. The legislation followed a massive teacher walkout in 1968 — the first statewide teacher strike…

Money, manpower pressure mounts under new school safety bill

Looking at the new requirements coming down to school districts this year as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act and the amount of funding coming from the state for those initiatives, the numbers, according to School Safety and Security Chief Mike Jones, just don’t add up. Read More