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…

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…

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

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