Prekindergarten, early education get limelight from House committee

The Florida House made clear Tuesday that prekindergarten and early education will receive heavy attention in the coming legislative session, as the state aims to better prepare its children for kindergarten and beyond.  “This is where it starts. It starts with early learning,” Education Committee chairwoman Rep. Jennifer Sullivan said to introduce her panel’s two-hour…

FSBA Session Spotlight — September 16, 2019

This week, the Legislature will hold the first of six weeks of Interim Committee Meetings in preparation for the regular 2020 Legislative Session on January 14, 2020.  This first round of meetings will focus on a review of the state’s financial outlook and the Legislative Budget Requests (LBRs) submitted by state agencies, updates on the…

Florida Senate eyes guardian training tweak

Senate President Bill Galvano on Wednesday threw his support behind revising a state law that governs training for school guardians, after a dispute between Palm Beach County schools and a private security firm ended up in court.Galvano said he wants the Senate to work on “clarifying” a school safety law, which outlines the training requirements…

Turnaround schools would need state approval to change principals under new proposal

For several years now, Florida Board of Education members have expected — demanded, in fact — principal changes at the state’s most struggling schools.  The board has insisted on leadership shifts as a condition of approving improvement plans, and has held superintendents’ feet to the fire if those moves haven’t come swiftly enough. Read More…

Florida House cuts one education committee, and one vocal Democrat from the fray

With committee weeks just two weeks off, the Florida House on Friday announced a revamped committee structure with one notable difference for education policy watchers.  The PreK-12 Quality subcommittee chaired by Rep. Byron Donalds was eliminated. Donalds remains on the overarching Education Committee. Read More

State cracking down on whether schools are really teaching courses required by law

Following a scandal related to teaching the Holocaust and questions about whether African American history has been ignored, the Florida Department of Education is moving to require detailed annual reports from districts on what’s being taught across dozens of courses and topics.  And the agency is essentially threatening sanctions if public schools don’t comply. That…

State asks judge to toss lawsuit over teacher bonuses

The Florida Department of Education on Wednesday asked a Tallahassee judge to toss a lawsuit that seeks to have the state pay money to teachers that school districts deducted from bonuses.The lawsuit, filed last month, accused state officials of improperly instructing school districts to deduct employer taxes from teacher bonus awards granted under the “Best…

School districts lose another round in court over law that bolsters charter schools

The dozen Florida school districts that sued the Legislature over a controversial 2017 law establishing and funding a new charter school system have suffered another setback in court.  While acknowledging the districts had a limited right to challenge the law, a three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal found the districts’ legal arguments…