Florida Supreme Court strikes Amendment 8 from the ballot

This afternoon, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the controversial proposed constitutional Amendment 8 should remain off of the November ballot. They agreed with the lower court that the summary and title were misleading to voters. From the Tampa Bay Times: Its ruling on the three-pronged initiative is final. Elections supervisors across Florida are slated…

School board races decided by only a few voters

School board races decided by a few voters It turns out that the people who represent us and our children on the school board earned their seats thanks to just a small percentage of voters. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Those little ovals next to the candidates’ names went unmarked by the thousands. In…

Primary voters in Florida exceed 2014 totals

Primary voters in Florida exceed 2014 totals Over 1.9 million Florida primary voters had already voted before polls opened on Election Day. Election supervisors are predicting an increase over the last midterm primary election held in 2014. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Republican voters have had more vote-by-mail ballots returned than Democrats. Even before…

DeVos considers allowing federal funds for guns in schools

According to the Washington Post, sources inside the U.S. Department of Education say Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering allowing federal funds to buy guns for schools. Two people said the question being contemplated inside the department is whether states are allowed to use money available through Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants to buy firearms.…

Amendment 5 puts school funding, Florida’s future in jeopardy

Amendment 5 puts school funding, Florida’s future in jeopardy Florida’s current per-pupil, school funding is below the pre-recession level, when accounting for inflation, and could be made even worse if voters approve a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution in November according to a new policy brief by the nonpartisan Florida Policy Institute. Amendment 5 would require a…

Florida’s schools need fix to access millions for kids’ health services

Florida has the opportunity to improve children’s health and educational outcomes while drawing down millions in additional federal funds for school-based Medicaid services by making a series of statutory and regulatory changes, according to a new brief by the Florida Policy Institute. Of the 2.7 million students enrolled in public schools, over 1 million are covered…

Republican vouchers give $7,200 for claims of “bullying”

This year the Republican controlled Florida Legislature passed a bill that gives up to $7,200 vouchers to students who claim to have been bullied. The so-called “Hope Scholarship” provides vouchers to students who report bullying and other offenses. These vouchers can be used at private schools or the students can request a transfer to another…

Florida risks $1.1 billion due to lack of federal ESSA plan

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed by Congress in the fall of 2015. It was a rare piece of major federal legislation that was truly a bipartisan effort- co-authored by a Republican and a Democrat. This law replaced No Child Left Behind and governs the federal role in public education primarily for elementary…

Charter schools behind deceptive Amendment 8

In November, Florida voters will have a chance to vote on Amendment 8, a proposed addition to the state constitution. This proposal claims to require school board term limits and civics literacy but it actually creates a state-wide committee that would have the sole authority to authorize charter schools. As News 4 in Jacksonville reports,…

Why don’t we treat teachers as professionals?

This year, the nation watched as teachers in numerous states began to walk out of schools and storm state capitals demanding better working conditions for themselves and better learning conditions for their students. Many of these states offered no collective bargaining rights yet educators were organized and angry. West Virginia teachers ended their strike after…