Florida’s public schools deserve support

by Betty Castor, published by the Tampa Bay Times Betty Castor, former teacher, Hillsborough County commissioner and state senator, served as Florida’s commissioner of education and later as president of the University of South Florida. Castor has been president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She currently chairs the board at…

ICYMI: Graduation rates increased again!

In case you missed the news during the holiday bustle, graduation rates increased across Florida. Students are graduating at record rates, reaching a 15-year high in the last school year at 86.1 percent, according to the state Department of Education. Nearly every sub-group of students tracked achieved increases including African-American students, Hispanic students, students with…

Arizona voucher opponents’ win- a model for Florida?

Florida school voucher proponents overwhelmingly won their elections in November. Avid supporters like Governor-elect DeSantis, likely Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and leadership in the Florida Legislature are poised to usher in an expansion of the controversial voucher programs that funnel tax money to private schools with little to no accountability. The award winning Orlando…

Rough road ahead for Florida’s public schools

Governor-elect DeSantis has named Richard Corcoran as his pick for the next Florida Commissioner of Education. As the previous Speaker of the House, Corcoran ushered in two of the most harmful and sweeping education bills which greatly expanded charters and vouchers while attempting to restrict traditional public schools. Corcoran — whose wife runs a Pasco…

Tampa Bay Times: Answering questions about the referendum

The Tampa Bay Times has endorsed the school referendum on the ballot in Hillsborough County in November. They followed up with a column on why voters should pass the referendum: The Hillsborough County school tax on the Nov. 6 ballot is a smart, necessary investment in the nation’s eighth-largest school system. The 10-year, half-penny sales…

Tampa Bay Times, Chamber of Commerce endorse referendum

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Bay Times have endorsed the Hillsborough school referendum on the ballot on November 6th. On Thursday, the Chamber voted to support Hillsborough’s schools. In a statement, they acknowledged the alignment between a strong education system and a healthy economy: “This tax would help to provide our…

Town halls provide referendum information to voters

Voters are encouraged to attend an information session to learn more about the Hillsborough Schools Referendum that will appear on the November 6th ballot. Here is the schedule of Town Halls hosted by Superintendent Jeff Eakins: September 24, 6 p.m. at Plant City High School, One Raider Place, Plant City September 26, 7 p.m. at…

School referendum to appear on November 6th ballot

At the August 24th school board meeting, Hillsborough School Board members decided to ask voters to approve a half-cent, 10-year local sales tax increase on the November 6th ballot. The vote, opposed by April Griffin and Melissa Snively, was 5-2 and will pit schools against a local group advocating for a one penny sales tax…

A/C problems plague Hillsborough schools

School is back in session but it still feels like summer outside. Massive air conditioning problems are causing summer-like temperatures inside classrooms across Hillsborough County. Social media sites are flush with photographs of thermostats showing temperatures of 87 and 88 degrees in classrooms at a number of Hillsborough schools — new and old, high-achieving and…

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…