Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–April 21

Apr 21, 2009

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Florida lawmakers propose less money for upkeep of schools

Should a school district take money from maintenance and technology needs to pay for teachers and school programs — even if it means no one will be around to fix a broken air-conditioning unit or tune up a school bus?


Education issues in spotlight in final weeks of legislative session

Key education issues emerged in the final weeks of the legislative session, including class size, graduation standards and rising tuition.

With lawmakers headed into the session’s lightning round, key Republicans this week are gathering to see where they can find compromise on an array of education bills.


Thousands of letters call for school funding

On Wednesday, school district officials, school employees, teachers’ union leaders and students plan to trek to Tallahassee and hand deliver to local legislators thousands of signed form letters urging lawmakers to restore funding for education.


Governor critical of dire predictions

Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday educators are hyping the impact of budget cuts to panic Floridians into writing their legislators as state spending decisions are made in the final days of the legislative session.


Editorial: Don’t forsake homeowners

Before Florida’s legislators take a hammer to reforms that for two years kept homeowners’ insurers in check, their constituents ought to remind them why those reforms were needed in the first place.


Unpaid property taxes skyrocket to $332 million in Tampa Bay area

A record number of property tax bills remain unpaid across the Tampa Bay area this year, one more casualty of tough economic times.


Budget deal elusive in final days of Florida legislative session

With nine days left in the 2009 legislative session, the House and Senate remain far apart on how to resolve their differences over taxing and spending.


Budget negotiators wait out day 1

It looks like we’ll have to wait until Tuesday for budget negotiations begin. Or Wednesday. Or May.


House panel OKs tax bill that costs more than it generates

Buyers of yachts and private airplanes in Florida would be spared from paying the full 6 percent sales tax on their purchase. But magazine subscribers would now start paying taxes.


      Foreclosures and fraud distorting home values

      As the South Florida housing boom was running out of steam, Stephen Czuchta was astonished to learn that his Sunny Isles Beach condo had jumped 20 percent in value in a year.

      Palm Beach County will wait at least a year before hiking fees on development

      Palm Beach County commissioners will wait a year before they decide whether to hike county fees tacked onto the price of a newly built home.


      School Board Salaries: Pay Is Not the Problem

      The Legislature seems to think that one way to plug the gaping hole in the state budget is to cut the salaries of school board members.


      Collier school district proposes decreases in benefits, bonuses instead of raises for employees

      Collier County School District employees would have to pay 10 percent of their health-care premiums and most would receive bonuses instead of raises under a proposal presented to union officials Monday.


      Rework class-size law, Senate committee says

      A movement to put yet another class-size amendment on the ballot gained steam in the Legislature today.


      Editorial: Fix class-size amendment

      Good for lawmakers for pushing for a statewide referendum in 2010 that would allow voters to modify the inflexible, expensive and educationally dubious class-size amendment.


      Broward to consider making middle school FCAT less important

      Broward schools may no longer require middle schoolers to pass the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test to move on to high school if School Board members give preliminary approval to a policy change at a meeting Tuesday.

      Palm Beach County schools considered for Gates Foundation grant

      The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is considering Palm Beach County schools for a major grant aimed at putting the most effective teachers to work at historically low-performing campuses, ideally in the Glades.


      Gov. Crist appoints three to the Charter School Review Panel

      Governor Charlie Crist on Monday announced the following reappointments: to the Charter School Review Panel.


      Editorial: Dumbing down

      It has for years been the policy of the state of Florida to encourage as many high school students as possible to take academically rigourous Advanced Placement courses.


      Pediatricians fight anti-vaccine bill

      Saying immunizations are “vital for the health of children and adults,” more than two dozen Florida pediatricians have signed a statement opposing a Senate bill that would ban the use of certain vaccines and allow parents to delay immunizations usually given to infants and toddlers. The doctors say the bill would violate federal policy that enables children in Medicaid to receive life-saving vaccines.


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