Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–February 19

Feb 19, 2009


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Federal stimulus money makes Florida schools’ picture less grim

In one fell swoop, the federal government may have turned the dreary school funding situation in Florida from disastrous to merely terrible.


State delivers news of steeper school-funding cuts

School districts statewide were told by Florida’s commissioner of education on Wednesday to brace for a 16 percent reduction in funding for the 2009-10 school year — one third more than expected.


Tax increase may be key to balanced Broward budget

Tax hikes and jail privatization are among the ideas being considered to offset Broward’s revenue losses.

With layoffs of county workers looming, Broward commissioners on Tuesday began the politically charged task of figuring out how to chop a staggering $160 million from next year’s budget.


Budget overshadowing other Fla. legislative issues

Incoming House Speaker Larry Cretul got to the point about his expectations for Florida’s regular 2009 legislative session.


Florida lawmakers hunt for ways to spur revenue growth

They can’t say the T-word in the 2009 legislative session, but two top Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed Tuesday on a polite euphemism for taxes as Florida lawmakers search for solutions to the state’s revenue shortages.


Crist, Fasano:  Property Tax System Flawed

State Sen. Mike Fasano wants to eliminate a quirk in state law that can cause property taxes to rise even as home values drop.


Crist Tax Proposals Questioned

Gov. Charlie Crist sent up a trial balloon this week to see if a proposed property tax reform package will either fly or get deflated.


Poll:  Floridians back gambling expansion to avoid budget cuts

A majority of Florida voters wants the Legislature to approve a gambling agreement that expands games but they don’t want a university tuition hike, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.


Lawmakers take aim at popular Bright Futures program

Lawmakers will likely have to consider cutting the popular Bright Futures scholarship program as they work to address a budget shortfall that could approach $6 billion, the chairman of the committee overseeing university funding said Tuesday.


Voters may get chance to give school districts flexibility on class-size rules

Florida voters soon could get their chance to reconsider the 2002 class-size amendment.

State Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, filed a bill Tuesday to place the issue back on the ballot. State Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, followed suit Wednesday.


Volusia School Board cuts its pay

With public schools in Volusia County facing a budget crisis, the School Board has decided to cut its own pay to help fill the gap.


State education department upholds training for ESOL teachers, for now

One out of every four students at Heritage Elementary School comes from a home where English may be spoken little or not at all.


Senate committee OKs 15 percent university tuition hike

The University of North Florida and similar institutions could increase tuition up to 15 percent in the coming school year under a bill that sailed through a key Senate panel Wednesday.


Trust fund for smoking claims reaches settlement with U.S.

The trustee of a $580 million trust fund created to compensate Florida smokers or their survivors for smoking-related illnesses has reached a settlement over claims made against the fund by the federal government.


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