Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–January 8

Jan 8, 2009


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Magazine Gives Florida ‘C’ In School Spending

As lawmakers prepare to cut millions from schools to balance the budget, a national magazine says Florida already ranks below most states in money spent per student.


Lawmakers plan to cut $491M in school budgets

The impact of the Florida Legislature’s budget-cutting special session will hit hardest in the classroom, as school districts learned Tuesday how deep a cash crunch they would face under plans legislators will formalize today.


Fla. House set for deficit-reduction vote

The Florida House is debating a budget-reduction package that includes nearly $1 billion in spending cuts for schools, health care and other state functions.


Florida TaxWatch:  Cost-saving recommendations worth $2.5B

Florida can save billions by improving cost effectiveness, increasing government productivity and enhancing revenue maximization efforts.


Family Seeks to Block Use Of Fund to Close Florida Gap

The family of former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles has assembled a team of lawyers to try to block state officials from dipping into an endowment named for the late politician to help close a projected $2.3 billion budget deficit.


Federal stimulus expected to prop up state budget

While state lawmakers moved ahead on cuts in critical health care services for the poor and elderly on Wednesday, they also said that relief might be on the way from Washington.


Democrats question $1B cut

With the Republican-dominated Legislature rolling steadily toward closing a $2.3 billion budget gap, Democrats and social-service advocates began pushing back on Wednesday.


Books may help schools’ budgets

Delaying new purchases could offset half of $491 million in cuts.

Florida lawmakers may let cash-strapped school systems use textbook money to pay their bills.


Legislators embrace cuts, avoid tax hikes

Teachers are digging into their own pockets for school supplies. Identity-theft investigations are slowing down. And thousands of nursing home workers are bracing for layoffs.


EDITORIAL:  Reform, not suspend, Florida’s Bright Futures scholarships

THE ISSUE:  Bright Futures looks a little bleak.

This should tell you how desperate things are with the state government budget: Lawmakers have proposed suspending Bright Futures scholarships.


Miami-Dade may levy fire fee to help fund dept.

The double-whammy of economic hardship has fire administrators declaring that in the next few years, the state’s largest fire department will be in a $100 million hole.


President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation:  Economic recovery begins at home

Amid worldwide economic turmoil, failing banks, plummeting retirement accounts and boarded-up businesses — few are ringing in 2009 with any real enthusiasm.


Palm Beach County wants to test high school athletes for drugs, alcohol

High school athletes will have to submit to random testing to detect the use of alcohol as well as illegal and widely abused prescription drugs under a policy preliminarily approved Wednesday by the Palm Beach County School Board.


Immediate Volusia school system budget cuts:  $13.7 million

Junior varsity baseball, softball and J.V. cheerleading are out in Volusia County public schools for this spring.


Treasure Coast schools could take another financial hit

Treasure Coast school districts could be hit with another $10.3 million in budget cuts and public school funding slashed by nearly $500 million statewide under a proposal being considered in Tallahassee Tuesday.


Pasco school district may cut $9-million more from budget

Nine million dollars is no chump change for the Pasco school district.

Especially after the district cut $16-million from its spending plan to start the year, and some $8.7-million more to deal with income shortfalls in the fall.


Pensacola school receives grant from oil company

Lincoln Park Elementary received a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil Corp. on Wednesday afternoon to support the school’s science program.


At core of issue, children at risk

In 1990, Manatee voters approved a special property tax for programs to help juveniles at risk of becoming delinquents, school dropouts, drug users or unwed mothers.


Schools likely to start earlier next year

Brevard public school students might have a shorter summer this year.

The district wants to take advantage of a legislative provision and revert to the school calendar it used before the state’s controversial Save Our Summers mandate.


Parents protest plans to build cell tower at South Tampa school

Barely a half-hour into a heated community meeting on Wednesday, a woman wearing a pumpkin-orange and black “NO TOWER” T-shirt walked toward the front of the Coleman Middle School cafeteria.


WALL STREET JOURNAL OP-ED:  A Charter Setback in Florida

Charlie Crist takes a school-reform powder.

As Chicago schools chief, Arne Duncan has found innovative ways to skirt the restrictive cap on the number of charter schools that can operate in Illinois, thus expanding opportunities for low-income kids. So it’s instructive to contrast Mr. Duncan’s can-do attitude with that of Florida Governor Charlie Crist, whose inaction last week handed a victory to opponents of school choice.


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