Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: March 18

Mar 18, 2008

To view a complete story, click on a headline below:

Panel puts 25 percent property tax cut on November ballot

Florida voters will have a chance in November to approve an across-the-board property tax cut averaging 25 percent, which would dwarf two other tax relief measures enacted over the past year.

Commission: Cut property tax, raise sales tax for schools

The state Taxation and Budget Reform Commission will ask voters in November to cut one-fourth of Florida’s property tax for schools and make up the revenue with a higher sales tax.

Tax amendment Q&A

Questions and answers about the constitutional amendment the state Taxation and Budget Commission voted Monday to put before voters.

Painful cuts in state budget looming

Florida lawmakers will start to tackle the steepest budget cuts in state history Monday, the result of a chaotic economy and grim financial forecasts.

Legislature looks at state programs to cut

Florida lawmakers will start to tackle the steepest budget cuts in state history Monday, the result of a chaotic economy and grim financial forecasts.

Resort tax plan battle is brewing

Lawmakers are crafting a package to shield time shares and online travel sites from some taxes.

Prodded by lobbyists for online travel companies and time shares, state lawmakers are quietly crafting a package that could ultimately shield those industries from millions of dollars in taxes every year.

Pines OK’s $13 million for more classrooms

Six Pembroke Pines charter schools will have 50 additional classrooms when the new school year begins in August.

Schools chief lowers sights on teacher raises

Facing what could become a $60 million budget shortfall next year, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Art Johnson said teacher raises next year will be far less than in the past.

Slot machines getting boost in Palm Beach

A monorail ride would link a gambling and entertainment hub to Palm Beach International Airport under a venture floated by top county officials and the Rooney family, owners of the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

School Board OKs reshuffling thousands of SW Broward students

After nearly nine hours of heated and contentious debate about how to reshuffle thousands of students in Southwest Broward, the School Board tentatively approved a plan early Friday:

Commission set to discuss possible cuts to children’s services

Manatee County commissioners today will assess how pending tax cuts might affect programs to help children with critical needs.

Costly choice: Lee school bus system rolls up miles, expenses

Lee County School Districts choice-based busing budget is hauling $200 more per student from local taxpayers than the average Florida school district transportation program.

Collier superintendent says referendum to raise money for schools won’t pass

A referendum that could bring the Collier County School District millions of dollars in operating funds for items, such as teacher salaries, will not appear on the ballot in November.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Footing the bill

Regarding Monday’s editorial “Taxpayer Abuse”: According to a recent article out of Tallahassee, more than 8,000 public employees participated in the Deferred Retirement Option Program at a cost of around $300 million last year.

States to get leeway on school sanctions

The Bush administration is trying to address one of the most common complaints about the No Child Left Behind education law: It treats schools the same, regardless of whether they fail to meet annual benchmarks by a little or a lot.

Proposal to loosen class-size limits fails

A ballot proposal that would have loosened class size reduction requirements has failed in the state legislature, but the state’s tax commission agreed to keep it alive for a possible revote next week.

Senate Passes Pull-Your-Pants-Up Bill

A bill that would require public school students to hitch up their britches was approved by the Senate.

Bill would dilute FCAT’s influence

A high school’s grade also would be determined by other factors (with BILL)

While school districts across the state are in the throes of standardized testing, a bill introduced in the Legislature would make sure the FCAT was no longer the sole determination of high schools’ grades.

OPINION: Critics wrong; FCAT is transparent

I read with interest opinions expressed in the Mar. 12 editorial entitled “To boost scores: FCAT transparency.” I would like to offer further information.

BCC wants to drop ‘community’ from its name

Broward Community College wants a shorter name to represent bigger goals.

UF officials step down as budget cuts begin

As it grapples with millions in budget cuts, the University of Florida is restructuring its administration, moving disparate money operations under the responsibility of one executive.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cost of ‘free’ public education falls disproportionately on the rich

In a recent letter by a faculty member at Broward Community College, he wrote: “Florida’s schools and colleges and universities regressed under Jeb Bush because he defunded them, just as Charlie Crist and the Republican Legislature plan to do by gutting the property tax base in Florida. Jeb cut taxes for his rich friends, but eviscerated public school funding.”

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an e-mail to