Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–March 4

Mar 4, 2010



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Florida State Senate leader outlines education reforms for session

Seeking to dispel the notion of a do-nothing legislative session, Senate President Jeff Atwater today outlined an energetic program of education reforms and less-specific programs of deregulation to create jobs.


Florida state economist: School funding down $1 billion for next year

Falling property values and an influx of students displaced by the earthquake in Haiti will contribute to a $1 billion shortfall in state school funding next year, according to state economists who testified before a state Senate panel Wednesday.  


Florida Legislature to tackle class size, lawsuit damage caps

The proposed constitutional amendment to freeze class size counts is expected to clear its final Senate committee Thursday, paving the way for an early session floor vote that ensures the measure makes it on the November 2010 ballot.


Fla. House Releases First Part of Spending Plan

House Speaker Larry Cretul released budget allocations today, pumping the largest share of taxpayer dollars into public schools this election year, pulling $600 million out of trust funds, and avoiding new taxes or fees.


School bills would lead to dramatic changes

Focus is on teacher merit-pay and end-of-course tests for students

Two key education bills filed recently in the Florida Senate would lead to dramatic changes in teacher-pay plans and high school graduation requirements, if adopted.


Florida Lawmakers Attack Federal Spending, Take Funds

Senate and House leaders say their position is not inconsistent.


Editorial: Putting students first

State lawmakers should tackle the education funding crisis now

It’s good news to hear the majority of Brevard County’s low-income schools perform better than schools that serve the same percentages of students in poverty in other Florida districts.


As Florida’s public schools face cuts, vouchers may get big boost

Critics: Lack of private-school accountability makes program unfair

A state-financed program that gives tuition vouchers to thousands of low-income Florida students to attend religious schools may get a boost in funding while cash-strapped public schools face more cuts.


Brevard schools could lose $29 Million from budget next year

Funding outlook largely still unclear

Brevard Public Schools is estimating that it could lose as much as $29 million next school year, or about 6 percent of its operating budget, according to initial predictions from the Department of Education.


Sarasota school tax tied to economy

The upcoming school referendum is not a partisan issue. It is about ensuring that Sarasota County is in the best possible position to rebuild its economic potential.


Another year of budget pain for Pasco schools

Pasco County school district leaders expect a fourth straight year of state budget cuts to inflict pain on local classrooms in the fall.


Blog:  Crist Wrong on Tax Cut Claim

During his State of the State address, Gov. Charlie Crist took credit for the biggest tax cut in state history.


Press Release:  New Tax Solution Can Help Multi-Location Businesses Cut Personal

Businesses with many locations, such as supermarkets, restaurants, banks and other retail chains, have personal property tax obligations that vary by state and can be difficult to accurately manage.  


State weighs collecting tax for Web sales

When’s the last time you mailed the state a check for the sales tax due on a purchase on or


State Scrambles as Class-Size Tsunami Races Toward Schools

Today’s riddle: Name something in Florida that has grown smaller and larger at the same time.


Florida Announced as Finalist in $4.35 Billion Race To The Top Competition

One of only 16 finalists invited to present its application in Washington, D.C.

Governor Charlie Crist today announced that Florida has been named a finalist in phase 1 of the $4.35-billion federal Race to the Top education reform competition.


Momentum builds to pay Florida teachers on merit

Tenure is threatened under a Thrasher-led bill gaining traction in the Legislature.

A proposal revamping the rules for teacher pay and contracts is setting up a battle between Senate leaders and the business community on one side and teachers unions on the other.


Bill overhauls Florida teacher tenure, pay

Channeling former Gov. Jeb Bush, leading Republican lawmakers filed legislation this week that would dramatically overhaul teacher tenure and pay — making it tougher for classroom teachers to achieve tenure, easier to get fired, and tying half of their pay formula to student test performance.


Hillsborough school district sweats deadline as class size limit looms

For eight years, it’s never gone away.


Pasco schools prepare for class-size cuts

As full compliance with Florida’s class-size amendment looms this fall, Pasco County school district officials are hoping the state Legislature can help them avoid the staffing and financial turmoil they see as almost inevitable.


Bay school district half-cent tax proponents working on marketing blitz

About a dozen community members and school leaders met Tuesday to plan a marketing blitz for Bay District Schools’ half-cent sales tax measure, a 10-year renewal voters rejected in 2007 but school officials say is necessary to repair and update the area’s schools.


Editorial:  Asking Hernando parents to help pay for athletics is fair

The Hernando County School Board is poised to affix a cash register to middle school athletics. It’s the right thing to do.


Editorial:  Tax credit scholarships will help Florida’s poor children

Florida lawmakers will decide on a House bill this session that would expand the Tax Credit Scholarship, the school voucher program that serves 27,600 low-income students in 1,002 private schools statewide.


U.S. House Passes Bill That Intrudes on Private and Religious Schools

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4247, “Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act.”   


Obama: Reward Districts for Policing Schools

President proposes to offer $900 million in grants for turning institutions around.

President Barack Obama said Monday that he favored federal rewards for local school districts that fire underperforming teachers and close failing schools, saying educators needed to be held accountable when they failed to fix chronically troubled classrooms and to curb the student dropout rate.


U.S. Department of Education Unveils Revamped Rules for Teacher-Pay Fund

In what will ultimately shape key details of the next generation of federally financed differentiated-compensation systems, the U.S. Department of Education last week laid out proposed criteria for grants under the $600 million Teacher Incentive Fund.


Survey: Supportive leadership helps retain top teachers

A national survey of more than 40,000 public school teachers suggests that while higher salaries are far more likely than performance pay to help keep top talent in the classroom, supportive leadership trumps financial incentives.


U.S. Teachers More Interested in Reform Than Money

U.S. teachers are more interested in school reform and student achievement than their paychecks, according to a massive new survey.


More Funding for Principal Training Deemed Vital

As principals come under more pressure than ever to improve underperforming schools, leadership experts say it’s time for the nation to emphasize recruiting and training the next generation of school leaders.


Increased demand for Pinellas specialty schools means fewer students are getting their choice

Student wait lists grow

This week, thousands of parents who applied to magnet or fundamental schools in Pinellas County found out whether their children got in.


Flagler picks school superintendent

The search for a new superintendent for Flagler County’s public schools ended Tuesday night.


Opinion:  Filling in the state’s education gaps

Gov. Charlie Crist and state education leaders recognize that universities are key to long-term economic growth as a consequence of their pivotal role in generating the talent and innovation critical to sustain Florida’s viability in the global economy.


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