Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–May 1

May 1, 2008

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Proposed budget cuts $332M from schools

Florida lawmakers are almost certain to pass a $66.2 billion budget Friday that would spread funding cuts across the state and affect people ranging from schoolteachers to foster children.

South Florida schools biggest losers in state budget

Of the myriad losers in a state budget that cuts a record $4 billion in spending, public education will lose the most — with Miami-Dade and Broward schools getting hit hardest of all.

Lawmaker defends school cuts

A requirement for school districts to levy more local property taxes next year to qualify for state aid isn’t really a tax increase, the House’s chief education budget writer said Tuesday.

Tax cuts costly for schools

At a time when the school district is warning of pay cuts and job losses, property tax rates for schools are set to fall by just over 5 percent, district officials announced Wednesday.

Schools face major per-student spending cuts

Florida’s schools will face cuts of as much as $200 per pupil under the state’s new 2008-09 spending plan expected to be approved this week by the Legislature.

Lawmakers in education standoff

Nearly every major education proposal was thrown into flux Wednesday as state lawmakers in the House and Senate bombarded each other with lengthy wish lists outlining different reforms for everything from the FCAT to the operation of charter schools.

House approves August sales-tax holiday

The House unanimously approved a back-to-school sales tax holiday between Aug. 2 and Aug. 8.

EDITORIAL: Property vs. sales tax

Florida’s Taxation and Budget Reform Commission wants voters to believe that swapping some property taxes for higher sales taxes is a grand way to boost both the slumping housing market and the state’s economy.

EDITORIAL: Florida’s Budget and Tax Reform Commission isn’t living up to its name

ISSUE: Tax and budget reform panel completes work.

Thanks to the Florida Budget and Tax Reform Commission, Floridians will have to grapple with seven ballot questions in November that seem more about pushing warmed over ideology than implementing meaningful fiscal reform.

OPINION: Tax commission gone wild

Pro-voucher proposals are as radical as they are unwise

‘School vouchers get on ballot,” declared a Herald-Tribune headline.

COLUMNIST: Money for prisons, cuts for schools

Millions of dollars for prisons, sure.

Money for schools, not so much.

Voucher angst imperils FCAT bill

A sweeping education bill to change the way the FCAT is used is in danger of failing in the waning moments of the session.

Senate Republicans have a take-it-or-leave-it deal for the lawmakers who want to change the much-maligned FCAT exam: Give us more public money for private schools.

FCAT writing exam postponed indefinitely

As a result of the state budget crisis, Florida students won’t have to pass the writing FCAT to earn their diplomas — for now.

Remember that old clich about the three R’s of education — reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic? It’ll still be only two of three to earn a high school diploma in Florida.

JEB BUSH: Education Amendment Threatens State’s Future

Student achievement has steadily improved since voters first decided to hold the governor and Legislature accountable for the quality of education in Florida a decade ago.

Governor Crist Appoints Two to the Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund

Governor Charlie Crist today announced the following reappointment and appointment:

Broward School District is finalist for national prize

Broward and Miami-Dade county public schools are two of five finalists for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, also known as the Nobel Prize of Education.

Dade principal’s $1-a-year pay offer turned down

Miami-Dade School Board members were willing to pay Larry Feldman $120,000 a year to be principal of Devon Aire K-8 Center near Kendall.

Union blasts pay cut idea

A proposal by Pinellas school officials to impose wage cuts on 16,000 employees met with strong opposition Wednesday as union leaders and some School Board members suggested there may be other ways out of the district’s budget crisis.

Bill allows private school students onto public school teams

Students from certain private schools in three Jacksonville-area counties could participate in sports at public schools on a trial basis under a bill passed by the House.

Anti-bullying bill passes Senate; signing expected

A bill to combat bullying in schools was unanimously approved by the Senate and is now headed to the governor.

For the last several years, proponents of anti-bullying legislation have fought for a state law that would prohibit harassment of students. Every year, the bills failed.

Education leadership overhaul nearly dead

A bill to dismantle the system governing state universities and make the education commissioner an elected job fizzled to near death Tuesday when the House failed to take it up.

OPINION: Education resolution would take decisions away from professionals

A decade ago, Florida schools were failing and ranked near the bottom in nearly every national survey.

ESOL training rules may stay the same

The Florida House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed a compromise that preserves much of the special training for reading teachers of students learning English — but the compromise so displeased the bill’s Senate sponsor that he promised to let it die without a vote in his chamber.

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