Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–May 11

May 11, 2010



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Florida ramps up stimulus money spending

Florida ramped up spending on federal stimulus money on road projects during the first quarter of 2010, more than doubling roadwork and supporting 2,003 full-time construction jobs, a state report said Monday.


Answers to common questions about hot school issues

Budget cuts. Layoffs. Accountability. Teacher protests.


Editorial:  A half-hearted Florida education budget

To hear Tallahassee tell it, public education was the big winner in this year’s legislative session.


Blog:  Fort Lauderdale seeks public input on spending as tax base drops

Amid a dramatic decline in the city’s property tax base, Fort Lauderdale officials are seeking public input on what their spending priorities should be for next year.


32,000 Duval Properties Owe $65 Million in Back Taxes

Jacksonville’s 2009 property taxes came due April 1, and a month later, the owners of some 32,000 properties still hadn’t paid.


Working waterfront property tax relief overdue

Florida voters may have thought they changed a portion of the state’s broken property taxation system back in 2008 by eliminating the “highest and best use” provision from working waterfronts.


Florida Schools Artificially Raising Graduation Rates

Florida high schools have been boosting graduation rates for years by transferring thousands of struggling students to adult-education centers and then removing them from school rolls as if they didn’t exist.


Broward School Board to reconsider Race to the Top support

The Broward School Board, which in January voted not to take part in Florida’s application for millions of federal dollars for education reform, will have a chance to reconsider its position Tuesday.


Blog:  Pinellas school board will consider Race to the Top tomorrow

Gov. Charlie Crist’s home county of Pinellas is poised to become the first in Florida to line up the three crucial signatures for a revised Race to the Top application. 


St. Johns School Board will apply again for federal Race to the Top funding

The St. Johns County School Board was cautious the first time around, and its members are equally cautious this time as the state prepares to try again for federal funds.


EducationNext:  Is Race to the Top a Fair Competition?

Years ago, when I was a young lad peddling newspapers for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, the company announced it would hold an auction.


Editorial:  Racing back to the top

The state can’t forfeit a million more in federal money

rida had high expectations March 29 when the U.S. Department of Education revealed the first-round winners in the $4.35 billion Race to the Top competition, President Obama’s engine for driving education reform in U.S. schools.


Editorial:  Race to the Top memo builds trust

Florida’s first application for a federal Race to the Top education grant failed when only five of the state’s 67 teachers unions gave their support.


Red Light Bill Raises Questions

A bill passed by the Legislature last week allowing the use of red-light cameras statewide raises more questions than it answers for Lakeland officials.


Florida Supreme Court may rule on state funding for faith-based groups

A high-stakes First Amendment battle that could either halt state funding to all church-run social service programs or create an unprecedented flood of government-backed sectarian groups may soon come before the Florida Supreme Court.


Orange County desegregation pact draws protest

Hearing brings protest from former NAACP head Rufus Brooks

Orange County public school officials today inched closer to ending its four-decade-old desegregation order.


Blog:  Budget decision looms for Pasco School Board

They got a week reprieve from the administration.

But Pasco County School Board members have arrived at the point where they need to give some direction on how to make deep budget cuts, mostly because school principals and their staffs are waiting to learn their fate before the summer arrives.


Pasco looks at adding class period, eliminating teachers

Pasco County School Board members gather again this morning for another budget workshop as they wrestle with where to cut spending to cover an anticipated $28.4 million revenue shortfall for 2010-11.


Okalossa school officials selling half-cent sales tax

After a few years of belt-tightening, Okaloosa County school officials say they are running out of ways to cut their budget further.


Alachua schools face $1.4M shortfall

Alachua County school officials now know they will have $1.4 million less to work with in the coming school year. The shortfall is far less than the district’s initial prediction of between $7 million and $10 million.


Editorial:  Push back on state pensions–Employees do better than those in private industry

Call it a warning. Florida is not California, where pension shortfalls threaten to force cities into bankruptcy. But for the first time since 1998, reports show that the Florida Retirement System is not fully financed.


Condo financing in Florida to get boost from Fannie Mae

Only about 40 of the 253 condominiums at Regent Park in downtown Hollywood are occupied by people who own them.


In Palm Beach County, reviews rate few teachers poorly

Although a controversial bill tying teacher pay to student performance was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist, the battle is far from over. The issue promises to surface again as state leaders demand teachers be held accountable for how well students learn.


St. Johns County School Board looking to address issues of SB6

It wants to have plans in place when Senate Bill 6 is brought up again.

Senate Bill 6, the controversial school reform bill sponsored by state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, died when Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed it in April.


Bright Futures promise is shamelessly fading: Editorial

Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program helps keep more of our best high school grads at this state’s colleges and universities.


Nation has high college remedial education rate

Professor Derron Bowen teaches high school math to college students, patiently chalking equations on the board on basic arithmetic topics such as the speed of a driver on a a 20-hour trip.


New York Legislature votes to furlough state workers

New York’s Legislature has approved unprecedented furloughs for state workers to contend with the state’s fiscal crisis.


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