Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–May 6

May 6, 2010



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Editorial:  Schools funding doesn’t add up

Legislature’s budget assumptions hurt public schools

The Legislature wrapped up its 60-day session pretending that all is well with public-schools funding. It’s not.


Editorial:  Florida budget on the brink

Legislature’s failure to act leaves Florida poised for fiscal disaster

The Florida Legislature, which just finished its annual session, passed a $70.4 billion budget, but has little to brag about.


Meek calls for Crist to veto budget

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek released the following statement regarding the budget proposal passed by the Florida legislature last Friday, calling on Governor Crist to veto the proposal:


Study gives Florida “F” for pre-K funding, standards

Preschool-age children nationwide are feeling the impact of the recession as states cut back on early education programs, according to an annual survey of state-funded preschool programs.


Facing budget shortfall, Broward School Board seeks tax hike, benefit cuts

After six hours of debate, the Broward School Board agreed Wednesday to seek a property tax increase, eliminate some employee benefits and further reduce administrative costs as part of its plan to plug a $130 million budget hole.


Crist and Seminoles celebrate as he symbolically signs gambling pact

If the Seminole Tribe of Florida included millions of members, as opposed to its actual 3,200 or so members, Gov. Charlie Crist might well be a shoo-in for U.S. Senate.


Cities, counties, state poised to tap red-light-camera cash

Millions of dollars already have been made by red-light cameras, and even more money appears to be on the way for governments and private companies that operate the systems at intersections throughout Florida.


Lawmaker urges Crist to help state workers

A House member whose district includes thousands of state employees urged Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday to veto “de facto pay cuts” in the state budget.


Blog:  Will teachers’ union abandon Kendrick Meek for Charlie?

The Florida Education Association – the state teachers’ union – is running an ad for Charlie Crist. It doesn’t mention the Senate race, but it’s obvious this is political payback for Charlie vetoing a merit pay bill.


Florida sends schools revised education grant plan

State education officials have released a new federal “Race to the Top” grant application with changes designed to win more support from teachers unions.


Cato Institute:  Florida’s Unheralded School Revolution

Two weeks ago Florida Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a bill that would have ended teacher tenure and established merit pay. His action was widely criticized and effectively ended his primary race for the U.S. Senate as a Republican.


Class-size amendment might squeeze choice plans

Voters will decide in November whether to pass an amendment loosening new class-size restrictions in public schools.


Palm Beach County to examine year-round schools

Parents could get option to apply for a program in 2011 to prevent learning loss over summer months

It could be the end of the long summer vacation for some Palm Beach County students. Officials say it may be time to try a year-round schedule for one elementary school next year.


Broward schools consider 4-day weeks, charging for magnet busing

Staggering under a $130 million budget deficit, the Broward School Board on Thursday began debating such proposals as school closings, shifting to a four-day week, suspending all travel for employees and charging magnet and Nova students who live outside boundaries for bus services.


Blog:  Tax hike on the table for Pasco School Board

The Pasco County school district faces a budget shortfall of about $30 million. A local property tax increase of .25 mills, authorized by the Florida Legislature, could generate close to $6 million toward that gap.


Charlotte to rebuild schools with fed funds

School officials will begin construction on two of the district’s oldest buildings this summer, using $60 million in borrowed federal stimulus funds to jumpstart the often-delayed projects.


Duval School officers: Price tag too high

Sixty local police officers have priced themselves out of assignments with the Duval County school district.


Editorial:  Pasco School Board should loosen stance on raising property tax

A Pasco School Board majority, confronting up to $30 million worth of budget cuts, is looking to make matters worse by paying little heed to all available options.


School layoffs likely in Pasco

The Pasco County School District, facing a budget shortfall of at least $28.4 million for 2010-11, will need to lay off employees to balance its budget, district officials said Tuesday.


Blog:  Cuts in Volusia may mean ill students take classes on computers

In Volusia County, teachers visit the homes of kids with prolonged illnesses or discipline problems to give them their lessons. Sometimes, teachers give lessons over the phone so students don’t fall behind in their classes.


UF survey: Florida’s real estate has bottomed out

Florida real estate has hit bottom and is in the process of stabilizing, according to results of a quarterly survey by the University of Florida.


Feds make it easier to buy Florida condos

Moves by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ease lending restrictions in the Sunshine State are giving those who want to own and occupy condos an opportunity to buy tens of thousands of units previously off-limits to nearly everyone except cash-rich investors.


Group sues Florida schools over limits on prayer

A conservative group is suing a Panhandle school district over its limits on prayer.


Education reform guru coming to Lynn University

Diane Ravitch, a national expert on public education reform, is scheduled to make an appearance in Palm Beach County next week.


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