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

Oct 6, 2009


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BLOG:  Property-tax falloff has local governments between a “rock” and a hard place

Florida’s property-tax collections have indeed “dropped like a rock” — but not for the reasons Gov. Charlie Crist intended when he famously made that prediction a little less than two years ago.


SENATOR DAN GELBER:   Florida Attorney General Should Force Governor and Legislature Into Funding Public Education

Urges Attorney General to file suit to compel constitutional obligations

Frustrated by a deaf ear to the plight of Florida’s struggling public education system, state Senator Dan Gelber on Tuesday called on Florida’s top lawyer to deploy the full weight of his office into legal combat.


State to Decide Today on $1.5 Billion Pipeline That Would Generate $400 Million in Property Taxes

A state panel is scheduled to say “yes” or “no” today to Florida Power & Light Co.’s proposed 300-mile natural gas pipeline.


Real estate flippers back in South Florida; this time they could help

The flippers are back. Bolstered by swelling foreclosures and bottomed-out prices, investors are returning to the South Florida real estate market, snapping up distressed homes with cash payments for either a quick turnaround or a short-term rent-then-sell investment.


Stimulus saves Florida education jobs

Just weeks ago, MTI drafting instructor Ralph Vincent thought he’d only have a part-time job this fall – and that meant no health benefits or paid holidays.


EDITORIAL:  Schools’ financial picture gloomy

Projections show 3 years of deficits

State education officials aren’t painting a pretty financial picture for the next three school years.


$27 million in stimulus money could help bring Delray Beach 264 affordable rentals

 They have the land, and now they have the money, too.


Turns out someone does pay those delinquent taxes – investors

Investors paying more attention to delinquent tax certificates

Benjamin Mcfarland, 29, stuck his big toe into a niche investment pool for the first time this year, when he entered the market for delinquent county tax certificates


An explanation of how the AP mapped the economic meltdown at the county level

The Associated Press Economic Stress Index combines three economic indicators – unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy – as a way of gauging how the recession has affected each of America’s 3,141 counties.


Delray developer seeks to use $27M in stimulus funds for affordable rentals

They have the land, and now they have the money, too.


Board weighs gag on teachers’ ‘politics’

If teachers and staff want to gather names for petitions to lobby the Florida Legislature on public school funding or campaign for a property tax referendum – as they did last school year – they will need to keep it off campus under proposed revisions to school district employee policies.


Broward School Board to vote on some employees’ contracts

Broward School Board members will vote Tuesday on agreements — with no raises — for several employee groups, including principals, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and central office workers.


Broward School Board talks over ‘big problems’

The Broward school district faces a rocky road ahead in its relations with the public. On Thursday, board members got some of their concerns off their chests.

In their second meeting after the arrest and suspension of their colleague Beverly Gallagher, Broward School Board members more openly discussed the uphill climb they face in restoring public faith in the board.


Tab for Broward school officials’ trip was $4,500

Delegation of nine went to D.C.; district was finalist for education prize

Taxpayers spent $4,500 to help send nine representatives of the Broward School District to the nation’s capital last month, where they watched the district fall short of winning the so-called Nobel Prize of education.


COLUMN:  Broward procurement needs policing

The rot begins with a hinky little passage deep in the Broward County Code.


Miami-Dade teachers to get long-awaited pay raise

After a 16-month impasse, the Miami-Dade school district and teachers union have agreed to a three-year contract.

Miami-Dade’s teachers can expect to see a boost in their salaries — the first in more than a year — after the school district and teachers union hammered out an agreement Monday night.


Sarasota schools tax set to expire

The last time Sarasota County voters were asked to approve a special property tax for school spending, school administrators used an ambitious plan to add teachers and programs to make their case to the public.


Firms are getting billions, but homeowners still in trouble

The federal government is engaged in a massive mortgage modification program that’s on track to send billions in tax dollars to many of the very companies that judges or regulators have cited in recent years for abusive mortgage practices.


Teachers union has concerns about nearly finished revision of Pasco School Board policy manual

The Pasco County School Board is considering a policy that would bar classroom teachers from tutoring their students for a fee.


Lee teachers concerned about unexpected withdrawals on paychecks

Something is up with the paychecks in the Lee County School District.


Manatee County school board discusses sick leave payout

District could save about $4 million in next 20 years

The Manatee County School District estimates it will save about $4million if it decides to limit sick leave payout for future hires at the time of their retirement.


EDITORIAL:  California state tax reform panel blew its opportunity

The Commission on the 21st Century Economy could have confronted the hard issues politicians have dodged for years.


Longer school year unlikely

President Barack Obama caused a stir recently with his suggestion that schools across the country should go to longer hours and extend the school year into the summer to help American students compete academically with schoolchildren in other countries.


Florida students narrow achievement gap, report says

Florida students have made progress in narrowing the achievement gap since the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, but significant disparities remain, according to a new report by the Center on Education Policy.


Federal audit finds flaws in FCAT scoring and student privacy

But report says the state still does an adequate job of ensuring tests are graded accurately

Some FCAT answer sheets were not properly scored by machines, and some exam readers should not have been hired to score FCAT essays, according to an audit of Florida’s testing program by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General.


Student volunteers can’t work where beer served

New rule restricts school fundraisers at BankAtlantic Center, LandShark Stadium, Lockhart Stadium

As money makers go, it’s a big one — a few hours of serving hot dogs, chicken tenders, sodas and beer at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise can net school groups hundreds of dollars.


Computer problems hamper Florida’s new online reading tests

Rollout of new exam, designed to help identify students’ reading deficiencies, is frustrating educators

Florida’s newest online reading tests aim to pinpoint who is struggling, predict who will score poorly on FCAT and offer information “crucial to teaching” those students.


Higher education in conflict

Better guidance from state would help resolve the USF-SCF dispute

Here is one good thing about a dispute between the two public institutions of higher learning in Manatee and Sarasota counties: The schools are willing to openly fight for the right to offer four-year degrees to students in our area.


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