Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–September 23

Sep 23, 2008

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State’s Budget Deficit Sharpens Tax Debate

Florida’s continuing revenue shortfall – projected to be in the billions of dollars this year and next – is unprecedented. The partisan dispute over it is anything but.

With dire budget cuts, class size is on the table

The future of Florida’s law that limits class sizes is in doubt as leaders in Tallahassee and throughout the state’s school districts scramble to prepare for even darker clouds on the budget horizon next year.


Memo to Gov. Charlie Crist and the gang in the Florida Legislature:

Appraiser workers: We were pressured to sign affidavits

Two longtime managers of the Brevard County property appraiser told state investigators they were pressured into signing affidavits that might discredit a former colleague who is a key witness in the criminal case against former Chief Deputy Appraiser Lance Larsen.

Florida lawmakers question bailout plan

Florida lawmakers expressed skepticism Monday as details of a $700 billion financial-system bailout began to trickle out, but U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez warned that this is not the time to get political over the package.

COMMENTARY: Time to shift tax debate to spending cap

As Florida’s budget continues its meltdown, the cry for tax reform continues.

Mortgage costs eat up income for many of us

About a third of South Florida homeowners with mortgages spent at least half of their paychecks on housing costs last year, according to U.S. census data being released today.

Home-Costs Rise Outpaces Incomes

Expenses went up even as median value of homes in the region fell

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows in black and white what we should have known: Northeast Florida housing costs in the last few years outpaced income in a big way. And now that the housing hangover is causing upheaval on both Main Street and Wall Street, the numbers could get a lot worse.

County’s $4 billion budget vote comes with a rescue to the arts

Confronted by a roomful of advocates for the arts, Palm Beach County commissioners backed away from deep cuts to cultural programs and gave final approval to a $4 billion budget that takes effect Oct. 1.

Lake Worth to save $2 million in insurance deal

The city’s decision to put its insurance coverage out to bid for the first time in more than a decade will save taxpayers more than $2 million a year, Administrative Services Director Mark Bates said today.

Broward schools down 3,167 students

The Broward school district has lost more than 3,000 students since last year, according to a report released Friday.

Students continue to leave Broward public schools by the thousands, according to a head count released Friday.

Florida superintendents make impressive salaries – they insist they are worth it

Teachers aren’t the only ones who think they are underpaid.

‘The school district has gotten cheap labor for a long time in this position,’ said Orange School Superintendent Ron Blocker, who thinks he is being shortchanged, too.

Schools chief: An insider on fast track

From science teacher to chief of Miami-Dade schools, Alberto Carvalho has risen swiftly through the ranks of the nation’s fourth-largest school district.

At a meeting in July, Miami-Dade School Board Chairman Agustín Barrera floated a two-page memo opposing the constitutional amendments cutting public-school funding. But one of Barrera’s colleagues suspected a ghostwriter — Alberto Carvalho.

Charter schools vie for approval

A public technical high school that allows students to graduate with a GED and ready-to-work certification.

Budget cuts could limit classroom diversity

The number of minorities teaching in Central Florida has grown nearly 30 percent in recent years, during a time when school districts statewide boosted their numbers only about half as much.

No time to play? Schools face pressure to shave time off recess

Emphasis on test prep pressures schools to shave minutes off recess 

They start with a lively relay race from a chain-link fence to a sidewalk about 50 yards away. Then it’s freeze tag.

Chancellor of state university system quits

Three years after being chosen as head of the board that oversees Florida’s state university system, chancellor Mark B. Rosenberg has resigned.

Community colleges push for local-option tax

Voters will get to choose whether to pay additional taxes to help fund community colleges.

The state’s community colleges are championing a proposed amendment to the state constitution this November that would allow counties to ask voters if they want to pay extra sales taxes to support them.

Gov. Crist urging Florida families to save for college

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Prepaid College Board are reminding families during College Savings Month this September that Florida offers easy and affordable ways to save for their children’s college education.

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