Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners – Tuesday, July 5

Jul 5, 2011

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State layoffs of 1,300 employees hitting home

Millions of Floridians head back to work today after a three-day Fourth of July weekend.


Governor Rick Scott OK’s SunRail; Critics See Train Wreck Ahead

Hailed by business groups, governor green-lights Central Florida commuter project

Brushing off criticism from taxpayer and tea party groups, Governor Rick Scott gave the go-ahead to the controversial SunRail commuter train on Friday.


Central Florida schools scramble to find money as federal stimulus funds run out

Central Florida school districts are saying goodbye to nearly a half a billion dollars in federal economic-recovery money this week as they close their budgets for the 2011-2012 school year.


Hollywood badly flubs revenue, spending projections in 2011 budget

As Hollywood officials considered the 2011 municipal budget, no one at public meetings questioned the outsized figure – $1.8 million – the city estimated it would earn from new cameras ticketing red-light violators.


Adult-education classes in Florida now come with fees

Florida educators worry that a new fee on adult-education classes will force students to drop out of a program meant to help them secure work or higher-paying jobs.


Column:  Sorting out the changes in Florida Retirement System

The new 3-percent pension payment has drawn the most attention, but it’s not the only change for public employees in the Florida Retirement System.


Instant runoff voting could save lots of tax dollars

Results of runoff elections are almost guaranteed – huge costs and few votes.


Fraud and Chaos in McKay Voucher Program

From June 2006 through November 2010, the woefully cash-strapped Florida Department of Education forked over $2.057 million to Julius Brown, former middle school basketball coach and cofounder of a string of obscure sports apparel businesses.


Online tests okay for Florida learner’s permits again

Florida teenagers once again will be allowed to take their learner’s permit tests online.


Concern rises that South Florida water district will tap money intended for Collier

The annual job of setting the budget for the Big Cypress Basin is playing out amid renewed tensions with South Florida water managers this year.


Opinion:  Jeb Bush Has Been Overselling Florida Education Policies

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the Foundation for Excellence in Education have embarked on a well-funded campaign to spread selected Florida education reforms to other states.


Charging maximum for public records ‘right thing to do,’ Governor Scott says

Governor Rick Scott defended his administration’s public records policy to a roomful of media executives Friday at the annual meeting of the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.


‘No Child’ soon will flunk most schools

With the clock ticking, federal education officials fear that calamity awaits.


U.S. State Cuts Hit Health Care and Education, Help Bondholders

Florida is firing 1,300 workers.


Major teachers union endorses Obama’s re-election

The nation’s largest education union has endorsed President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.


Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability:  Recent Education-Related Studies

Achievement Gaps: How Hispanic and White Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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This report examines the achievement gaps between Hispanic and white public school students and change in gaps over time, using National Assessment of Educational Progress mathematics and reading assessment results from 2009 and trend results since 1990. There was no significant change at either grade 4 or 8 in the Hispanic-white achievement gap in either mathematics or reading between 2007 and 2009. Scores during that time period improved for both Hispanic and white students at grade 8 in both mathematics and reading. In 2009, both grades 4 and 8 saw a narrowing of the Hispanic-white achievement gaps in reading for low income students since 2003. Additionally, between 2003 and 2009, the Hispanic-white achievement gap in mathematics narrowed for low income students at grade 8.


Successful K-12 STEM Education:  Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

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Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are fundamental aspects of everyone’s lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and workers. Providing all students with access to high-quality education in STEM is important to their futures and that of the U.S. This publication explores strategies schools can use to meet this goal for their students. It focuses on the science and mathematics parts of STEM and on criteria for identifying effective STEM schools and practices. It also gives an overview of the landscape of K-12 STEM education by considering different school models, highlighting research on effective STEM education practices, and identifying some conditions that promote and limit school- and student-level success in STEM.


An open repository of free and fee-based digital content that is searchable, educationally relevant and aligned to Sunshine State Standards.

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This resource is an open repository of free and fee-based digital content that is searchable and aligned to Sunshine State Standards. It provides a single point of entry for Florida teachers to search for content that is aligned to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (Common Core). Through this portal, teachers have access to district and school-licensed digital content from multiple sources and a variety of public and free sources. Every Florida educator has access at no cost to this resource and its free, user-generated and district-licensed resources. Informational training sessions will be offered throughout the summer to enable teachers to get started on their instructional planning before the new school year starts.


Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2008-09

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This report presents state-level data on revenues by source and expenditures by function for public elementary and secondary education for school year 2008-09. Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary education were $10,591 in Fiscal Year 2009. Adjusting for inflation, per pupil state and local revenues slightly decreased by 1% or more in 16 states and increased in 25 states. During the same time frame, per pupil current expenditures decreased by 1% or more in 8 states and increased by 1% or more in 36 states. The 50 states and the District of Columbia reported $593.1 billion in revenues collected for public elementary and secondary education in Fiscal Year 2009. The greatest percentage of revenues came from state and local governments, which together provided $536.3 billion or 90% of all revenues; the federal government’s contribution was $56.7 billion or 10% of all revenues.


Principles and Processes for State Leadership on Next-Generation Accountability Systems

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This publication provides a guide on building accountability systems centered on preparing all students for success in college and career. The goal of these systems is to ensure that every student has access to a high quality education. States can achieve this goal by driving school and district performance towards college and career readiness; distinguishing performance in order to more meaningfully target supports and interventions to the students most in need; providing timely, transparent data to spur action at all levels; and fostering innovation and continuous improvement throughout the system. The document outlines the main principles as well as processes that form the basis for this roadmap.


Initial College Attendance of Low-Income Young Adults

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This brief examines the types of postsecondary institutions where low-income young adults begin. Focusing on the starting point in low-income students’ postsecondary experiences will lead to later investigations of other key factors that influence their persistence and completion prospects, as well as labor market outcomes. Compared with young adults not in poverty, low-income students are underrepresented in public four-year institutions (15% versus 25%) and private four-year institutions (6% versus 12%). However, low-income students are overrepresented in for-profit institutions (19% versus 5%). Both groups were almost equally likely – at 49% and 52%, respectively – to attend public two-year colleges.


The NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition

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The authors identified five trends as key drivers of technology adoptions for the period 2011 through 2016. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging teachers and others to revisit their roles as educators. As information technology support becomes more and more decentralized, the technologies used are increasingly based not on school servers, but in cloud-based applications. Technology continues to profoundly affect the way educators work, collaborate, communicate, and succeed. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they choose. The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing.


School-Based Early Childhood Education and Age 28 Well-Being:  Effects by Timing, Dosage, and Subgroups

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This study reports the effects of the Child-Parent Center Education Program on indicators of well-being up to 25 years later for more than 1,400 participants. This established, publicly funded intervention begins in preschool and provides up to 6 years of service in inner-city Chicago schools. Researchers found that 80% of the preschool group finished high school versus 75% of the comparison group. Nearly 15% of the preschool group attended a four-year college, versus 11% of the others. Twenty-eight percent of the preschool group had skilled jobs requiring post-high school training versus 21% of the others. Average annual adult income for the preschool group was about $11,600 versus $10,800 for the others.





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