Tax-credit scholarships. Some fear Step Up For Students could become a “taxpayer-financed monopoly” as the cap on tax-credit contributions increases, bringing in more money under the 3 percent administrative allowance used to run the program. Palm Beach Post. Jason Bedrick of CATO responds to a Miami Herald editorial that opposed legislation expanding the program. The legislation has prompted a back-and-forth between state Rep. Ritch Workman and his local school board. Florida Today.The Heartland Institute writes up the bill, while Watchdog.org looks at the testing question. (Step Up administers the program and co-hosts this blog.)
Open enrollment. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s plan to have district-wide open enrollment would create more choices, but the most revered schools are already over-booked. Florida Times Union.
Charter schools. A collaboration between a charter school and a private college blurs lines between K-12 and higher education, and raises questions among Miami-Dade school district officials, the Miami Herald reports. Orange County school district officials want to take one charter school’s application appeal before a judge, but construction has already begun. Orlando Sentinel. Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, questions state funding intended to help SEED open one of its boarding schools in Miami-Dade. WFSU.
Common Core. A new Achieve survey probes public opinion on the standards. Sentinel School Zone flags one major finding: Most people still say they know little about them. The standards have become an issue in a Republican congressional primary involving state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
School choice. A raft of legislation, from charter schools to education savings accounts, is proving controversial this legislative session. Miami Herald.
Career Academies. Senate President Don Gaetz touts efforts to expand them in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed.
Turnaround schools. Efforts get a mixed reception among Pinellas County parents. Tampa Bay Times.
Virtual schools. Florida Virtual School puts on a demonstration at the Capitol. WCTV.
Teacher evals. Answer Sheet picks up a post from a Hillsborough media specialist who takes aim at VAM.
Rick Scott. The governor the Republican-led Legislature has continued to “gut” public education by promoting charter schools and vouchers, says South Florida Sun Sentinel columnist Stephen Goldstein.
Student discipline. Santa Rosa County Schools plan to eliminate corporal punishment. Northwest Florida Daily News.
Substitute teachers. New laws and tight budgets are prompting some school districts to change how they manage a crucial part of their workforce, and in some cases outsourcing it. Tampa Bay Times.
Special needs. Hillsborough officials prepare to settle a case in the wake of a child’s death. Times.