Senate bill to end FTC wait list moves forward

TALLAHASSEE -- In a 5-3 party-line vote, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education voted Tuesday to advance a bill that would eliminate the waiting list for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for lower-income families. The bill, SB7070, creates the Family Empowerment Scholarship program, which would  allow about 15,000 low-income students to attend the private school of their choice in 2019-20....

Bills expanding Florida’s charter schools on the move in House committee

TALLAHASSEE – The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee on Tuesday passed two substantial bills impacting charter schools in Florida. HB 1197 would allow state universities and Florida College System (FCS) institutions to fully sponsor charter schools serving all grade levels, repealing current limitations capping such schools at grade 8. Supporters cited educational capacity, workforce qualifications, and career education opportunities as needs that...

Montana school choice case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

Montana parents appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court last week, asking the court to overturn a ruling that found tax-credit scholarships unconstitutional in the state. The Montana Supreme Court had ruled 5-2 in December that the state’s tax credit scholarship program violated the state’s constitutional bans aid to sectarian schools. The ruling allowed the state to create a new tax...
demographics

Arizona nudges past Florida in teacher pay as both states turn Japanese

Living out in a distant and pleasant patch of cactus, I noticed this week that Arizona overtook Florida in average teacher pay in the latest National Education Association report. ZONA! ZOZA! ZON … oh, wait. Neither state is near the top. The Florida news report on the NEA numbers contained the typical demands for additional state funding, but there...

revisitED: Customization can lead to eliminating school grades and better accountability

The state of Florida’s latest annual report on the performance of students receiving tax credit scholarships contained these facts: 22.9 percent of scholarship students came from public schools rated “D” or “F” in the prior school year, while 30.3 percent of came from public schools rated “A” or “B.” School grades are intended to inform parents about the effectiveness of...

How the Florida education revolution began

Editor’s note: March 2 marked the 20th anniversary of the legislative session in which Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched a number of K-12 reforms that transformed education throughout the state. With the start of the 2019 legislative session earlier this month, redefinED embarked upon a series of articles that examine aspects of Bush’s K-12 education revolution and how it continues to...
Florida Capitol

Bill to end FTC waiting list clears House hurdle

TALLAHASSEE -- In a bipartisan vote, the House Education Committee on Thursday passed a bill that would eliminate a waiting list for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for lower-income families. House PCB EDC 19-01, known as the Family Empowerment Scholarship, would help pay for private school tuition and fees, with unused funds rolling over to the next school year. The scholarship also...

House files bill that would eliminate FTC waiting list

TALLAHASSEE -- The House Education Committee on Tuesday filed a bill that would eliminate a waiting list for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for lower-income families. House PCB EDC 19-01, known as the Family Empowerment Scholarship, would help pay for private school tuition and fees, with unused funds rolling over to the next school year. The scholarship also could cover...

Judge sides with charter schools in safety fight

Jim Saunders / News Service of Florida TALLAHASSEE --- In a decision that could have statewide implications, an administrative law judge Tuesday ruled that the Palm Beach County School Board is required to assign safety officers to charter schools under a law passed last year. Judge John Van Laningham sided with Renaissance Charter School Inc., which operates six schools in Palm Beach...