Trump threatens aid to schools that don’t reopen, online-only district start, budget issues and more
State Sen. Hukill dies: State Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, a champion of education who served Volusia and Brevard counties in the Legislature for 14 years, died Tuesday at the age of 72. Just last week she announced she would not be running for re-election because her cancer had returned and she was entering hospice care. Hukill was the chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee and a longtime advocate for requiring students to take a course in financial literacy before graduation. Before entering politics, Hukill was a teacher and a lawyer. Florida Today. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Space Coast Daily. Miami Herald. Florida Times-Union. Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. Politico Florida. Florida politicians react to Hukill’s death, and begin the search for a replacement to run for her Senate District 14 seat in the Nov. 6 election. Florida Politics. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Sunshine State News.
Florida tops for scholarships: Florida is ranked first in the country for its tax credit scholarship programs, according to a new report from the American Federation for Children. The tax credit scholarship program for the survey’s highest ranking out of 18 such programs nationwide, with high marks for required testing, background checks and financial reporting. It’s also the largest, with 108,000 students receiving scholarships last year. Across the United States, almost a half-million students were enrolled in private school choice programs during the 2016-2017 school year. Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer the tax credit scholarship program for the state. The 74.
Budget problems: State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says Florida schools are probably going to have to raise local property taxes to close a $426 million gap in funding. Latvala said the state is unlikely to close that financial gap with state funds for a second year in a row. Latvala’s position contradicts House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s. The Land O’Lakes Republican has vowed not to raise taxes for schools. Naples Daily News. News Service of Florida.
Charter suit dismissed: A lawsuit challenging the state’s rule that withholds money for construction and repairs from charter schools that got consecutive D grades from the state has been dismissed. The case was ruled moot when the state withdrew the rule last week. But just days after that rule was dropped, another was adopted that kept the restrictions but delayed implementation for a year. Charter school advocates say they will fight the revised rule. redefinED.
Fake address query: An investigation into address fraud at Calusa Elementary School in Boca Raton is concluding, and school officials say they have found at least 11 students whose families may have lied about where they live so the students could attend the school. Final checks are being made, but officials say there won’t be enough changes to avoid the proposed rezoning that would move 372 Calusa students to other schools next year. Sun-Sentinel.
Class sizes: Lake County is the only school district in central Florida to violate the class-sizes rules, and it missed the standard by just two students. Lake officials say they will appeal the Department of Education findings. Orlando Sentinel.