School construction: K-12 schools and colleges and universities will be competing for school construction money during the next legislative session, which begins in March. Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, says higher education is a top priority, but it’s unclear how much money will be available and how it will be shared. Orlando Sentinel.
Principal program: The Florida Board of Education expects to detail the rules outlining the autonomy principals will be given in turning around struggling schools. The pilot project could be rolled out in seven districts: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Duval, Jefferson, Madison and Seminole counties. The board meets Jan. 17. Gradebook.
Gifted programs expand: In the past three years, the Seminole County School District has doubled the number of black, Hispanic, English-learning and low-income youngsters in its gifted program. Orlando Sentinel.
Middling grades: Florida is given a C grade, slightly below the U.S. average, in the annual Quality Counts report from Education Week’s Research Center. Florida’s score was 72.5, while the U.S. average was 74.2. The grades are calculated from a success index, spending on education, spending equity across state districts and an achievement index. Massachusetts is the top state with a score of 86.5 and a grade of B. Education Week.