State Sen. Linda Stewart
Legislative preview: Fighting over the state budget is expected to dominate the Legislature in this election year. The top education issues being considered are potential revisions in H.B. 7069, which boosts charter schools, expanding Bright Futures scholarships and a bill providing scholarships for bullied K-12 students. Other issues include a bill requiring completion of a financial literacy course to graduate, an effort to expand computer coding, the use of schools as emergency shelters and a bill that would allow some employees to carry guns into schools. Tampa Bay Times. Tallahassee Democrat. Orlando Sentinel. News Service of Florida. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. Palm Beach Post. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Schools face sanctions: Thirty-one Florida private schools face possible sanctions for failing to file financial reports as the state requires by the Sept. 15 deadline. The law requires any private school that receives $250,000 or more in Florida Tax Credit Scholarships for low-income students or Gardiner Scholarships for students with special needs to submit reports to the nonprofits that administer the scholarships. Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer both scholarship programs. redefinED. A troubled Pine Hills private school will close if it can no longer receive money from the state’s scholarship programs, the school’s attorney tells the Department of Education. Agape Christian Academy filed false fire inspections, hired people with criminal records and failed to pay its employees, according to records, leading to a state ban on any state scholarship money going to the school. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart will make a decision on the school’s appeal of the ban. Orlando Sentinel.
Private school restrictions: A bill is filed that would prohibit individuals who have filed for bankruptcy within the past five years from operating private schools that accept students who receive state scholarship money. Filed by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, the bill would apply to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, which serves more than 100,000 students. Orlando Sentinel.