Florida unveils online tool to weigh colleges on salary and student debt
The Florida Board of Governors launched an online tool this month to help students choose a major at one of the state’s 12 public universities. The tool, MyFloridaFuture, was mandated in last year’s legislative session by House Bill 1261, which also protected universities from liability lawsuits related to COVID-19, offered tuition in the state to the grandchildren of Floridians and “buy one, get one”. free tuition on select STEM courses. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Omicron has only exacerbated the teacher shortage across the state of Florida. So how are schools doing?
Hundreds of teachers are calling in sick every day across Florida districts as the highly contagious variant of Omicron continues to spread. The absences only exacerbate a decades-long teacher shortage spurred by low salaries, teacher advocates say. In 2019, a year before the pandemic, Florida had more than 5,000 teaching positions open. [Source: WMFE]
Commentary: Florida education scandal reveals strife, grabbing for taxpayers’ money
Over the holidays, a scandal has emerged at the highest level of Florida’s education system – now a head of state wants to bury. Two top officials, including a former chairman of the State Board of Education, tried to secure a $1.8 million contract with the very division they helped run — a blatant conflict of interest. Both have resigned. And the governor’s office is now suggesting that should be the end of the story, allowing the warring parties to slip away after being taken. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Study: ICUF schools create 100,900 jobs and have an economic impact of $15.7 billion
A new economic impact study released this week indicates that Florida’s independent college and university institutions create 100,900 jobs and contribute $15.7 billion to the state’s economy. The study, conducted by The Regional Economic Consulting Group, also found that ICUF schools generate $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue. [Source: Floriad Politics]
In 2022, Florida International University will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Miami State’s only university began with 5,667 students when it opened in 1972 at the old Tamiami Airport off Southwest Eighth Street, a suburban school for juniors, seniors and graduate students only, with no dorms, without sports teams and without sororities or fraternities. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› University of Miami sets application record
The University of Miami broke its record for the number of freshmen applicants, climbing 16% from 2021 to 42,000 to 49,000 for fall 2022, according to university officials. Programs to guide student decisions about majors and careers, they say, have grown alongside the surge in applications in the fall. “We are launching a new career mentorship program,” said John Haller, vice president of enrollment management.
› Lawmakers want to ensure there is lead-free water in Florida public schools
Florida’s constitution requires schools to promise a “safe” and “high quality” education to those in their care. You might assume that this promise would include that the water schools provide to young students is lead-free. However, most schools are unable to make this promise. Under current state law, lead testing in public schools is optional and most school districts — say advocates — do not test.
› FSU Helps Launch Early Childhood Education Certification Program
Florida State University and the Florida Association for Education of Young Children (FLAEYC) have launched a professional certification program that will help teachers develop skills to educate students and meet their emotional needs. The program is open to all, with a wide range of participants. This includes high school and college students hoping to earn early childhood degrees, those currently working in early education fields, and anyone who works in “a position of influence” in education that provides “technical assistance” to educators and families.
› Principal sacked in Holocaust controversy goes to Florida Supreme Court
A Palm Beach County school principal whose comments about the Holocaust sparked high-profile controversy is challenging his dismissal in Florida Supreme Court. A lawyer for William Latson filed a brief Monday asking the Supreme Court to hear a dispute over the Palm Beach County School Board’s decision to fire him. The filing came after the 4th District Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal in November.
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