Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Florida rates poorly in per-student funding, in new Education Week report

Critics of Florida's public education funding system got another piece of ammunition Wednesday, as Education Week rated the state's school spending an F alongside 25 other states.

The publication, which annually issues a well regarded national rating of state education systems, noted that Florida does exceedingly well in finance equity, or the way it allocates across districts.

Florida's A- grade on that metric was the best of all states.

But Its F in spending was among the worst, tracking with past reports from Education Week. Compounding the issue, Florida also ranked lowest of all states in another key area that has gotten plenty of attention lately, its per-student funding.

"In seven states and the District of Columbia, 100 percent of students are in districts where spending reaches or exceeds the national benchmark," Education Week wrote. "In 15 states, by contrast, less than 10 percent of students attend school in districts meeting that mark, including Florida where only 0.1 percent of students are in such districts (the lowest in the nation)."

Florida's debate over per-student funding has been long running, with legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Scott touting efforts to bring the amount to the highest in state history. Critics have observed that the amount has not kept up with inflation, and further the amount actually available for general operations has not met increasing costs of doing business.

Florida also is in the middle of a funding lawsuit that has been in play for nine years. A group of parents has argued the state has failed to meet its constitutional obligations for financing a highly public effective education system.

Two courts so far have ruled that the constitutional language is vague and subjective, making it impossible to judge. The issue is now before the state Supreme Court.

Comments
Lee Elementary — or whatever it will ultimately be called — will be rebuilt in Tampa

Lee Elementary — or whatever it will ultimately be called — will be rebuilt in Tampa

Things have come full circle as the Hillsborough County School District moves ahead to rebuild fire-ravaged Lee Elementary School.The board on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that the district negotiated with its insurers that pays full cost of b...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Pasco School Board, teachers take stands for improved education funding

Pasco School Board, teachers take stands for improved education funding

Stating the need for increased funding, about a dozen Pasco County teachers rallied Tuesday outside the school district headquarters for candidates and issues they say support public education."I believe that's what this year's election should really...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida superintendents association sets up account to help hurricane-hit school districts

Florida superintendents association sets up account to help hurricane-hit school districts

Hurricane Michael blasted at least 10 north Florida school districts, razing some campuses and leaving others unusable.Seven districts — Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty and Washington — remain closed indefinitely, a...
Published: 10/16/18
Florida education news: Sales tax, scholarships, ballot language and more

Florida education news: Sales tax, scholarships, ballot language and more

SALES TAX: With limited funding, the campaign for a Hillsborough County schools sales tax increase relies on parent volunteers to get the word out. If approved, the revenue will pay for air conditioning repairs, among other construction and main...
Published: 10/16/18
Amendment 8 ballot language was ‘defective,’ Florida Supreme Court rules

Amendment 8 ballot language was ‘defective,’ Florida Supreme Court rules

The Florida Supreme Court removed Amendment 8 from the November 6 ballot because it failed to inform voters of its true purpose, the court stated in its opinion on the matter, released Monday."That the ballot summary is unclear is best demonstrated b...
Published: 10/15/18
Scholarship letters begin circulating for bullied Florida students

Scholarship letters begin circulating for bullied Florida students

Fifteen days after their official launch, Florida's new tax credit scholarships for students who claim being bullied in public school have begun being offered.Families that report any of 13 types of incidents, as outlined in law, are gettin...
Published: 10/15/18
When do Florida schools take buses off the roads?

When do Florida schools take buses off the roads?

35 miles per hour.That's the wind speed at which the Florida Department of Education has recommended school districts start pulling buses off the road, for safety's sake.The department sent the message to districts as Hurricane Michael churned n...
Published: 10/15/18
Florida education news: Union leaders, hurricane recovery, superintendent reviews and more

Florida education news: Union leaders, hurricane recovery, superintendent reviews and more

UNION LEADERS: Florida Education Association delegates ousted union president Joanne McCall in favor of challenger Fed Ingram, who had been vice president. Ingram's arguments that the group should be more aggressive in its push against the Repub...
Published: 10/15/18
Florida Education Association elects new leadership

Florida Education Association elects new leadership

Frustrated by three years of failed attempts to fight legislative actions deemed unfriendly to teachers, Florida Education Association members on Friday ousted the group's leadership team in favor of challengers who pledged to "rebuild our power...
Published: 10/13/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 7, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 7, 2018

With elections less than a month off, Floridians have focused attention on who will be the people setting education policy for the next two or four years. They’re homing in on policy positions such as teacher pay, tax rates and school safety, a...
Published: 10/13/18