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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More than teacher contracts on Florida's legislative agenda



The Florida House has scheduled six hours to debate a bill on teacher evaluations and pay that looks virtually assured of passage to a governor who's ready and willing to sign it into law. It starts at 1 p.m., if you're interested. But for those of you who don't like watching what appears to be grandstanding on a foregone conclusion, here's what else is going on in Tallahassee on the education front this week.

The Florida Senate has placed Democrat Gary Siplin's pet bill, one that would ban school students from wearing saggy pants that show their drawers, on the calendar for a floor vote. Siplin has tried for years to get this measure through. This year, as he bucked his party on the teacher bill, he's so far gotten unanimous support for the idea in the Budget Committee and looks to have enough backing to get it through the full Senate. Go figure.

The Senate also has scheduled committee debate Thursday on:

  • A bill to require school districts to close for Veterans Day -- an idea that is not getting rave reviews from some veteran groups that think kids should learn about their sacrifices rather than get an extra vacation day, and
  • A bill that would ease class size requirements in part by changing the definition of core course requirements -- an idea that isn't popular with some parent groups.

The House, meanwhile, has set time for committees to discuss doing away with College Level Academic Skills Test requirements as well as a general discussion on the future of higher education in Florida.

Budgets also remain a key concern. And keep your eyes on bills to revise charter school and virtual school law. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10:10am]


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