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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What didn't happen?

Thumbsdown Last week, the Gradebook gave you the rundown on all that Florida's lawmakers did to the world of schools and education. Here's the big stuff they didn't get done. Be happy, or sad, accordingly.

  • Anti-bullying and anti-harassment - A bill that would have forced districts to create policies to limit kids picking on other kids couldn't get past the Senate Education Appropriations committee, where chairman Sen. Stephen Wise said the proponents were bullying him to act.
  • Voucher expansion - Bills went back and forth. But the main mover, Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster, did not convince others to create the special fund or rewrite the law to allow more children to use the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship program. The version that eventually made it through the House was so watered down that the Senate rejected it in messages.
  • World-class standards - House Speaker Marco Rubio wanted to change the language of education accountability, rewriting the Sunshine State Standards and revamping the FCAT, among other things. Wise closed his committee's final meeting without approving the idea.
  • Splitting large school districts - The House Education committee liked the concept of letting Florida's  biggest districts break up into smaller chunks. The concept didn't fly in the Senate.
  • Human papillomavirus vaccine - Some lawmakers thought it would be a good idea to require every girl entering sixth grade to get the shot. Most didn't. The idea died in committee.
  • Expanded virtual school - The bill would have increased the numbers of K-8 students permitted to take courses on-line. Dead in committee.
  • Retirement - School administrators, in shrinking supply, would have been able to participate in the state deferred retirement program for a longer time before leaving their jobs. Passed the House, but the Senate didn't pick it up.
  • Dropout prevention - A House education committee considered mandating uniforms and single-gender classrooms in D and F rated schools. One senator put forth a bill that would have allowed, not mandated, the concepts. Nothing happened.
  • Gifted education - Senators proposed ending funding for high school-level gifted programs. Parents revolted. The Legislature ended up freezing the funding and calling for a study instead.
  • Governor's School for Science and Technology - The governor wanted one. The Legislature said no.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:17am]


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