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Florida expands career, technical programs for students

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Students work on book cover designs using Mac desktop computers in the Commercial Academy at Tampa Bay Tech High in Tampa. Florida is expanding post-high school options for students who prefer career training over college. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
Students work on book cover designs using Mac desktop computers in the Commercial Academy at Tampa Bay Tech High in Tampa. Florida is expanding post-high school options for students who prefer career training over college. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Jun. 25

It’s long been said that college isn’t for everyone. Many Florida school districts have made clear their goals are to also prepare students for career and life, in addition to a university experience. State lawmakers lately have taken steps to ensure that vocational and technical programs get the support they deserve. Florida now has three more laws aimed in that direction. Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.

‘There’s no wrong door any more.’ Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Hillsborough Community College to sign bills that would establish money-back guarantees for certain apprenticeships, reimburse colleges and universities for more dual enrollment students, and offer more student grants for college programs.

Hot topics

Critical race theory: Federal education officials criticized state efforts to ban “critical race theory,” which most K-12 systems don’t teach. Still, education secretary Miguel Cardona said it should be up to local school districts to pick their curriculum, Chalkbeat reports.

School choice: Florida lawmakers say they support school choice. They upset choice advocates when they cut off student access to virtual schools in counties other than the ones where they live, Politico Florida reports.

Testing: Florida high school students soon will face a new civics exam. Questions about over what the test will look like and how it will be used, Florida Phoenix reports.

Courtesy rides: Bay County schools are about to cut off bus rides to hundreds of students. The reason isn’t a lack of funding, the Panama City News Herald reports. It’s a lack of drivers.

School news

Land for sale. The Orange County school district is again attempting to sell a 94-acre site at the gateway of the nation’s oldest incorporated Black municipality, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Growth pays for itself. Orange County’s school impact fees are going up, just not as originally planned, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Some Volusia County School Board wanted to explore new options for their legal counsel. They wound up extending their current lawyer’s contract for three years, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

In memoriam. The Manatee County school district renamed its district headquarters after longtime educator and School Board member Walter Miller, who died in 2019, the Bradenton Herald reports.

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