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Higher education in Florida has seen dramatic change. More is coming.

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
 
Christopher Rufo, one of the controversial new trustees for New College of Florida, center, is confronted by protesters moments after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Monday, May 15, 2023, banning state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at Florida's public universities, in Sarasota.
Christopher Rufo, one of the controversial new trustees for New College of Florida, center, is confronted by protesters moments after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Monday, May 15, 2023, banning state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at Florida's public universities, in Sarasota. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published July 6, 2023|Updated July 6, 2023

The big story: Florida higher education has undergone some dramatic changes in the past couple of years, under the efforts of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Through a combination of new laws, rules, lawsuits and appointments, DeSantis has worked to reshape the public college and university system to reflect his views and priorities. He has challenged the accepted practices on accreditation, tenure, academic freedom and campus speech, among other high profile efforts.

The latest round of legislation takes effect this month. Read more about what he’s done, and what’s coming.

Among his efforts, DeSantis has worked to place allies in key university leadership positions. His support for firebrand Republican state Rep. Randy Fine to run Florida Atlantic University did not come to fruition, though, as FAU trustees did not include Fine in their list of three finalists for the post this week, Florida Politics reports.

At New College, which has become the focal point for much of the DeSantis agenda, trustees advanced their search for a permanent president. They hired a headhunter firm and set the salary range at $487,000 to $868,000, News Service of Florida reports.

Hot topics

Moms for Liberty: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was not the darling of the Moms for Liberty second annual summit, unlike his celebrated status at the first one a year ago, Hechinger Report reports.

Teacher unions: The National Education Association led a rally against the DeSantis education agenda during its representative assembly in Orlando, WKMG reports.

Public prayer: Schools participating in state sports playoffs now have the law behind them if they choose to pray publicly before the games, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Interested parties are trying to determine how far the law goes.

Student transportation: The Duval County school district might eliminate some magnet school busing as it copes with a driver shortage and rising costs, Jacksonville Today reports.

History lessons: Several Palm Beach County teachers received special training in how to better teach students about the Holocaust, WPTV reports.

Classroom technology: Pasco County’s new STEM school will teach students and teachers how to use artificial intelligence as a tool in their courses, WFTS reports.

Civics education: Gov. DeSantis has made improving civics understanding a key piece of his education priorities. ABC News examines what that has meant in Florida.

Other school news

A Palm Beach County School Board member was suspended from practicing law in Florida for 10 days. Edwin Ferguson admitted to the state Bar that he violated the rules on communication, diligence and misconduct, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Some Parkland families made their first visit to a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High building where a 2018 shooting occurred. They said they wanted to see the site before it is demolished, the Miami Herald reports.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning was supposed to hold its annual convention in Miami this year. It announced this week it would relocate the event to Chicago, citing concerns over Florida’s hostile legislation and actions, Florida Phoenix reports.

From the court docket ... Florida A&M University students refiled a federal lawsuit accusing the state of racial discrimination against the historically Black university, News Service of Florida reports.

Don’t miss a story. The link to yesterday’s roundup is right here.

Before you go ... Have you ever thought about trying to get a supermarket egg to hatch? This guy did it — twice.

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