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Florida roundup: Online learning, tax credit scholarships, Amendment 8 and more

Amendment 8 debate. Video at the Naples Daily News. Featuring Jim Towey, Ave Maria University president, and Howard Simon, Florida ACLU executive director. The Naples Daily News also runs this op-ed in favor of 8.

Drug-sniffing dogs. The U.S. Supreme Court considers arguments in two cases, including one in Florida, with potential implications for the use of drug-sniffing dogs in public schools, reports Education Week.

U.S. Rep. Brown

Request for investigation. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, wants an investigation of online education provider K12, reports StateImpact Florida.

Online growth. Lake County appoints its first virtual school principal, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Growth in tax credit scholarships. From redefinED (with speadsheet showing district-by-district growth over the past eight years). From Gradebook.

Vouchers and the Florida Supreme Court. Critics of the three justices up for a merit retention vote say their 2006 ruling on vouchers is evidence of liberal judicial activism, the Washington Post reports in a broader story about the campaign against the justices.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at

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