Florida roundup: School choice committee, teacher evaluations, ed funding and more


School choice will have its own legislative committee. From the News Service of Florida (subscription required): “Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, is revamping the House’s committee structure, including making changes that will affect education and regulatory issues. The changes, outlined in a memo sent to House members Wednesday, include creating an education Choice & Innovation Subcommittee, which will deal with a wide range of issues such as charter schools, virtual instruction and voucher-type programs.”

A plea on teacher evals. The Florida Education Association asks Gov. Rick Scott to use his authority to postpone the linking of standardized test scores to teacher evaluations, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

More school funding votes. Voters in Seminole said yes to a tax hike, voters in Volusia said no, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Brevard voters also said no, Florida Today reports.

Charter school closing. The Lee County School Board prepares to close a charter school with financial problems, the Fort Myers News Press reports.

About that $155 million verdict for the former charter principal. Nevermind, the Miami Herald reports.

Mounting criticism over student deaths. Hillsborough County parents start facebook pages and have scheduled a protest in response to the deaths of two special needs students, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

From Idaho and Indiana, a message for Jeb Bush? StateImpact Florida.

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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 rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.