Florida roundup: School spending, digital education, PTA activism & more

Rick Scott’s proposed budget. Includes $1.2 billion more for public schools. Coverage from South Florida Sun Sentinel, Gainesville Sun, Fort Myers News PressTCPalm.com, Associated Press, Pensacola News Journal. “A relief to educators,” reports the Lakeland Ledger.

flroundup2Digital education. Jeb Bush on CNN’s Schools of Thought Blog: “Digital learning is just one important element of the overall school choice movement being celebrated during National School Choice week – and rightfully so. There is no silver bullet. There is no one-size-fits-all option. There can and must be only a proliferation of ever-growing options so that students and parents can embrace whatever educational scenario is best for them.”

Exposed, day two! The Tampa Bay Times plugs the Jeb-Bush-corporate-connections-conspiracy “story” by offering a link from the front of its web site to The Buzz, which channels the “news” from, of all places, The Answer Sheet blog, which The Buzz curiously describes as merely “the Washington Post’s education blog.”

PTA activism award. The Florida chapter is honored for successfully defeating parent trigger legislation last year. Gradebook.

School spending. The Brevard school board considers a bus fee for students in choice programs. Florida Today.

Teacher pay raises. A constitutional amendment for that is a bad idea. Palm Beach Post.

ESE changes in Hillsborough. Latest from Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune.

Concordant scores. They’re out now. Tampa Bay Times.

PARCC. StateImpact Florida relays a DOE overview of the coming tests.

Superintendents. Manatee adds a sixth candidate, reports the Bradenton Herald and Sarasota Herald Tribune. Whoever he or she ultimately is “must have the skill set, character and strength to bring this district back from disaster,” editorializes the Bradenton Herald.

Race to the Top. Florida is back on track a year after federal education officials warned it for falling behind on grant-funded projects. Associated Press.

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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.