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House and Senate Agree on Funding Plan for Public Schools

March 1, 2018 - 6:00am

Lawmakers continued negotiations Wednesday on a new $87 billion-plus state budget, after reaching agreement on several major issues, including a funding plan for public schools.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said the Senate has agreed with the House on how to use local property taxes to help fund the 67 school districts. The House had objected to using an increase in the local taxes, known as the “required local effort,” that came as a result of higher property values.

Major Education Issues Hold Session Key

February 19, 2018 - 11:15am
Dorothy Hukill

Florida lawmakers will use the last three weeks of the 2018 session to decide the fate of a number of major education bills that address everything from school bullying to teachers to university tuition.

Senate Panel Backs School Mental Health Initiative

February 14, 2018 - 8:30pm

Shortly before a mass shooting at a Broward County high school, a Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that could dedicate more funding to Florida schools for mental health services.

House, Senate Tee Up Different Budget Plans

February 7, 2018 - 8:00pm

The House and Senate on Wednesday advanced separate versions of an $87 billion-plus state budget, with the two chambers taking different courses on health-care spending and a plan to link education policy to the budget process.

After initial debate on the bills, the Senate is poised to pass its $87.3 billion bill (SB 2500) on Thursday, and the House is expected to pass its $87.2 billion spending plan (HB 5001). After the floor votes, the chambers will be able to begin negotiating the 2018-2019 budget, facing a March 9 end-of-session deadline.

Constitution Panel Ready to Take Issues across State

February 5, 2018 - 8:00pm

After considering more than 100 proposals in committees, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission is ready to move into its next phase, starting with a public hearing Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale.

House GOP Loads Issues into Education Bill

January 31, 2018 - 8:00pm
Carlos Trujillo

In a replay of last year, the House on Wednesday attached a major education policy bill to the state budget, spurring a debate on controversial issues such as a voucher-like program for students who are bullied and an effort to weaken teachers’ unions.

Panel Approves Revamping Right to Privacy

January 25, 2018 - 10:45pm

A proposal that would narrow the right to privacy in the state Constitution was approved Thursday by a panel of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

House Eyes Higher Education Budget Cuts

January 23, 2018 - 6:45pm

Florida House leaders unveiled a proposed higher-education budget Tuesday that includes cuts designed to spur state universities and colleges to spend some of their reserve funds.

CRC Tackling Question of Who Chooses Appointments to Judiciary

January 15, 2018 - 8:00pm
Bill Schifino and John Stemberger

The Constitution Revision Commission is considering a measure that could settle future disputes over the appointment of Florida Supreme Court justices, but the proposal will do nothing to resolve a constitutional crisis looming early next year.

At question is whether Gov. Rick Scott or his successor, the winner of the 2018 governor’s race, will pick the replacements for three justices ---  Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince ---  whose terms end as Scott’s tenure comes to a close in early January 2019.

Lawmakers Look to Boost Scholarship Programs

December 29, 2017 - 5:15pm

(This is the fourth in a series of stories previewing issues for the 2018 legislative session.)

For Florida residents, attending a state university or college is a bargain.

This academic year, in-state students at Florida's 12 universities will pay an average of $6,091 in tuition and fees for 30 credit hours, which is nearly 40 percent below the national average of $9,970 for four-year public schools, according to the College Board.

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