Education

Most Florida Teachers Earn Positive Rating

Dec 6, 2012

Florida teachers are learning how they rate compared to colleagues across the state. The Florida Department of Education released data Wednesday showing which schools and districts had the most "highly effective" teachers.

More than one in eight Florida teachers earned the top rating of "highly effective." Slightly more than half earned an "effective" rating.

Five years in a row of budget cuts to the state university system has meant fewer classes - and higher tuition. But now, Governor Rick Scott is opposing any more tuition hikes. And Florida spends 30 percent less on each student than the national average. So a group of university presidents are saying they won't raise tuition this year - if state lawmakers give them an extra $118 million over the next two years. It would be divvied up among the state's 12 public universities that reach certain goals - such as graduation rates.

When Shakira Lockett got to Miami Dade College fresh out of Coral Gables High School ... she had to take remedial courses in reading writing and math.

If you fail a class twice, tuition more than doubles. That's what happened to Shakira after she failed reading two times.

Florida's subsidized child care programs for the working poor have 68,000 kids on their waiting lists. And as the state tries to help, it has only muddied the waters. 

In late June, just before the new budget year, Florida's 31 early learning coalitions got the news: changes in their funding. One of the biggest losers was the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, which lost $3.7 million, starting six days later. 1,000 kids lost their child care. The Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend lost $600,000. Executive director Lauren Faison saved the kids' places but had to cut support for the providers.

Governor Rick Scott on Monday issued a challenge to Florida's twenty-eight state colleges: Come up with four-year degrees that are both affordable and will get the graduate a job.

State colleges are the schools that used to be known as community colleges.

Scott, who opposes tuition increases, told WCOA Radio in Pensacola he's asked the colleges to come up with options.

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