Today's news -- December 14, 2017

 

 

 

 

Court upholds ruling against education funding challenge

Florida's First District Court of Appeal has agreed with the trial court against a group of parents who complained the state had violated its constitutional role to fund an "an efficient, safe, secure and uniform high-quality education." The case, filed in 2009, questioned whether the Legislature and executive branch did enough to meet the "paramount duty" in serving children's educational needs. On Wednesday, the appellate court released its ruling that the question was not for the judicial branch to decide. "There is no language or authority in Article IX, section 1(a) that would empower judges to order the enactment of educational policies regarding teaching methods and accountability, the appropriate funding of public schools, the proper allowance of charter schools and school choice, the best methods of student accountability and school accountability, and related funding priorities," Chief Judge Bradford L. Thomas wrote for the court. Words such as "high quality" and "efficient" are political aspirations, Thomas wrote. They do not provide courts with sufficiently objective criteria to judge the actions of a co-equal branch of government, he stated. The debate over how to best educate citizens has endured for centuries, and across civilizations, Thomas observed. "In a republican form of government founded on democratic rule, it must be the elected representatives and executives who make the difficult and profound decisions regarding how our children are to be educated," he wrote. "Absent specific and clear direction to the contrary in the supreme organic law, which does not exist in Article IX, section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution, we uphold the trial court's correct ruling that such decisions are not subject to judicial oversight or interference." The court further ruled that the McKay Scholarship, a voucher program for students with disabilities, does not violate the uniform education provision within the constitution: "We agree that the John M. McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities – which affects only 30,000 students and does not materially impact the K-12 public school system – provides a benefit to help disabled students obtain a high quality education." The ruling remains open to further appeal.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2017/12/13/appeals-court-upholds-ruling-against-florida-education-funding-challenge/

Kathleen Oropeza of Fund Education Now, an Orlando group that was among the plaintiffs, said a decision on an appeal had not been made yet. But she called the appeals court ruling troubling. “If the words in the constitution aren’t he final words of the state ... how do people have recourse?” she said. “We have very serious questions on what’s been done to public education, yet we don’t have a voice based on the constitution.”

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-education-lawsuit-florida-20171213-story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SentinelSchoolZone+%28Sentinel+School+Zone%29

https://apnews.com/03b2d4a9d9124a4faf2a0643c7cd5c09/Appeals-court-dismisses-Florida-school-funding-lawsuit

 

Pasco school district, employees reach contract deal (Val Smith quoted)
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2017/12/13/pasco-school-district-employees-reach-contract-deal-3/

 

Palm Beach School Board OKs raises for all — from teachers to superintendent (Justin Katz quoted)
http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/local-education/breaking-school-board-oks-raises-for-all-from-teachers-avossa/7FG2rH64VFV4amqNJWCyTN/

 

Former Broward charter school accused of fraud over taxpayer dollars

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/fl-charter-private-school-money-20171213-story.html

 

At least 22 taken to hospital in school bus crash in Highlands

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/school-bus-and-tractor-trailer-involved-in-crash-with-injuries-in-highlands-county

 

Florida school districts not taking Feds' advice on school bus seat belt safety

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/i-team-investigates/fl-school-districts-not-taking-feds-advice-on-school-bus-seat-belt-safety

 

Why, federal judge asks, can’t transgender teen use boys’ bathroom in St. Johns?

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-12-12/why-federal-judge-asks-can-t-transgender-teen-use-boys-bathroom-st-johns

 

Superintendents come out against proposal to end electing superintendents

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2017/12/13/florida-superintendents-come-out-against-proposal-to-do-away-with-electing-superintendents/

 

PROSPER Act is a hoax against low-income students and a boon to for-profit frauds

https://dianeravitch.net/2017/12/13/center-for-responsible-lending-prosper-act-is-a-hoax-against-low-income-students-and-a-boon-to-for-profit-frauds/

 

Broward College president to retire

https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2017/12/12/broward-college-president-armstrong-to-retire.html

 

Scott issues order on sexual harassment reporting for state employees

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/13/rick-scott-issues-executive-order-on-sexual-harassment-reporting-for-state-employees/?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daystarter&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/12/13/scott-orders-new-policies-for-state-workers-on-reporting-investigating-sexual-harassment-complaints-144842

http://www.gainesville.com/news/20171213/scott-orders-steps-to-prevent-sexual-harassment

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/12/13/governor-issues-sexual-harassment-executive-order/949258001/

 

Scott mum on misconduct questions about appointee

https://apnews.com/28fff9efaebe4744a51c8a04f3c418e7/Florida-governor-mum-on-misconduct-questions-about-appointee

 

Affordable housing needs trust funds after Hurricane Irma
http://www.news-press.com/story/opinion/2017/12/13/affordable-housing-needs-trust-funds-after-irma/948871001/

 

Latest forecast shows more misery ahead for ailing citrus industry

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/13/latest-forecast-shows-more-misery-ahead-for-ailing-citrus-industry/?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Daily%20Buzz%20on%20Florida%20Politics%20-%20121317&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

http://www.theledger.com/news/20171213/citrus-industry-squeezed-if-congress-doesnt-help/1

 

Puerto Rico’s mass migration is reshaping Florida

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/beyond-disney-world-a-new-florida-takes-shape-in-wake-of-maria

 

Seniors displaced by hurricane celebrate with traditional Puerto Rican Christmas

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/puerto-rico-hurricane-recovery/os-puerto-rico-displaced-seniors-latino-leadership-20171212-story.html

 

This is what Puerto Ricans need from the government

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-is-what-puerto-ricans-need-from-the-government-right-now/2017/12/13/fc03ccca-dfb3-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html?utm_term=.f25999fcb695

 

Puerto Ricans are hardly U.S. citizens. They are colonial subjects.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/puerto-ricans-are-hardly-us-citizens-they-are-colonial-subjects/2017/12/13/c0f1c700-de9f-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.b32e9902e036

 

Studies: Global warming boosted Hurricane Harvey's rainfall by at least 15 percent

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/12/13/global-warming-boosted-hurricane-harveys-rainfall-by-at-least-15-percent-studies-find/?utm_term=.294c3fcbb778

 

Pedestrian tickets lead to hundreds of suspended driver’s licenses in Jacksonville

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/public-safety/2017-12-13/pedestrian-tickets-lead-hundreds-suspended-driver-s-licenses

 

Firm admits to falsifying medical records to win government funds

http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2017/12/13/21st-century-oncology-admits-falsifying-medical-records-win-government-funds/948161001/

 

Cabinet improves link in cross-Florida bike trail

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/12/13/cabinet-improves-link-in-cross-florida-bike-trail/?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Daily%20Buzz%20on%20Florida%20Politics%20-%20121317&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Where have the stone crabs gone? Shortage of delicacy drives up prices

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article189438384.html

 

Inequality is not inevitable – but U.S. “experiment” a recipe for divergence

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/14/inequality-is-not-inevitable-but-the-us-experiment-is-a-recipe-for-divergence?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=256603&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

Republican tax bill in final sprint across finish line

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/tax-bill-republicans-deal.html?emc=edit_cn_20171214&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/13/gop-reaches-compromise-tax-plan-to-drop-corporate-tax-rate-to-21-percent-cut-rates-for-top-earners/?utm_term=.7cc45cc3c2d6

 

Democrats: McConnell must “hit the pause button” on tax vote

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/democrats-mcconnell-jones-tax-vote-delay.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171213&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Republican tax bill overhauls rules many were counting on

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/business/republican-tax-bill-overhauls.html?emc=edit_cn_20171214&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

The true tax gap could be as high as $12 trillion

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-true-tax-gap-could-be-as-much-as-12-trillion/2017/12/13/09c06dc0-e039-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html?utm_term=.567bfa9a7629

 

Scam I am: Why is the GOP rushing this tax abomination?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/opinion/scam-i-am-why-is-the-gop-rushing-this-tax-abomination.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/12/13/on-their-tax-bill-republicans-are-making-a-risky-desperate-gamble/?utm_term=.8750420d649c

 

Rubio might be the last hurdle left for the GOP tax plan

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/marco-rubio-might-be-one-last-hurdle-left-for-gop-tax-bill-vote

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/13/the-gops-latest-tax-plan-would-do-exactly-what-rubio-warned-them-not-to-will-he-vote-with-them-anyway/?utm_term=.af63e3fcadfa

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2017/12/trump-hints-at-an-expanded-child-tax-credit-an-idea-championed-by-marco-rubio.html

 

How the Fed rate increase affects your mortgage, car loan and credit card bill

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/business/fed-rate-mortgages-loans-credit.html?emc=edit_cn_20171214&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Comparing the “Trump economy” to the “Obama economy”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/12/14/comparing-the-trump-economy-to-the-obama-economy/?utm_term=.d5c5b271ab9c

 

Justice official defends Mueller as Republicans try to discredit him

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/trump-mueller-russia-republican-campaign.html?emc=edit_cn_20171214&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/13/robert-mueller-russia-trump-investigation-rod-rosenstein?CMP=edit_2221

 

Republicans are worried about the integrity of Mueller’s team. That’s overblown.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-are-worried-about-the-integrity-of-muellers-team-thats-overblown/2017/12/13/2407dbde-e04b-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html?utm_term=.aade76a3fedc

 

Ranking Democrat scolds Republicans for trying to undermine Mueller

https://thinkprogress.org/nadler-scolds-republicans-over-mueller-ab2de99653ac/

 

GOP expresses outrage over FBI officials' political texts

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/anti-trump-text-messages-fbi-gop-reactions-294965?lo=ap_e1

 

Trump’s deep insecurity about Russian interference, in stark relief

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/12/14/trumps-remarkable-refusal-to-accept-russian-interference-is-a-case-study-in-egotism/?utm_term=.6ce4beb8a462

 

House GOP leaders eye “defense only” spending bill

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/spending-bill-2017-defense-house-republicans-294242

 

Strong demand for health insurance as deadline looms

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/obamacare-deadline.html?emc=edit_cn_20171214&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/enrollment-in-aca-health-plans-ahead-of-same-time-last-year-but-sign-up-chance-dwindling/2017/12/13/2a11d0f0-df5d-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html?utm_term=.ccf8737bbdb2

 

Congress should find money for Children’s Health Insurance Program

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/Ruth-Congress-should-find-money-for-Children-s-Health-Insurance-Program_163524965?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daystarter&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Older Americans taking too many unneeded drugs

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/An-overlooked-epidemic-Older-Americans-taking-too-many-unneeded-drugs_163536960?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daystarter&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Democrats cool to Trump’s infrastructure pitch

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/14/democrats-trump-infrastructure-pitch-223057

 

White House wants technology cuts, pay freeze to fund border wall, Democrats say

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-wants-technology-cuts-pay-freeze-to-fund-border-wall-according-to-democrats/2017/12/13/9f111840-e046-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?utm_term=.218ec9ba49e5

 

Get set: Your internet bill is about to soar, thanks to Trump's FCC

http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-fcc-net-neutrality-vote-20171212-story,amp.html?__twitter_impression=true

 

For a preview of life without net neutrality, go online in China
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/opinion/net-neutrality-china-internet.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20171214&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=14&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

The FCC must not give internet providers the keys to your online freedom

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/14/net-neutrality-fcc-mignon-clyburn?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=256603&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-ajit-pai.html?emc=edit_cn_20171214&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Grassley: Two controversial federal bench nominees won’t be confirmed

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/two-controversial-federal-judge-nominees-will-not-be-confirmed-senate-republican-says/2017/12/13/e3876ffa-e02e-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html?utm_term=.b0d009d7d990

 

How the oil industry set out to undercut clean air

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/14/fueling-dissent-how-the-oil-industry-set-out-to-undercut-clean-air?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=256603&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

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