Today's news -- March 21, 2017





House panel moves to make some state tests publicly available


Mandatory recess could add time constraints for school districts


Parents lodge Sunshine complaint against Sarasota charter school


Judge: Immigrants' lawsuit vs. Collier schools over enrollment can continue


Lawmakers' push for “religious liberties” in schools sparks debate,amp.html


SBOE to meet one member short, one expired


Bonding question hovers over state's education projects


In the America-first budget, schools come last


Schools address deportation fears among immigrant families


Why kids shouldn’t sit still in class


In an era of fake news, teaching students to parse fact from fiction


School choice fight in Iowa may preview the one facing Trump


House higher ed bill more lenient in grad-rate standards

A Florida House committee Monday endorsed its version of a higher-education reform bill, including expanding Bright Futures scholarships and requiring state universities to begin using “block” tuition. The bill (HB 3), sponsored by Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, is the House’s answer to Senate President Joe Negron’s effort (SB 2) to elevate Florida’s higher-education system by increasing scholarship opportunities, tightening performance standards for state colleges and universities and encouraging more students to graduate on time. The Senate bill passed 35-1 in the first week of the legislative session. The House and Senate bills are similar, but the House is taking a different direction on a number of issues. Both bills would expand the top-level Bright Futures award for “academic scholars” to cover full tuition and fees for those students who qualify for the merit-based aid. It would also provide $300 for the fall and spring semesters for textbooks and other costs. The Senate would expand the scholarship for “academic scholars” to the summer semester, while Avila said the House wants to expand summer support to all Bright Future recipients, including “medallion scholars”” and “gold seal vocational scholars.” While agreeing with the Senate that the 12 state universities should have block tuition in place by the fall of 2018, the House would require “at a minimum” that the plans allow students to pay no tuition or fees for classes exceeding 15 credit hours per semester. The other details of the tuition plan, which would replace the current per-credit hour charge with a flat per-semester fee, would have to be worked out by the individual universities. The House bill, which was approved in an 11-3 vote by the Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee, would be a little more lenient in its graduation-rate performance standards for state colleges and universities. The House would measure state colleges by graduating full-time students who finish their degrees or certificate programs within 150 percent of the normal completion time, which would be three years for a two-year associate degree. The colleges would get extra credit for students who complete their programs within 100 percent of the normal time, which is closer to the Senate standard. The Senate wants to measure university undergraduate programs on a four-year graduation basis. The House also would use a four-year measure, but would add a six-year measure with weighting for four-year graduations. The House bill leaves out several programs in the Senate legislation, including a plan to reward top-performing graduate programs, a scholarship program for students from farmworker families and a plan to expand a tuition-free program for national merit scholars to out-of-state students. The House bill includes a program to attract top-level faculty and would double a state matching grant for “first-generation” students, which are both in the Senate bill.


Warren questions hiring of for-profit-college officials at U.S. Education Department


Corcoran: “We're ready” for a special session


Corcoran leaves the Capitol behind as he campaigns around the state


Corcoran transforms from insider to reformer


Small world: Enterprise Florida and Corcoran's law firm


Rules conflict snags opening of Constitution Review Commission


First Amendment Foundation raises concerns about CRC's openness standards


Will Constitution revision follow Sunshine laws?


Sunshine killer bills: Your right to know continues to be abused


Pay equity for women is 50 years overdue


Senate tax amendment could put business groups in tough spot


State attorney challenges Scott's authority to pull her off cop-slaying case


Lawyers say Scott overstepped by taking case from Orlando state attorney


Scott defends Ayala decision, still “looking at options”


Lawmakers could cut Ayala's office budget over death penalty stance


State spends too much on private lawyers


Cutting food stamps sounds good to the guys wearing Gucci


House bill wrong move for state’s diverse municipalities


Zika isn’t over. Miami-Dade has another locally acquired infection, state says.


U.S. Supreme Court seeks more info regarding Florida-Georgia “Water War”


Legislature ignores conservation amendment designed to help environment


Trump’s visits are stretching Palm Beach’s budget and locals’ patience


Another way for Palm Beach to pay for Trump visits?


Castor fears how NIH budget cuts will affect USF, Moffitt Cancer Center


Daniels accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses


Comey confirms probe of coordination between Kremlin, Trump campaign,amp.html


Takeaways from Congress’ extraordinary hearing on Russia, Trump and wiretapping


FBI director fact-checks Trump’s false tweet about Russian meddling in real time


Trump’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Twitter day


Spicer’s answer on wiretapping was totally and completely nonsensical


FBI’s Trump-Russia probe knocks White House on its heels


Comey’s haunting news on Trump and Russia


Does the FBI’s trail lead to Russia?


Intelligence hearing shows why we need an independent Russia probe


What investigation? GOP responds to FBI inquiry by changing subject


Republicans read Trump’s cue cards on Russia and wiretapping


Committee chair responds to Trump investigation by calling for new Clinton probe\\


No, Republicans, the “real story” is not the leaks


Schiff leverages Democrats’ limited power in Trump inquiry


Trump faces his hardest truth: He was wrong


All the president’s lies


How Trump’s own words connect him to Russia


Manafort sought for questioning -- in D.C. and Kiev


Stone takes center stage as Congress lines up Russia probe witnesses


FBI’s Russian-influence probe includes a look at far-right news sites


Fox News pulls Napolitano over his Trump wiretap claims


House Republicans unveil changes to their health-care bill


GOP leaders pile on sweeteners to sell Obamacare repeal


At Kentucky rally, Trump urges Congress to deal with health care


Ryan-aligned group uses Trump to pressure hard-right House Republicans


Freedom Caucus leader says Ryan still doesn’t have the votes for health bill


The media’s failure to correct Republicans’ Trumpcare lies


These ordinary Americans enrolled in Obamacare to protect their futures


Already in peril, rural hospitals unsure on health care bill


Republicans’ arguments against Obamacare are in a death spiral


Florida AARP official calls GOP health care proposal “ageism unleashed”


Scott pushes for block grant to states to fund Medicaid


Crist: Protect, strengthen Social Security, Medicare


Labor union targets Curbelo on Trumpcare


Bilirakis all in on GOP health care proposal


Trumpcare critics share fear, anxiety


Biden is coming out of retirement to fight the GOP health bill


Gorsuch tries to put himself above politics in confirmation hearing


Democrats make case against Supreme Court nominee


Like DeVos, Gorsuch scores an ‘F’ on students with disabilities (Lily Eskelsen García quoted)


Gorsuch who spoke in the Senate is nothing like the man who wrote his opinions


Gorsuch faces sexism allegation from former student


Nelson remains undecided on Gorsuch


Law enforcement agencies bristle at report on immigration detention


What to expect when you're expecting Acosta as labor secretary


Organizing to hit Trump’s corporate Cabinet and allies where it hurts


Executive order sets stage for threatened federal programs, workforce


Congress votes to expand drug testing for the jobless, a waste of money


Trump wants to defund PBS. “Sesame Street” parodied him for decades.


A case-by-case guide to the Trump distraction technique


Spicer wants you to know that Trump’s golfing is strategic and/or not happening


Newsmax and the rise of Trump


Trump: A Fox News president


Ivanka Trump moves into West Wing office, acknowledges no precedent for her role


Despite a trust, Ivanka Trump still wields power over her brand


Carter-era ethics rulings loom over Trump kids


Record-breaking climate change pushes world into “uncharted territory”




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