Today's news -- October 3, 2017




Lawmakers want flexibility for schools taking in displaced 

As Florida communities prepare to take in Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, five lawmakers are asking the state's top education official to grant flexibility to public schools so they can accommodate additional students in the coming months. In a letter Monday to state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, the lawmakers formally asked the state to ensure schools receive additional funding that will be crucial to cover the uptick in student enrollment that wasn't anticipated when the Legislature approved this year's school spending in June. They also want Stewart to give schools a break when it comes to certain required enrollment paperwork and constitutionally mandated caps on class sizes. "Not only must Florida be prepared for the influx of students but we must allow schools to continue to implement their plan for a successful year," the letter stated. "We believe these requests will help make the transitions of students from Puerto Rico manageable for our school districts and help ease displaced students back to their education." The letter was signed by five Republican House members: Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. of Hialeah, Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs, David Santiago of Deltona, Rene Plasencia of Orlando and Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud. Diaz is the House's Pre-K-12 education budget chairman. The four other lawmakers are either of Puerto Rican descent or represent districts that have high Puerto Rican populations.


Florida schools begin enrolling Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees

Report shows impact of homelessness on state students *

A new study Monday shows more than 72,000 Florida school children were considered homeless in the 2015-2016 school year. The study attributes the increase to the recession and more teacher training to identify students who are homeless. Shelley Lauten, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, said this report includes students temporarily doubled up with others and who are staying in hotels and motels. “The children who are experiencing homelessness are almost, in some cases, three times more likely to be disciplined or missing school,” said Lauten. It also found academic learning gains were significantly lower for students who are homeless or precariously housed.


State prepares to distribute recognition funds to state schools


No application in Alachua from charter school giant


Some Manatee students want the right to kneel during national anthem


Pasco district gets earful on Pledge of Allegiance stance


Indian River schools still awaiting reimbursements from past hurricanes


In hurricanes' aftermath, technology eases return to school


DeVos’ vision goes way beyond privatizing public education

DeVos' security detail could cost up to $6.54 million over the next year


School funding still inadequate and unfair, Kansas Supreme Court rules


How the NCAA cheats student athletes


Report: Review shows state's utility watchdog has become a lapdog


More than 8,000 stand in line for emergency food assistance from Hurricane Irma


State receives more federal funding to clean up after hurricane


Bondi investigating debris-removal companies after hurricane


Hurricane-related insurance claims mount in state


Next package of hurricane relief aid expected to top $10 billion


Bracing for Puerto Rican evacuees, Scott declares state of emergency in state


Florida is opening disaster centers to offer aid to displaced Puerto Ricans


When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, “everything collapsed simultaneously”


Trump may come face-to-face with Cruz after days of attacking the mayor


Florida Democrats return from aid trip to Puerto Rico “in tears”


Florida Republicans create distance with Trump on Puerto Rico


Rubio: Trump’s “conventional” hurricane response didn’t work in Puerto Rico


King tides could begin soaking South Florida today


Constitution Revision Commission presents first amendments proposed by public


State has 40 of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.


Supreme Court to hear case on Wisconsin voting maps warped by politics


Holder: Redistricting has broken our democracy. Supreme Court should help fix it.


Holder-led group challenges Georgia redistricting, claiming racial bias


Court begins term with case on whether workers can be forced into arbitration


Nissan accused of snooping in labor’s latest fight for the South


Trump’s company had more contact with Russia during campaign


Hundreds of White House emails sent to third Kushner family account


Mueller tasks an adviser with getting ahead of pre-emptive pardons


How to stop Russian robots from attacking the next election


Russians took a page from corporations by using Facebook tool to influence voters


Facebook’s Russia-linked ads came in many disguises


Facebook says up to 10 million people saw ads bought by Russian agency


Republicans won’t rule out tax hikes for some in the middle class


Some congressional Republicans question tax plan over deficit costs


The report Trump officials don’t want you to see


After a year of work, Republicans have decided nothing on corporate tax reform


Trump could help refugees. Instead, he shrugs.


Trump administration weighing executive order on welfare


Fewer and fewer young people are getting incarcerated


Equifax says 2.5 million more Americans may be affected by hack


Federal watchdog opens probe into travel by Zinke


EPA chief’s calendar: A stream of industry meetings and trips home

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