Today's news -- September 28, 2017





Study points to “resegregation” of Florida schools

Although Florida is becoming a more racially diverse state, its public-school system is becoming more segregated, a new study from the LeRoy Collins Institute shows. “Student enrollment trends in Florida over the past decades show growing racial isolation for Hispanic and black students on some measures, with signs of continuous segregation on others,” the study said. Some 32 percent of Hispanic students and 35 percent of black students in Florida attend “intensely segregated” schools, defined as having a nonwhite student body of 90 percent or greater, according to the study. One out of every five schools was intensely segregated in the 2014-2015 academic year, about double the 10.6 percent of the schools that fell into that category in 1994-1995. The more heavily segregated schools had more poor students. In schools with at least a 50 percent nonwhite school body, low-income students represented 68 percent of the population. Low-income students represented 82.5 percent of the population in the schools with a 90 percent or greater nonwhite student body. “Florida is the third-largest state in the country and has the most diverse student body in our state’s history, yet one-fifth of our public schools are intensely segregated,” said Carol Weissert, a Florida State University political scientist who leads the Collins Institute. “Similar segregation is evident for low-income students. All Floridians deserve equal access to a quality education, regardless of race or economic standing.” Gary Orfield, co-director of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA, who helped write the report, said the review of school data over the last two decades showed a “resegregation” of schools as well as a “demographic revolution.” Since 1980, Hispanic students have increased from 8 percent of Florida students to about 31 percent in 2014, the report showed. White students declined from 68 percent to just under 41 percent, while black students remained about 22 percent during that period. The study also showed that the number of students defined as low-income has risen over the last two decades, increasing from 36 percent in 1994-1995 to nearly 59 percent in 2014-2015. Calling the trend “double segregation,” the report showed typical black students were likely attending schools with 68 percent low-income students, and Hispanic students were in schools with a 65 percent low-income population, “while the typical white student and Asian student are in schools where less than half of the students are poor.” “The schools concentrate students not only by race but also by poverty,” Orfield said in a video link to the conference, which was held Wednesday at Florida State. John Due, a prominent civil rights attorney and activist, said the problem facing Florida schools is not just about racial balance. “It’s about poverty. It’s about class,” he said. “I hope we begin to look at the real issues and dealing with class.” Sen. Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat who also heads the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, said education leaders need to review the report’s data, which he called “alarming,” but they also must “dig deeper into how we got to where we are today.” Students facing challenges like poverty, lack of health care or mental-health services “show up in public schools every morning,” said Montford, a former Leon County superintendent. At the same time, Montford said “traditional” public schools are vying for financial support while the state is increasing other education options, including charter schools, virtual classrooms and the use of publicly funded vouchers and scholarships to send students to private schools. “When it comes to education in Florida, we take the cheap route,” Montford said. “We need to step up and provide these services to these children.”


Palm Beach schools will go it alone in lawsuit against state

The Palm Beach County School Board agreed on Wednesday not to join 14 Florida school districts in suing the state over a law that distributes millions of dollars each year to charter schools. The board decided instead to spend up to $150,000 to hire Boies Schiller Flexner, a national firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, to sue the state. The board said the law, passed in the last legislative session, is unconstitutional because it gives large amounts of money to charter schools without oversight. The legislation requires that districts share property tax dollars used for school construction and maintenance with charter schools. The Palm Beach County school district said that means $230 million over 10 years. Broward County was the first district to sue the state over the law, voting June 5 to spend $25,000 to join the other school districts. Board member Frank Barbieri said the district would have no control in a suit sponsored by 15 school districts.


Children from Puerto Rico are expected in Hillsborough schools


FairTest: The SAT scores are a hoax


Graduate Assistants United at UF ask for top-ten-level wages (Taylor Polvadore, Mary Roca and Jesse Cosme quoted)


Ex-senators pitch voting rights amendment


This has been the most active month for hurricanes on record


Hurricane hunter plane has failed three times in past eight days, has no backup


Majority of Americans now say climate change makes hurricanes more intense


Deadline to install generators “impossible,” nursing homes say in legal challenge


Nursing home failed to get proper permits for its AC, officials say


Why were nursing home's voicemails to governor deleted?


Nelson continues to jab at Scott over nursing home deaths


Florida taxpayers may avoid bill from Hurricane Irma


Citing Florida deaths, Nelson bemoans slow response on generator safety


Hurricane \blows away low-cost housing in Keys


Francis Rooney, Collier officials urge patience for post-hurricane cleanup


General who turned around Katrina response criticizes Puerto Rico efforts


Trump is running out of time in Puerto Rico


Nelson, Rubio urge Trump to OK more hurricane aid to Puerto Rico


Congressional Democrats to Trump: Do more to help Puerto Rico


Trump promises visit, aid to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico,-aid-to-storm-ravaged-Puerto-Rico


Trump administration rushes military assets to Puerto Rico amid growing crisis


Jones Act waived for Puerto Rico, easing aid shipments


Scott to visit Puerto Rico today, offering aid


Florida could see influx of Puerto Ricans, who show growing political power


Now even money is running out in storm-hit Puerto Rico


Washington set Puerto Rico up for disaster


White House restricts lawmakers from visiting Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, aides say


UCF, Valencia, Seminole State offer in-state tuition to Puerto Rican students


In the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Maria drowned what Irma didn’t destroy


Minorities, Americans without degrees show wealth gains, data says


Black and Hispanic families are making more money, but still lag far behind whites


Thirteen facts about wage growth


Trump rushes to gut regulations at the expense of worker safety


Top Democrat on Senate panel says it will subpoena Manafort


Kushner’s use of personal email is no minor error


Stone is in trouble


Twitter, with accounts linked to Russia, to face Congress over role in election


Senate committee invites tech executives for open hearing on Russia meddling


Trump calls Facebook “anti-Trump” after it aids Russia probe


Russian-bought Black Lives Matter ad targeted Baltimore and Ferguson


Trump proposes the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades


Trump tax plan benefits wealthy, including Trump


Tax reform is “not good for me, believe me,” Trump said. Don’t.


Trump, GOP tax plan omits details on who pays$5-trillion-question-for-Trump-tax-plan:-How-to-pay-for-it


The middle class doesn’t want a tax cut. It wants better government.


Beware of Trump’s claim that wages will soar after he cuts taxes


A boondoggle masquerading as tax reform


Trump travels to Indiana to sell his tax plan but leaves his usual zeal at home


Fact-checking Trump’s tax speech in Indianapolis


Trump misleads on who benefits from tax plan


The Republican tax plan’s magic asterisk


With tax cuts on the table, once-mighty deficit hawks hardly chirp


Trump's new tax plan shows how unserious Republicans are about governing


Not giving up, Trump insists he has votes to repeal Obamacare


Trump plans executive action to let insurers sell health plans across state lines


Trump administration abruptly drops out of Obamacare events in Mississippi


Can’t we get this one thing right?


For a preview of the border wall, look to California


Trump can’t explain why he removed Sudan from his travel ban


Ryan vents over stalled GOP agenda in Senate


FBI investigating 1,000 white supremacist, domestic terrorism cases


Gorsuch’s speeches raise questions of independence, critics say


Price’s spending habits catch Trump’s attention: “I’m not happy about it”


Price should pay taxpayers back


Of course Price shouldn’t have to fly coach!


EPA’s Pruitt took charter, military flights that cost taxpayers more than $58,000


We could guard Beyonce for less than what it costs to protect EPA chief


EPA threatens to stop funding Justice Department environmental work


Equifax CEO who oversaw breach to collect $90 million parting gift


Kushner real estate company sued for predatory overcharging practice





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