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Department of Education

Marco Rubio, Chris Coons introduce bill to enhance college opportunity for low-income youth

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Sen. Marco Rubio has teamed with his colleague Sen. Chris Coons to introduce re-introduce legislation designed to help low-income and at risk students. The Florida Republican and Delaware Democrat launched the American Dream Accounts Act that would provide increased access to a college education. The two senators joined with Opportunity Nation, a group promoting educational and employment opportunities for youth, to announce the introduction of the legislation. Joining them at the announcement was Opportunity Nation executive director, Monique Rizer. “I…

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Joe Henderson: Public schools need to take victories where they can get them

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Florida’s public schools should go on red alert any time the state Legislature is in session because that usually means the lives of students, teachers and administrators is about to change for the worse. With that in mind, I’ll cautiously give an approving nod to a vote Monday by the House Education Committee that could – repeat, could – lead to some needed reforms. Place your bets. As Scott Powers reported for FloridaPolitics.com, a key provision in HB 773 would…

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Legislation would improve career education standards

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A new bill would analyze career education standards and make suggestions to improve Florida’s job training programs, according to the lawmaker who proposed it Thursday. Rep. Al Jacquet, who sponsored HB 517, said it would create a new committee within the Department of Education to strengthen the state education system and help ensure Floridians would have an opportunity to gain the skills they need to in order to provide a better living for themselves and their families. “Access to quality…

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could mean more Florida charter schools, a lot more

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Betsy DeVos, whose children never attended public schools, may soon lead the nation’s Department of Education. Assuming she is confirmed, care to take a guess what Florida public education will look like four years from now? Perhaps former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is DeVos’ biggest cheerleader, can provide some insight. He wrote a stirring endorsement of her in Tuesday’s USA Today, coinciding with her hearing before a U.S. Senate confirmation panel. “Instead of defending and increasing Washington’s power, Betsy…

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Florida Lottery reports record August sales, second year in a row

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For the second consecutive year, the Florida Lottery is reporting record sales, posting $467 million in revenue for August. This all-time high was an increase of 5.29 percent over last year’s August record. Lottery officials say the games generated an estimated $120 million in contributions to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF), driven “primarily by a series of rollovers and high jackpots for both POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS.” Lottery contributions make up approximately 6 percent of the state’s education budget.…

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Bright Futures renewals decline, scholarships could drop 20 percent

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Fewer than two out of every 10 Florida high school graduates qualify for a Bright Futures scholarship that helps pay their tuition and fees at state universities and colleges. New data, being reviewed by the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, shows that the number may be improving, with an initial projection suggesting it could rise from 13.8 percent of graduates in the most recent school year to 17.5 percent in the 2016-17 academic year. At the same time,…

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Donald Trump’s abortion flub shows risks of “winging it” on policy

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It was a question sure to come up at some point in the Republican primary campaign. “What should the law be on abortion?” asked MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Donald Trump at a town hall event in Wisconsin. “Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?” Matthews pressed. “This is not something you can dodge.” Trump’s bungled response — an awkward, extended attempt to evade the question, followed by an answer that, yes, “there has to be some form of…

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