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Teachers’ unions back Patrick Murphy in U.S. Senate race

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U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy has won the endorsement of some of the most powerful unions in Florida — the teachers’ unions — for his run for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat. The Florida Education Association, National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers all are supporting Murphy’s Democratic run, FEA President Joanne McCall announced at a Murphy news conference in Palm Beach County Monday. With 140,000 members, the FEA has traditionally been a powerful ally for Democratic candidates, providing large sums of…

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Florida’s top teachers found at affluent schools

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New bonus payments aimed at attracting and keeping good teachers in Florida have gone disproportionately to those who work with students from affluent families, an analysis by a Florida newspaper has found. Teachers who received bonuses under the $44 million “best and brightest” teacher scholarship program started last year were more than twice as likely to work with students from affluent families than with students living in poverty, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday. The report highlights how the bonuses have…

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Email Insights: Florida Education Association calls on Gov. Scott to veto bad education budget

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As the Florida legislature wrapped up its 2016 session Friday by passing the 2016-17 budget, some education officials are feeling a little left out. In an email, Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall lamented the budget fails to adequately fund education and ignores increasing resistance toward what many see is chronic over-testing in schools. “Legislators may be leaving Tallahassee today, but their work is far from finished. In terms of education, they left our students, our schools and our teachers…

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Scholarship students urge teachers’ union to drop tax credit suit

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A handful of students from a private school in Osceola County visited Tallahassee Thursday to drop by the offices of Florida’s largest teachers’ union to deliver a message on behalf of adults in the school choice movement: “Drop the suit.” Specifically, they referred to the suit filed by the Florida Education Association and other groups against the state of Florida, challenging a tax credit scholarship program that allows Floridians to receive credits for donations to private institutions on their annual tax bill. The children…

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Ann Scott starts annual Literacy Week, Florida! tour

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Florida first lady Ann Scott visited Tampa’s Strawberry Crest High School Monday as part of a Department of Education initiative to raise awareness for its literacy programs. “Strong reading skills set students up for success in the classroom and beyond, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help our state’s students foster an appreciation for literacy,” Scott said in a news release. “As a grandmother, I cherish the time I spend reading to my four young grandsons and seeing their eyes light…

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Pro-school voucher rally expected to draw 10,000 to Tallahassee on Tuesday

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Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is slated to a march and rally in Tallahassee on Tuesday to support Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship. Several thousand participants and spectators are expected. LobbyTools posed the event agenda last week. On Friday, Capitol Police director Chris Connell advised state workers via email that “organizers are busing in people from around the state and are planning for approximately 10,000 people to attend the rally.” “This event may significantly…

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New study finds Florida’s high-stakes school tests valid

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Florida’s new high-stakes test, which came under fire after a chaotic rollout this past spring, is valid, according to a new outside study released Tuesday. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart called the results “welcome news” and said the study showed the test “accurately measures Florida students’ mastery of the standards” in math and reading. “Now all Floridians can share my confidence in the assessment,” Stewart said during a conference call with reporters. But the findings may actually do little to stem…

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