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higher education

Rick Scott vetoes higher education bill, priority for Joe Negron

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Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a wide-sweeping higher education bill, saying the legislation “impedes the ability of state colleges to meet the needs of the communities and families they serve.” The bill (SB 374) was a top priority for Senate President Joe Negron, who has made improving the State University System a cornerstone of his term as Senate President. The bill, among other things, enhanced policy and funding options for state universities to “recruit and retain exemplary faculty, enhance the quality…

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Conferees bump university foundation-control question to budget chairmen

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House and Senate higher education conferees agreed Saturday to trim cuts to developmental education programs at state colleges, but sent a disagreement about control of state university support foundations up the chain of command. Lead Senate negotiator Bill Galvano indicated at one point during an afternoon meeting that the developmental spending might have to be referred to the House and Senate appropriations committee chairmen — Carlos Trujillo and Jack Latvala, respectively. But House negotiator Larry Ahern agreed to a Senate…

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Senate offers to cull $21 million in projects as higher ed conference opens

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Sen. Bill Galvano delivered the bad news first as the House and Senate opened conference negotiations on higher education spending Thursday evening. The Senate would have to cut at least $21 million in projects from its version of the budget to reach the level agreed upon with the House, he said. “Many of you on this conference committee, as well as advocates for your positions in the audience, have what we traditionally call placeholders, in the hopes that somehow these…

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Private nonprofit, for-profit universities could soon get regulatory relief

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Bad press, combined with federal rules and regulations disproportionately targeting the higher education alternatives, have taken their toll on nonprofit and for-profit universities in recent years — but that could soon change. For-profit and private nonprofit colleges and universities offer career-building options separate from traditional public universities. Small class sizes, hands-on training and flexible schedules are common features designed to help students obtain degrees, practical jobs skills and employment-related certifications. Student bodies also are diverse, and not just demographically. Active…

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Higher education projects fail House’s strict new budget test

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The Florida House’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 could make life uncomfortable for the state’s colleges and universities. The budget — agreed upon in principle, and due in bill form this week — will call for something like $2.2 billion in spending cuts, according to House leaders, for a total expenditure of $81.2 billion. Among the biggest targets — because they rank among the single most significant expenses outside entitlements like Medicaid — is member projects,…

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Guns, gambling and taxes: Legislators return to work

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Once the Florida Legislature kicks off its 60-day Session March 7, legislators are expected to pass, or kill, dozens of measures dealing with everything from abortion to gambling and the environment. So far, more than 2,000 bills have been filed, but in the end, legislators usually pass fewer than 300 pieces of legislation each year. Here’s a look at some of the top issues this Session: DEATH PENALTY: Florida legislators are expected to quickly pass a measure that would require…

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The new civics course in schools: How to avoid fake news

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Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news — and why they should care that there’s a difference. As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of “Pope endorses Trump” headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign. “I think only…

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