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Stephen Wise Renews Push for Juvenile Justice Reform

Courts Ask Rick Scott to Fill $45 Million Budget Gap

September 28, 2011 - 6:00pm

Florida's courts have asked Gov. Rick Scott for an emergency cash infusion of $45.6 million to help offset a budget shortfall.

The courts are facing a budget hole of $108 million due to a continued drop-off in filing fees stemming from the slowdown in mortgage foreclosures.

In a letter sent to Scott on Wednesday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady asked the governor for a temporary transfer of $45.6 million from general revenue into a trust fund designed to pay for courts.

Universities Pressured to Boost Science, Math Degrees

Universities, Colleges Crying for Classroom Space

September 21, 2011 - 6:00pm

Ask almost any university or college president what their biggest concern is going into next legislative session and the short, but probably surprising, answer is PECO.

The acronym stands for Public Education Capital Outlay. It is the major funding source for new classrooms at public schools, from elementary, middle and high schools all the way to top-tier research universities.

College Presidents Push Back on Texas Higher-Ed Model

Virtual Classes Go From Optional to Mandatory

September 1, 2011 - 6:00pm

A new state law that requires Florida high school students to take a class online is causing cash-strapped school districts to spend millions on new computers.

And it's caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which said Thursday it is calling on school districts to ensure that students who do not have Internet access at home aren't at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to take online courses.

Support Emerges for Higher Education Overhaul

August 25, 2011 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott may have one crucial ally in his nascent effort to overhaul higher education in Florida: State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan.

Brogan met with Scott earlier this year to discuss the controversial changes to higher education, which were first championed by Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry. The idea is to treat universities and colleges more like private businesses, with more scrutiny over professor and university performance.

Schools Flooded With New Charter Applications

August 23, 2011 - 6:00pm

Florida school districts are flooded with applications for new charter schools, motivated by several new laws that make it easier to start traditional and virtual charters.

Nearly 100 more new charter school applications have been filed for the 2012-13 school year than were filed at the same time last year --a 38 percent increase, according to statistics from the Department of Education.

Lobbyists Earn Up to $52 Million in Second Quarter

August 16, 2011 - 6:00pm

If there was one clear winner of this year's legislative session, which was dominated by a sweeping, ambitious Republican agenda that left no issue untouched, it was lobbyists.

In spite of Florida's economic woes, legislative lobbyists raked in as much as $52 million from April to June, up from as much as $49.3 million spent on lobbyists that same time last year.

Lobbying firms Gray Robinson; Ron Book; Smith & Ballard and Southern Strategy Group earned the most, with each reporting income of greater than $1 million for the quarter.

Universities Prepare Dental School Pitches

August 15, 2011 - 6:00pm

Two public universities are poised to ask the State University System governing board for permission to start a dental school despite a recent health department report that questions whether there is a need for more dentists.

Last week, in preparation for a September board meeting, the University of Central Florida and Florida A&M University both submitted formal requests with the Board of Governors to start new dental schools. These requests are pitting several universities against each other in the quest to lure dental school students and research dollars.

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