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New voucher bills lack reason — and law

Two issues this year are clearly in the Republican-led sights for a quick kill or a slower death. What kind of state do we live in where Public Enemies No. 1 and 2 are home rule and public schools? We’ve ranted, and maybe raved a little, about the effort on several different fronts to make… Read more »

Florida moves one step closer to arming classroom teachers

Kyle Savage, an elementary school teacher from Brevard County, said he served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army, participating in  service missions where he accompanied foreign dignitaries, Congressional delegations and other officials on trips in the Middle East. “I am also the classroom teacher who has no interest in carrying a weapon,”… Read more »

Will Florida teachers get a raise instead of a bonus? ‘There is a chance.’

Florida teachers want raises, not the bonuses that state lawmakers keep talking about. Their goal might be within reach this year. “I would say there is a chance,” said Rep. Chris Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who chairs the House PreK-12 Appropriations committee. “I couldn’t put a percentage on it, but I can certainly tell you… Read more »

Don’t divert state money to private schools

Florida lawmakers have failed to adequately fund public education and would only make matters worse with a proposal to funnel more taxpayer money into private schools. The Legislature is considering spending more than $110 million in the next fiscal year on vouchers for 15,000 students to attend private and religious schools. The numbers would rise… Read more »

As States Debate Arming Teachers, Opponents Detail Mishandling of Guns in Schools

There have been more than 60 publicly reported incidents of mishandled guns in schools in the last five years, a gun-control group found in an analysis released this week. Those firearms were carried by employees, including teachers and school police, often with permission from schools, says the report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent… Read more »

When it comes to school safety, the question is: Where are all the school counselors?

In the old days, a guidance counselor would work mostly in high schools, helping students set up their class schedules and decide what they’ll do after graduation. But today’s school counselors have broader responsibilities, including being trained to recognize mental health issues in students before a crisis occurs. The counselors play an integral role, but… Read more »

Give teachers higher pay — not a loaded gun

The Florida Legislature would rather give teachers guns than raises. Tallahassee’s response last year to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting included new school safety requirements. One ordered school districts to have at least one armed guard on each campus. Preferably, that would be a law enforcement officer. … Of all the things teachers… Read more »

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