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Florida 47th in school spending

By Leslie Postal

Orlando Sentinel

Posted January 6 2005

Once again, Florida ranks near the bottom in the nation in spending on public school students, according to a report issued Wednesday by Education Week, a national education newspaper.

The state ranked 47th based on data from 2002 and adjusted to account for "regional cost differences." The ranking mirrors other findings.

Only Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah spent less than Florida on students in kindergarten to 12th grade, based on the newspaper's ranking of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Florida's adjusted spending per student was $6,492 a year, or about $1,200 less than the national average, according to the newspaper's annual "Quality Counts" report. The report was based on data from 2002 because that was the last year for which comparable information was available nationwide. But the report's authors said they doubted data from more recent years would drastically shift the rankings.

A report issued in 2002 by Morgan Quitno Press of Kansas also ranked Florida 47th in per capita education spending.

"I don't think it's any big secret that education funding has been inadequate," said Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association.

Florida needs to spend more on public education, Blanton added. "More money being invested in education in the long run is more money being invested in the economy."

The School Boards Association has organized a panel that is studying the meaning of Florida's constitutional amendment that calls for a "high-quality system of free public schools." Association members hope the group's report, due out in a month or so, will push the state to provide more money for public education.

Despite Florida's low ranking on the spending chart, it is at the forefront of the effort to tie school funding to student performance.

"The push is on to link money to student achievement" and to figure out "how to get more bang for the education dollar," said Virginia Edwards, editor and publisher of Education Week, which is based in Bethesda, MD.

Florida already rewards schools for top test scores and calculates their "return on investment," aiming to show how they did with public money. This year, the state plans to penalize schools, perhaps by withholding money, that don't meet certain performance goals.

State Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, said she doubts more money always means better public schools. Some Florida districts have done "tremendous" jobs with limited resources, while others have bungled the job, even with fuller coffers, she said.

"Frankly, I don't think the amount of dollars equates to a top-quality education," said Lynn, a former teacher and administrator in the Volusia County school district. "Most important is how dollars are spent."

Still, Lynn, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said she hopes the state can earmark more money for education this year because many districts are struggling, particularly in the face of rising costs for health insurance, among other items.

A comparison of spending and academic performance leads to mixed results. Connecticut, for example, was ranked sixth in spending and was a top performer on test scores. But Washington, D.C., ranked first in spending, posted dismal test scores.

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EDUCATION

Broward excels in keeping teachers

A new study says Broward is doing a good job of retaining the teachers it hires.

BY STEVE HARRISON

[email protected]

Broward, like other Florida school districts, has faced Mount Everest-like challenges in hiring enough teachers -- and holding on to them.

The pay isn't great, and the job is stressful. Demand for teachers is greater than ever, in part because the workforce is aging. In addition, Florida's new rules limiting class size create a need for more teachers.

But the nation's sixth-largest school system is doing a good job of retaining teachers, according to a recent study by Florida Atlantic University.

FAU tracked more than 2,100 teachers who were hired three years ago in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.

The retention rate for the other three counties was 60 percent after three years. It was 81 percent in Broward.

''Broward is doing so well they were skewing our sample,'' said Robert Shockley, an FAU professor who helped conduct the study. ``We had to separate Broward from everyone else.''

Shockley believes Broward's success is due, in part, to a mentoring program that pairs a new hire with an experienced teacher.

''They pair you with someone who is older. You can share your fears with them,'' said sixth-year teacher Jill Newman, who works at Riverland Elementary in Fort Lauderdale. ``It's great to have someone who can shed light on what's happening.''

Another factor, Shockley believes, is Broward's willingness to hire teachers who have experience in their field but don't yet have the necessary education credits for certification.

''We hire now as many as 2,000 teachers a year, and 700 of them are non-education trained,'' said Gracie Diaz, who oversaw the hiring of the teachers in the study. ``Universities aren't producing as many education majors as they used to, so we have to work with them.''

Teachers with alternative certificates have three years to become fully certified. At the end of their second year, they must pass the state's general skills test for teachers.

Diaz is now the associate director of the Teaching and Leadership Center, a partnership between the School Board and FAU that trains teachers in new skills. She points to another factor that may make teachers happier: They can switch schools anytime they want.

Other districts, including Palm Beach County, require teachers to stay at the first school for at least three years. In Broward, a teacher can move anytime if another principal offers a job.

''That gives teachers flexibility, and they like that,'' Diaz said. ``If they are driving 25 miles one way to work, they know they don't have to do that forever.''

John Ristow, a spokesman for the Broward Teachers Union, said the union works hard to make sure new hires are happy. Soon after the start of school, the BTU sets up a phone bank to call all new teachers, giving them an opportunity to air complaints and ask for advice.

The FAU study found:

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I wish our state wasn't so bad. I hear the NY is like 2-3 years ahead of us in education. What I really hate are those awful, cheap portables. Almost every school has them. My middle school had about 30 portables, 30! Luckily, I've been able to avoid classes in portables, lol.

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Every single school I went to (6 elementary, 2 middle, 1 high) was over capacity and had portables -- what a shame. A sign of explosive growth and inability to build enough schools to meet demand.

At my first middle school all the 6th grade classrooms were in portables. Then in 7th I went to a brand new middle school that was built to provide relief to the older one, and one year afterward they were already installing portables. Same thing happened with my high school. It opened its doors my freshman year, and had portables the next.

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FCAT creator wears dunce cap in some states

Two states have ended dealings with Harcourt Assessment over test gaffes.

By Nirvi Shah

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Saturday, January 15, 2005

A company that is paid $40 million by Florida taxpayers to create the FCAT lost its testing contracts in two states and has come under fire in others because of incorrect or missing results and incompetently distributed test materials.

The problems with Harcourt Assessment extend to Florida's Charlotte County, where third-graders were on the verge of repeating the grade even though they had passed a Harcourt test in 2003. The problem: Harcourt couldn't deliver the test results in time.

Nevada fired Harcourt in September. Georgia dropped the company in 2003. Arizona, Massachusetts and California also have dealt with Harcourt misfires. In Massachusetts, it was teachers and students who discovered Harcourt-created test questions with no correct answers

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There is an easy solution to this problem: builders impact fees on new home construction. The only counties that I am aware of that have raised them is Osceola County and Lake County. Why is the state (JEB and friends) not passing mandates to make this a law across the board? Its silly not to.

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Impact fees are decided by county. After doing a little research, it turns out that these Florida counties collect school impact fees (there might be more):

  • Broward, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Miami-Dade, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Martin, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Seminole, St. Johns, St Lucie, Volusia.

Coincidentally most of these are Florida's high growth counties (surprisingly, Duval isn't on this list of fee collectors).

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Orange FCAT move may hold back thousands

By Leslie Postal

Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted January 25 2005

Nearly 9,000 Orange County students could be in for a shock this spring as the school district joins the movement to eliminate social promotion.

Educators are prepared to hold back more than double the usual number of students as the district launches a policy tying promotions in grades three to eight to scores on the reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The new policy puts Florida's fifth-largest school district in the middle of one of the most contentious debates in public education: Should struggling students be moved along with youngsters their own age or be made to repeat the grade they didn't master the first time?

School systems across the nation have cracked down on social promotion in recent years, making standardized-test scores the key to advancement to higher grades. Florida joined those ranks two years ago when it made passing FCAT reading a requirement to move to fourth grade.

More than 19,000 students statewide are repeating third grade this school year.

Some researchers think, however, that these retention rules do little to help children and can harm them academically and emotionally.

Orange's new rule already has some parents worried.

"I don't think they should keep them back because of that one test. I really think that's unfair," said Dennis Hamilton, whose two daughters attend Pine Hills Elementary in Orlando.

Hamilton's girls, now in fourth and fifth grades, have passed the FCAT previously, he said, so he would be "highly upset" if they falter this year and anyone mentions holding them back.

In the past, FCAT failure rarely meant retention.

Last year, more than 20,600 Orange students in grades three to eight failed Florida's reading tests, but only 3,457 -- about 17 percent -- were held back. Almost half of those were in third grade.

In the view of Florida's education officials, who have been rallying against social promotion, the 17,151 students who failed but moved on were socially promoted and, perhaps, doomed to failure.

"Nobody wants 15-year-olds in a third-grade classroom," but struggling children have no chance if they're moved on, said Mary Laura Openshaw, a former high-school teacher in Texas and Mississippi who oversees Just Read, Florida!, Gov. Jeb Bush's statewide reading initiative.

"Even the best-trained reading teacher cannot move a ninth-grader who is reading at a sixth-grade level up to proficiency," she said. "I taught too many kids in high school who had no chance of success."

Orange was prodded into its new policy by the state, which in June demanded an end to social promotion into high schools with more than one F on recent school report cards. Orange had three such schools -- Jones, Evans and Oak Ridge, all struggling to help many students unable to do high-school work.

Orange's new policy essentially expands the state's third-grade law. It says students who fail FCAT reading by getting a Level 1 score on the five-level test are candidates for retention. Students will take FCAT reading in March and should find out in May how they did. The new rule gives Orange the strictest promotion policy in Central Florida.

Sixty percent to 70 percent of those who fail the FCAT likely will move to the next grade anyway. That is because they will be exempt from the rule as special-education students or children still learning English, or they will be able to prove, from their performance on other tests, that they can read near grade level, said Margaret Gentile, a district administrator.

By those estimates, if 20,000 children fail the reading tests in Orange this spring, total retentions in grades three to eight could hit 8,000 to 9,000.

Despite the loopholes, the new rule puts Orange on track to meet the State Board of Education's goal, announced last week, of eventually ending social promotion in all grades.

State officials are upset that after third grade, thousands of students who fail the FCAT, the state's barometer of grade-level work, advance to the next grade anyway.

In 2003, the latest year for which statewide figures were available, an average of 6 percent of students in grades three to eight -- 71,238 children -- were held back statewide, according to the Department of Education. More than a third of those were in third grade. An average of 26 percent of youngsters in that age group -- a little more than 300,000 -- failed the FCAT, however.

Educators expect the new rule to create an outcry. "I think it's going to be a shock to our school," said Debra Gore, principal of Pine Hills Elementary, where an average of 39 percent of students in grades three to five failed FCAT reading last year.

"Parents are just not real receptive to saying their child is a failure. That makes them a failure," she said.

Superintendent Ron Blocker agrees there will be parents upset by the new rule.

"But guess what?" he said. "It's good for kids."

Although schools have been alerting parents to the new policy, they are not necessarily telling students. They are busy preparing them for the FCAT, however. Orange beefed up instruction this year to ward off FCAT failure, requiring 90 minutes a day of reading for all elementary students.

On a recent morning, students in a Pine Hills class answered questions about a story they had read, with teacher Marie Maignan prodding them to provide details and to compare and contrast, just as they will do on the FCAT.

Fifth-grader Chris Simmons said he wasn't worried about the test. "I feel prepared. I had a lot of practice. I feel like I'm learning a lot."

To more and more Florida educators, students who can do the work are the only ones who should move ahead.

"To socially promote a student is to say to the parents your child is doing all right," said Don Gaetz, superintendent of the Okaloosa County School District in Florida's Panhandle. "And that's a lie."

Okaloosa was the first district in Florida to end all social promotions, in the 2001-02 school year. Since then, achievement is up among the 30,000 students, Gaetz said. To him, the key has been drafting improvement plans for each retained student, along with $2,000 vouchers from a "second-chance fund" to pay for one-on-one tutoring or other needed services.

After three years, more than 80 percent of retained students are earning promotions the next year, and the number of retentions has decreased.

"It's forcing us -- and this is the best part of the whole policy -- to be better the first time," Gaetz added.

Florida officials said similar successes have happened in third-grade classes throughout the state since social promotion ended at that grade.

But not everyone sees the benefits of such policies.

The Chicago public-school district made headlines in 1996 when it announced an end to social promotion.

Last year, researchers at the Consortium on Chicago School Research concluded the policy didn't boost student achievement and actually hurt the performance of older students, said Jenny Nagaoka, a researcher at the consortium that is affiliated with the University of Chicago.

Retained students didn't, on the whole, get effective help when they repeated the grade in Chicago, Nagaoka said.

About 20 percent of them ended up in special-education classes, in part because teachers didn't know what else to do to help them, and those who dropped out did so at an earlier age than struggling students who were moved ahead.

The policy also disproportionately affected black students, researchers found. That already happens in Florida, where black students accounted for 37 percent of the retentions in 2003 but made up only 24 percent of students enrolled.

"Retention is the type of policy that sounds good on the surface. It's something that's really easy to sell politically," Nagaoka said. "It becomes controversial when you actually look at what happens to children," she added. "Retention policies are punishing kids."

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I don't agree with social promotion either, but linking to a single test is assinine in my opinion.

In other news...

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/10734270.htm

Fla. students excel on AP tests

Florida students who took Advanced Placement tests last year were among the nation's best. Their success brought Miami-Dade and Broward high schools more than $11 million in additional funding.

BY MATTHEW I. PINZUR

[email protected]

Florida students were among the nation's top performers on the challenging Advanced Placement tests last year, an encouraging academic sign that also put millions of extra dollars into their schools' and teachers' pockets.

National results announced Tuesday showed Florida among the top states for AP success. More than 19 percent of the state's high-school seniors scored a 3 or higher on the AP exam's 5-point scale last year, qualifying them for college credit at almost any university. Only three states -- Maryland, New York and Utah -- had higher passing rates.

Moreover, Florida students improved more during the past four years than those in any other state, up 5.7 percentage points from 13.5 percent in 2000, when it ranked seventh among states.

''The important message of AP is that, with high expectation and hard work, people can accomplish much more than they ever dreamed they could,'' said Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, which oversees the AP program.

He gave at least part of the credit for Florida's success to an incentive program that provides cash rewards when students excel.

In Miami-Dade and Broward, the program handed an extra $11.5 million to high schools, roughly $1 million of which went directly to teachers. Those figures include similar bonuses tied to success in International Baccalaureate, an unrelated but similarly vigorous curriculum.

''This is really a model program,'' Caperton said, the former governor of West Virginia.

Florida's incentive program, part of a partnership with the College Board launched last year, gives school districts a bonus of roughly $1,200 for every student who passes an AP exam. At least 80 percent of that bonus must be given to the student's school, and $50 must go to the teacher.

''A majority of these teachers probably pump this money right back into the classroom,'' said Broward district spokesman Joe Donzelli.

At high schools with a state-issued grade of D or F, the teacher gets an additional $500 bonus if at least one student passes the test. Altogether, the teacher bonuses are capped at $2,000 per year.

With average teacher salaries around $39,600 in Florida, that can amount to a 5 percent bonus.

''Such incentive programs encourage teachers to take on the additional challenge of working with students after hours and on weekends,'' said Trevor Packer, executive director of the AP program. ``There's no other state that has such an extensive incentive program for teachers.''

HELPS BUILD PROGRAMS

The money also allows schools to build more robust AP programs. Principals can buy more advanced textbooks and fund additional training for teachers.

In some cases, they can hire extra staff, freeing teachers to lead more esoteric classes that attract only a handful of students.

''When we first started, we only had five students that wanted to take AP European History, and it is very costly to offer a class for only five students,'' said Milagros ''Millie'' Fornell, principal Felix Varela Senior in Southwest Dade, which earned more than $200,000 this year from AP bonuses. ``That allows me to open more AP courses for less kids.''

Under the partnership with the College Board, Florida pays the College Board's $82-per-test fee for all AP students, eliminating a hurdle that prevents some lowincome students in other states from taking the exam.

The state also pays for every high school sophomore to take the PSAT, the practice version of the College Board's SAT college entrance exam. Results on that test help teachers and principals identify students who are qualified for the rigorous AP classes.

In turn, Fornell said, black and Hispanic students who were traditionally overlooked for advanced classes are more likely to be prodded into enrolling.

`GREATER ACCESS'

''By providing greater access and opportunities to all students, Florida is seeing dramatic progress and more students are gaining a successful AP experience,'' Gov. Jeb Bush said in a written statement.

Educators consider that an important development, because participation in an AP class is attractive to college admissions officers, and numerous studies also link it to success in college.

Florida is one of 16 states in which a disproportionately high percentage of Hispanics take AP exams, according to the report. More than 18 percent of Florida students are Hispanic, but they represent 23 percent of AP test-takers.

The data lag for black students -- they are 19 percent of the student body, but just over 10 percent of AP test-takers -- but the gap has closed slightly over the past four years.

''The [Florida] results speak for themselves,'' Caperton said.

FIRST SUMMARY

This was the first year the College Board released a state-by-state summary of AP statistics, pegged to the exam's 50th anniversary. The report also revisited 2000 data for comparison.

In South Florida, 17 high schools were singled out in the AP report for exceptional results.

Most of them had the highest number of black or Hispanic students passing at least one of the 34 AP subject tests. A few others were recognized for having the widest segment of their student body pass a particular exam -- that award was given separately for small, medium and large schools.

Caperton said he hopes successes in Florida and elsewhere will have a snowball effect.

''I wish it was in more and more schools serving more and more students,'' he said. ``Students are all of the sudden awakened, energized and excited about learning, often for the first time in their life.''

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One thing that standardized tests do an excellent job of is evaluate how well people take standardized tests.

Teachers who have to teach at the grade levels where the FCAT is administered usually end up teaching to the test rather than covering other material that's important at that grade level. That's not what primary/secondary education should be about.

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Fascinating the maneuvers that can be made to make the numbers on the spreadsheet add up.

Posted on Fri, Feb. 25, 2005

UP FRONT | FLORIDA SCHOOLS

Smaller classes often exist only on paper

The state's formula for calculating class size often shows small classes on paper. The reality can be very different.

BY STEVE HARRISON

[email protected]

Gov. Jeb Bush revived the debate over class size last week -- arguing that the voter-approved mandate to shrink class size is too strict and too expensive.

But quietly, some school districts are exploiting loopholes in the state's formula for calculating class size, exaggerating their progress in making classes smaller. In some cases, schools are shoe-horning more children into classrooms -- even as they meet state requirements.

In Broward County, for example, one third of all elementary schools still put more than 35 students into at least one classroom, a Herald analysis shows. And in Miami-Dade, high schools such as Carol City, American and Coral Gables pack as many as 60 students into some classrooms, according to district records.

Many school districts have the money to hire teachers but can't afford to build classrooms. So administrators have taken advantage of loopholes in the state formula, which does not actually measure class size, but rather the ratio of students to teachers in each classroom. Here is what they are doing:

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The whole mandated class size thing is a one size fits all silly solution. What the school system needs is to hold teachers accountable by introducing free market reforms (and beating the teacher's unions back), reintroduce discipline, patriotism, morality, etc into the schools, and teach English, math, history, and science rather than self-esteem, birth control, and tolerance. More or less money spent per pupil has very little to do with outcome.

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Being a high school student now i loved florida's education i had good grades and it was alot better than texas which education is higher so i have lower grades :(

Also if they were to raise the standards it should only affect people who start school like in kindergarten and kids who start after that.

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Volusia impact fees will shoot up

By Kevin P. Connolly | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted February 25, 2005

DELAND -- Defying prominent developers and delighting education officials, County Council members Thursday agreed to more than quadruple the one-time fees charged on new houses from $1,139 to $5,284 to make growth pay more for schools.

The 6-1 vote -- which came after nearly 31/2 hours of discussion, a failed attempt at a lower fee and a technical debate about intricate financing issues -- makes Volusia the latest county in Central Florida to increase the so-called school-impact fees to deal with classroom crunches.

The new fee, which is expected to raise about $25 million annually for schools after it takes effect June 6, isn't as much as new impact fees elsewhere in Central Florida. Osceola County's fee, which took effect last year, is $9,708 and the highest in the state.

Volusia County Council member Jack Hayman cast the lone dissenting vote against the $5,284 fee "because I still can't close my eyes and see that's the right number. What I still see is we have to come up with the methodology to crunch that number."

Representatives of the Volusia Home Builders Association attacked the validity of the study the Volusia County School Board used to justify the increase, and they raised the prospect of a court challenge.

Allen Watts, an attorney for the home builders, said his clients understand an increase is needed but added "if we don't get the number right, anybody can challenge it. It doesn't have to be the home-builders association."

Developer Mori Hosseini suggested a lower fee and said County Council members should choose to avoid a court battle.

At one point, an attempt to approve a fee of about $3,100 failed when only Hayman and County Council member Joie Alexander supported it.

Representatives for the School Board said the fee of $5,284 will stand up in court.

After the vote, Sue Darden, the executive director of the home-builders association, said no decision has been made about whether to sue the county, but the increase will be discussed during a board meeting of the association Monday.

As for her reaction, Darden said: "Well, I've had better days."

School Board Chairman Candace Lankford said she was pleased by the vote and said she was "cautiously optimistic" going into the meeting that the fee would get the County Council's support.

It will be the first increase in the fee since 1997. County Council member Art Giles, a retired electrical contractor, said the $5,284 fee is fair.

"It seems like to me it's the right thing to do. And everyone knows that I've made my living for over 30 years from construction," he said.

Thursday's debate marks a milestone in the school district's attempt to revise its impact-fee structure -- an effort that Alex Ford, an attorney for the School Board, said began in earnest in August 2003.

On June 1, 2004, the Volusia County School Board unanimously agreed to nearly triple the one-time fees charged on new houses from $1,139 to $3,165 based on a staff analysis.

But after home builders questioned the amount, School Board officials hired an outside consultant, Tindale-Oliver & Associates of Orlando, which came up with the $5,284 fee, the number embraced by school officials.

But the formula the consultant used to get that $5,284 figure is flawed, said Watts, the attorney for the Volusia Home Builders Association, during his presentation to School Board members.

The School Board is asking for too much money, Watts said. The formula is flawed, he said, because it unfairly passes on too much of the cost of construction to homebuyers without factoring out debt and depreciation of classrooms.

Under his argument, the payer of a $5,284 fee should expect to get a brand-new, debt-free student seat, which wouldn't happen, Watts said.

"The level of service which we deliver at the district today means that every seat has some debt on it, and every seat has some wear and tear on it -- on average," Watts said.

Kevin P. Connolly can be reached at 386-851-7934 or [email protected]

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Sure it doesn't.  If that were the case then why does the states with the lowest graduation rates also have the lowest funding per student?  Also, classes have not changed at all, they are still teaching English, math, science, social science, etc., what has changed is that they are teaching so students pass the FCAT.  That is what needs to be changed.  Morality should never be brought into the equation.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

ask any teacher what is wrong and they will almost always say "funding"

My wife is a teacher in Clay County. We spend upwards of a 500-1000$ a year out of our own pockets for stuff for her class. Many teacher's families do this due to lack of funding. My wife's school is a title 1 school meaning it gets more funding than some others, but that is never enough.

Funny though, even though Clay County schools get way less funding than some other parts of the state, they are among the top performers year in year out.

Dont say teacher's pay, she works from ~7AM-3:30PM at school then another 1-2 hours a night doing homework and tests. easily 50 hours a week.

Her payscale equals about 20$ an hour normal pay for the 180 days a year she is in class. (plus the planning days, conferences, training, etc). Sounds like a decent pay for a 4 year degree. What about those extra 5-10 hours a week unpaid? That means she averages 16$ an hour for the days she does work, this does not include free paychecks during the sumemr like most people think.

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There is a proposal coming up soon to amend Florida's constitution to allow voters to break up the sizes of their countywide school districts. Florida is a unique state in that it mandates countywide school districts, although it does allow two or more districts to merge into a single district.

What do you guys think?

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/sou...-home-headlines

I don't believe this is the best idea and I'm against it. Parochialism at its best. This sets the stage for creation of more enclaves and widening the gap between rich and poor areas, with less affluent areas' schools suffering as a result. It goes against the urban movement, and it would make it more difficult to bring families back into cities. It creates one more type of fiefdom that I'd rather not see.

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I agree. People say Miami-Dade's system is too big and unmanagable. Maybe it could be cut in two, but I still see the same problems. New suburban schools at the expense of inner city schools that are falling apart.

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It always interests me to see what people say about education. all politics aside, in high school i wen to the tallahassee International Baccalaureate Prgm at Rickards High school. Graduating with the diploma, 5 yrs of spanish, math through calc II, theory of knowledge, a stone carving apprenticeship under one of florida's great, and more englsh and science than anyone would want to be exposed to makes me very sinicle of florida's efforts. I saw friends going through thier highschool careers without text books and not really giving a damn. It amazes me. I barely graduated high school (gpa 2.02 wiht a min req of 2.0) but when it came time to write an impromptu essay in spanish about the cuban revolution, or a 45 minute timed 5 page math problem, or the two books i wrote for my art classes, i was able to express my intellegence in a more effecent way. This is an expensive program to operate.

fortunatly, my younger siblings are following up my trail, challanging thier abilities to balance the same work load as students across the world, at an age of transitioning personalities, and hightening responsiblities. College at FLorida State is a breeze now, and paid for 100 percent. If all floridians were willing, these results could be possible for more. Florida could lead the nation by example, and i say this with no regards for anything florida has in favor of such a system, more so just to exploit our lacking funds to maybe force a compromise. motivation for youth cost money these days. Education now is cheaper than unemployment, legal costs, and prescription uppers in the futur.

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You wanna talk about school growth?

My wife's new school just opened in Clay County. Should have only been 850 students, currently over 1300 students and climbing.

Schools cannot be built quick enough here.

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