Lawmakers want to shake up Florida’s virtual school system | Florida Trend Education – Florida Trend

Lawmakers want to shake up Florida’s virtual school system

State Representative Randy Fine said Florida’s online education program needs an overhaul. Designed before the iPhone, the model that allows the Florida Virtual School to offer courses and also to franchise its program has become too expensive and redundant, argues the Republican from Palm Bay. Florida law requires school districts to offer virtual class options to their students. This proposal would force them to look elsewhere for materials that meet state standards — potentially at a higher cost than what they are currently spending. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Parents who started homeschooling during the pandemic don’t want to send their kids away

The number of homeschoolers in Florida has increased dramatically since the pandemic began. The state saw an overall 35.2% increase in stay-at-home students between 2019-20 and 2020-21, according to the Florida Department of Education. But the increases were even stronger in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Both counties saw more than a 60% increase in homeschooling between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. [Source: Pensacola News Journal]

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FSU and Florida A&M researchers develop better design for low-gravity space simulator

Existing spaceflight simulators that use free fall to generate near-zero gravity are size-limited and typically have short low-gravity durations—only a few seconds to a few minutes—making them unsuitable for experiments that require long observation times. Researchers at Florida State University and Florida A&M’s College of Engineering have developed a design for a magnetic levitation-based low-gravity simulator that is 1,000 times larger than existing simulators of the same type. [Source: Florida Trend]

Opinion: New bill threatens federal financial aid for Florida students

New bills that change accreditation standards for political purposes could end up costing hundreds of thousands of Florida college students access to federal financial aid and federal student loans. Among other things, the “Post-Secondary Education” legislation (Senate Bill 7044 / House Bill 7051) requires every university and college in Florida to change accreditors at the start of each accreditation cycle ( approximately every five to seven years, on average), and it provides a legal cause of action against any accreditation body that takes retaliatory action against an institution. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Children have mental health issues. Florida schools are struggling to help.

As the number of young people with mental illness increases, barriers to care, including a shortage of providers and the prohibitive costs of therapy, are making it difficult for many people to get the help they need. . Advocates turn their attention to schools, asking if the education system is ready to meet the mental health needs of students [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› FSU Commits Multi-Million Dollars to Local Research Incubator
Florida State University has pledged $5.6 million in capital commitments to bring a new research-focused business incubator called North Florida Innovation Labs to the Leon County Innovation Park. “Universities are economic engines,” said FSU President Richard McCullough. “This partnership with the city and the Innovation Park will enhance our existing research operations while building new partnerships and creating new jobs.”

› Can drones locate invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades? ERAU researchers investigate
There may be as many as 300,000 Burmese pythons in Florida; no one really knows the population. Researchers from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Warren County Community College in New Jersey have started a research project to see if they can make snakes less stealthy.

› USF faces angry backlash over supposed changes to its sign language major
A recent series of posts has caused confusion and turmoil regarding the American Sign Language Interpretation and Deaf Studies program at the University of South Florida, one of two schools in the state to offer a four-year degree in this field. Nathan Maxfield, acting chair of USF’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, sent an email Feb. 11 saying he was sorry to announce the program’s closure.

› New Implant Dentistry Program at the University of Jacksonville
The University of Jacksonville is introducing a three-year Master of Science in Dentistry and Certificate in Comprehensive Oral Implantology, supported by the Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency Foundation and utilizing the American Academy of Implant Dentistry’s postgraduate core curriculum.

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Jeremy S. McLain