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The Thrasher Group

McKinley Architects & Engineers

January 18, 2019 - Volume 39 Issue 2

Florida lawmakers continue to look for ‘Alternative Pathways’ to high school graduation

Some of the state's testing requirements stop otherwise qualified students from earning a diploma, legislators contend. (Tampa Bay Times, Jan. 9) / Also refer to Education Commission of the States Resource: More Than One Path Leads to High School Graduation / https://ednote.ecs.org/more-than-one-path-leads-to-high-school-graduation/

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.” ― Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842-1914),  American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran. Bierce's book The Devil's Dictionary was named as one of "The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature" by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.

“We have found very, very clearly that mathematics is our number one deficiency. It’s abysmal. It’s been that way for 30 years, and it’s time for us to do something to fix it.” – Supt. Steve Paine, telling legislators that improving students’ math performance is the Education Department’s top priority

“When we’re failing in math and we have areas of uncertified math teachers teaching courses to our children and scoring poorly, let’s do something about it.” – Senate President Mitch Carmichael, suggesting expanding legislation proposed by Gov. Jim Justice from giving a one-time $2,000 bonus to teachers who get certified to teach math to instead raise their pay by $2,000 per year. 

“We need to try to figure out ways to expand career-technical education offerings and to get the stigma removed from those kids that it’s not cool to be in those classes.” – Supt. Steve Paine

“Do we need to improve the quality of that education? Absolutely.” – Supt. Steve Paine

“There will be a day of reckoning. If there is willful neglect or inability to perform at the prescribed levels, then we have to step in and do some kind of intervention.” – Supt. Steve Paine on the need for county school districts to perform well now that more control of public education has devolved to the local level

“We’re requesting $47 million less than we asked for last year. Most of that is due to declining enrollment, but if you look at real dollars, we’re not asking for an increase in any of our programs. We think that our budget is sufficient.” – Supt. Steve Paine on the Department of Education’s budget request for the next fiscal year

“We certainly need more nurses. We certainly need more counselors. But what we really need are people that can deal with kids that are coming from opioid families.” – Supt. Steve Paine

“We’re not going to get more money, but we need to do more with what we have.” – Sue Chapman, chief financial officer for the School Building Authority

“If we have a $200 million surplus this year, how come we haven’t been requesting more funds to get these projects done?” – Delegate Joe Ellington, suggesting the School Building Authority should get more funding for school construction and renovation projects.