FCAT REPLACEMENT The Department of Education is rolling out a new assessment test this year called Florida’s Standards Assessment to replace the FCAT. Sample exams have been available for the past month for public review and comments. While daily visits to the website hit over 1,000, fewer than 30 have actually made comments. Thousands gave feedback last year on the Common Core. The deadline for comments has been extended to September 12th. Click here to learn more about the tests, take practice exams and leave comments.
LOTTERY AND EDUCATION The Department of Education has received over $1 billion from the Florida Lottery, following a record year in ticket sales for the 2014 fiscal year. Since the lottery’s inception in 1988, it has generated $27 billion for education.
STATE RETIREMENT FUND The Florida Retirement System (FRS) remains strong, with funds growing 17.4 percent in the last fiscal year, according to a report from the State Board of Administration. With the possibility of future legislation, a coalition of business advocates and policy groups formed Taxpayers for Sustainable Pensions to offer additional options for pension reform.
DOZIER SCHOOL FOR BOYS On August 7th, University of South Florida researchers were able to name one of the victims from the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Owen Smith’s remains were identified through DNA collected from his sister, Ovell Krell, age 86. Smith was buried in a two-foot grave on the school’s property and is the first of 55 bodies to be identified.