The News-Press Media Group will bring together top educators and business leaders today to discuss challenges, opportunities and priorities in preparing high school graduates for careers or college.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott will be the keynote speaker and is unveiling his education agenda. The event runs from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.
Follow live coverage of the event here at news-press.com and follow on Twitter using #npedsum.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to give traditional public schools more flexibility and teachers some financial help when it comes to purchasing supplies.
These are just a few of the education initiatives Scott will be unveiling during The News-Press Media Groupís Market Watch Education II Summit this morning. The News-Press reported earlier this week that the governor will be pushing against spending cuts.
Scott is one of the summitís keynote speakers. He was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
ďSome of what heís planning is on the right track, some of it is not stuff weíve talked about or looked for but should be fairly welcomed,Ē said Mark Castellano, president of the Lee County teacherís union.
Castellano received a call from the governor Wednesday morning to talk over the specifics of his education plan. In September, Castellano was one of a few educators invited to the governorís mansion for a dinner discussing education.
The governor is talking about shifting away from the FCAT, which is something that was already coming, and implementing Common Core, which is a national movement, but itís very intensive and will take a tremendous amount of training, Castellano said. Castellano added that he hopes Common Core will still allow teachers to be creative in developing their classrooms.
After touring the state and meeting with parents and teachers, including Lexington Middle School, Scott is looking to address teacherís concerns about paying for supplies out of their own pockets.
A News-Press Market Watch Education survey of nearly 300 teachers found most teachers have to spend their own money on school supplies for students and classrooms due to budget cuts. Of the teachers surveyed, 29 percent said on average they spend more than $500 on supplies and 64 percent said they spend anywhere from $100 to $500 in the classroom.
Scott has proposed a Teacher Supply Award Program that would provide teachers with debit cards funded by private sources.
ďHe said itís going to add and not take away (teacher funding),Ē said Castellano. ďBut where the funding comes from concerns me. If itís coming from private sources, Iím concerned if there will be strings attached to that.Ē