The Florida legislature is pushing to finalize a proposed budget that calls for a $400 million reduction to Florida universities, with $103 million coming from University of South Florida’s (USF) 2012-13 budget. On February 13, students at USF, in Tampa, received email notification of potential budget cuts coming down from the state. The email highlighted an address made by USF System President Judy Genshaft concerning the cuts.
After the finalization of the budget by the Senate, the House, which has already passed its budget, is to work together with the Senate to finalize a joint budget that will go back to both chambers for approval. The deadline for this work is March 9, after which Florida Governor Rick Scott can either approve or veto it.
February 28, 2012 by International Students for Social Equality
Issued in French on February 23, this statement of the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) was distributed at a mass demonstration of striking university and CEGEP (junior college) students held in Montreal that same day. Since February 13, increasing numbers of students have launched walkouts and unlimited strikes to oppose the Quebec Liberal government’s plans to increase university tuition fees by 75 percent or $1625 over the next five years. Currently some 80,000 university and CEGEP students—almost a fifth of Quebec’s entire post-secondary student population—are on strike and in the coming days tens of thousands more are to vote on whether to join the walkout.
New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and the statewide teachers union, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), reached agreement on February 16 to introduce a system for evaluating the effectiveness of New York state’s teachers based primarily on student standardized test scores.
The deal followed a threat by President Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, to withhold $700 million in funds granted under the 2010 federal “Race to the Top” (RTTT) program, which requires such an evaluation system. A week later, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Department of Education (DOE) released to the media the scores for 18,000 teachers based on student testing.