May 22, 2024
College crime surging back to pre-COVID levels. Here's the crime at Florida colleges, universities

Florida Trend Education

College crime surging back to pre-COVID levels. Here's the crime at Florida colleges, universities

| 4/18/2024

College crime surging back to pre-COVID levels. Here's the crime at Florida colleges, universities

Not everything back to normal after the pandemic is good. Campus crime has risen back up, too. Government data shows the number of crimes reported on college campuses around the U.S. surged back up to pre-pandemic levels by 2022. Crime reported from nearly 6,000 institutions rose about 8% from 2019, even though enrollments dipped during the same period. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

DeSantis signs bill to curb book challenges by people without kids in school

Florida is about to make it harder to challenge books in schools. A new law — signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday — will limit the number of books that can be challenged by people without children in a school district, a move the governor said will help reduce the number of frivolous challenges across the state. Currently, any Floridian can challenge however many books they want. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Communism history classes are coming to Florida K-12 schools

The wrongs committed by the Soviets, the Chinese and other communist regimes will be discussion fodder for students in the Sunshine State going forward. Students in traditional public and charter K-12 schools are on track to receive instruction on the history of communism beginning in the 2026-27 academic year in what is billed as an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate way. [Source: Florida Politics]

Two Florida law schools were just ranked among the nation’s top 50

Florida now boasts two law schools ranked in the nation’s top 50 — and five schools in the top 100, according to U.S. News and World Report. In its newly released annual rankings of the best graduate schools in four categories, U.S. News placed the University of Florida’s law school in a tie for 28th nationwide. That’s a drop from last year, when it was rated 22nd. But meanwhile, FSU’s law school surged into the top 50, rating at 48th. That’s an eight-point jump from a year ago. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Dr. G. Devin Stephenson selected as next president of Florida Polytechnic University

The Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees announced the selection of Dr. G. Devin Stephenson as the next president of the University. The announcement followed a vote by the Board during a public meeting on Monday, April 15. Stephenson, who currently serves as president of Northwest Florida State College, will become Florida Poly’s second president, pending confirmation by the Board of Governors. [Source: Florida Trend]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› USF to lead statewide initiative to address shortage of mental health professionals
USF’s long-time commitment to address the critical need for mental health professionals is being recognized by the state of Florida, which selected the university as home of the Florida Center for Behavioral Health Workforce. USF was recently awarded $5 million in recurring funds to create the center to enhance recruitment and retention efforts and expand pathways to behavioral health professions.

› Gainesville mayor considers tailoring DEI services for UF students
All diversity, equity and inclusion positions and programs abruptly shut down at Florida campuses in March following orders from the Florida Board of Governors. With many students upset, worried and even scared about their futures in the wake of the decision, Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward has discussed stepping up to the plate.

› Broward school board discusses plan to repurpose under-enrolled schools
Broward County Public Schools' new superintendent dove head-first Tuesday into the highly contentious plan of repurposing or closing under-enrolled schools in the county. The idea was first brought up back in the fall of 2023, and the district has held informational meetings with the public since. The district currently has about 50,000 empty classroom seats and dozens of schools are under-enrolled.

› Pinellas schools to offer day care for district employees starting in July
Pinellas County school district employees with young children soon will have a new, more affordable option for their day care needs. The district is expanding its scope to include daylong child care services for kids ages 12 months to 48 months, beginning in late July. The idea comes as part of the district’s plan to overhaul the use of Pinellas Secondary School, an alternative school in Pinellas Park to help students with academic and behavior issues.

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