Politics

Mayor Creates Education Commissioner's Office

Mayor Creates Education Commissioner's Office

Mayor Alvin Brown issued an executive order naming the first Education Commissioner for the City of Jacksonville.

The office is designed to serve as a bridge between City Hall and Duval County Public Schools with a mission to increase graduation rates and better prepare Jacksonville’s youths for the 21st Century job market. The office will have no executive powers over the school system but will serve a crucial supportive function to raise private money and rally community support at a time the schools are facing cutbacks.

Congressional Leaders Say They Are Close to a Deal on the Debt Ceiling

WASHINGTON D.C. - President Barack Obama's top ally in the Senate has signed on to a long-delayed agreement to raise the government's borrowing cap and cut spending - subject to approval by his fellow Senate Democrats.

A spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Nevada Democrat supports the measure. He's the first top congressional leader to announce support.

Republican Senate leaders said Sunday they were close to a deal.

The tentative agreement would guarantee enough borrowing authority to keep the government afloat into 2013.

The measure would provide an immediate hike in the debt limit, accompanied by the promise of trillions of dollars in future spending cuts.

Cuts in spending would be phased in over a decade. Social Security and Medicare benefits wouldn't be cut, and taxes would be unlikely to rise.

Rick Scott Puts Mike Hogan to Work

Rick Scott Puts Mike Hogan to Work

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former mayoral candidate Mike Hogan didn't win his bid to lead Jacksonville, but he'll still have a job in government.

On Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott announced that he appointed 61-year-old Hogan to the Public Employees Relations Commission.

Hogan, who was the Duval County Tax Collector from 2003 to 2011, will serve as the commission's chair, succeeding Stephanie Williams Ray. 

His term starts on July 27, 2011 and ends January 1, 2012.

In the same announcement, Scott said he appointed Donna M. Poole, a labor law attorney from Tallahassee, to the commission as well.  Her term also starts on July 27 and she'll serve on the committee through January 1, 2014.

Duval County Public Schools Employee Heatlh Fair

Duval County Public Schools in partnership with each of the Bargaining Unions will be sponsoring a two-day Optional Health Insurance Fair in an effort to assist our employees with finding alternative ways to shoulder the burden of health care costs.

During the two-day event, the health insurance vendors listed below will be onsite to provide information and quotes on individual dependent health insurance plans.

Teacher Merit Pay Fails in NYC Before Florida Schools Start Program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local education advocates are calling on Governor Rick Scott to look to New York City after their teacher merit pay program was abandoned Monday.

"I applaud New York for doing what's fiscally responsible and realizing that political ideology shouldn't set the tone for what we put into practice," said Colleen Wood, Save Duval Schools Executive Director.

The program in New York City rewarded the entire school based on performance.

Here in Florida individual teachers would be rewarded.

Wood has rallied against teacher merit pay since it was first introduced in Florida, and she thinks the state should follow in New York's footsteps.

Senator Bill Nelson to Help Jacksonville Vet Secure Citizenship

Senator Bill Nelson to Help Jacksonville Vet Secure Citizenship

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Senator Bill Nelson helped a Jacksonville Iraq War veteran avoid 10 years in prison and deportation.

On Monday, Nelson will meet with Navy Reserves Petty Officer Elisha Dawkins to tell him he'll help Dawkins clear up his citizenship as well.
    
Dawkins was raised in the U.S. but while under investigation, found out he was actually born in the Bahamas.

It turns out Dawkins' mother came to the U. S. from the island nation and settled in Miami before being deported.  Dawkins was allowed to remain here.

After high school, Dawkins decided to join the Army.  Following his time serving in Iraq, Dawkins joined the Navy Reserves and studied at FSCJ to be a nurse.

Duval Superintendent Statement Regarding Board Recommendation for Intervene School Oversight

When Duval Partners for Excellent Education, Inc. was started, the primary responsibility was to mobilize the entire city in supporting the four intervene schools and their feeder schools. Specifically, they were to expand the involvement of businesses and faith-based partners, university staff, non-profit and government wrap around services, as well as adding to the financial resources to attract and retain the best principals and teachers, extend learning time, and other important needs.