Marco Rubio Wants Education Reform, Rick Scott Proposes Teacher Raise: Ed Today

Rubio-Style Reform? Republican rising star Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday that lawmakers must pay more attention to the "skills gap" between existing jobs and the lack of qualified employees to fill them, reports The Hill. Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce, Rubio said of education, "because it's not controversial, it's not getting nearly enough attention as it needs to be getting."

Florida Teacher Pay Day? Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who has publicly sparred with teachers unions and cut education spending in the past, now wants to give raises to all full-time teachers -- to the tune of $2,500 a piece. According to the Tampa Bay Times, lawmakers are cautious -- the raises would come from a budget surplus that advocates want to use for things like Medicaid caseloads, higher education and school security.

School Closure Worries? As Philadelphia prepares to shut down some of its schools, affected families are sounding off. In a Wednesday hearing, the Notebook reports, the biggest fear was about safety. "I want my school to stay open, where I feel safe," said Judea Williams, a 3rd grader at Gompers Elementary, one of the schools slated for closure. "I don't want to have to watch my back all of the time. If I move to Beeber, I will have to be in school with a bunch of 8th and 7th graders, and I don't want to be around them because they might have fights. The little children that are tiny might get hurt."

Guns In California School? A school in Fontana, Calif., has armed up -- with high-powered rifles, reports the Associated Press. "Fontana Unified School District police purchased 14 of the Colt LE6940 rifles last fall, and they were delivered the first week of December, a week before a gunman killed 26 students and educators at a Connecticut elementary school," AP writes.

The End Of Wyoming Ed Reform? Yesterday, Wyoming's Senate killed two education reform bills, reports the Wyoming News. One bill would have increased the legal dropout age from 16 to 18. Another one would have increased high school math requirements. Sayonara, I suppose.