FYI Miami: June 17, 2021
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
SCHOOLS OUT: Florida is among 21 states that have not submitted plans to the US Department of Education detailing how they intend to use the latest round of federal stimulus funds earmarked for schools. The department on Monday released a list of plans submitted by 29 states and the District of Columbia. Florida missed a June 7 deadline to submit its plan, citing a delay “due to (the) legislative session and required State Board review,” according to the federal agency. The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to questions about when the State Board of Education will review a plan and submit it to Washington. Florida has been allocated more than $7 billion under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, out of nearly $122 billion being distributed to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. But the US Department of Education is withholding a third of the funds earmarked for Florida until the state submits a plan and gets approval.
WHY JOHNNY CAN’T READ: A measure aimed at reducing an academic achievement gap for boys in Florida schools was formally sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday. Supporters of the achievement-gap bill during this year’s legislative session focused on lagging reading scores for boys. The bill cited data from statewide reading assessments in third through 10th grades during the 2018-2019 academic year, with boys having lower scores than their female counterparts. The measure would create a task force that would be led by the education commissioner or his designee and include educators, parents, the executive director of an early learning coalition and a lawmaker. DeSantis has 15 days to sign the measure, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.
AIRPORT EXPANSION: Miami International Airport’s (MIA) planned $11.8 million purchase of a one-story office complex on three acres west of the hub’s cargo complex is one step closer to closing, as Miami-Dade’s airports committee last week OK’d the move, advancing it to a final vote next month. The office building in county Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz’s district, will “increase MIA’s footprint to the west” and help “the airport’s cargo needs as part of its future growth plans,” a memo from county Chief Operations Officer Jimmy Morales said. “The availability of industrial properties for sale west of MIA is rare,” he wrote. Aviation Director Lester Sola told Miami Today that MIA will probably spend upwards of $30 million to acquire land by the end of 2021. The 85,822-square-foot building includes 11,000 square feet of showrooms, 8,500 square feet of offices and 40,000 square feet of warehouses. If commissioners approve the purchase from 1777 Milam LLC July 8, Miami-Dade would become the new landlord of construction company Compacstone USA, which is leasing 27,800 square feet in the building through April 1, 2024.