Elected officials across Florida cheered state universities doing well in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of American higher ed institutions.
Lawson pointed to $29,443,491 headed to the region which were part of $1.4 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and colleges and universities serving low-income students. The funds were part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress and the White House at the end of March to help the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The public “beta” version of the portal was first unveiled in early 2019 to take stakeholder feedback, and based on that feedback, improvements and new features were added in August 2019 and October 2020 that make the site even more user-friendly and content-rich.
State Board of Education Chairwoman Marva Johnson praised Stewart for her efforts. 
Lawson led a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, on the matter.
“Over the past year and beyond, Florida has led on prioritizing the education and wellbeing of our state’s students,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “This emergency order will empower students, families and teachers with data on students’ progress and growth and provide them with the necessary tools to create the best educational experience for each individual.”
Hendry County has the highest unemployment rate in Florida but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hopes to ensure public schools there can offer skills for the workplace.