South Florida is trying to change its corruption-plagued reputation and politically charged climate by sending some of its leaders back to school, reports the Miami Herald. This fall, 18 new local officials from four South Florida counties will gather for eight lessons in everything they need to know about effectively serving their communities. From balancing a mock municipal budget to avoiding ethics scandals to understanding land-use regulations, the "Good Government Initiative" curriculum is the first wide-ranging effort aimed at helping local leaders network and govern ethically. Katy Sorenson, the program's founder and former Miami-Dade County commissioner, created the program in collaboration with the University of Miami and the James L. Knight Foundation in hopes of providing an opportunity to mold local leaders. The program costs $1,500 and can be paid for with public, campaign, personal or scholarship funds.