Monday, October 22, 2018

Florida education news: Accountability, superintendents, pay raises and more

ACCOUNTABILITY: Florida's plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act incorporated language that some education advocates say violates the word and spirit of the law. A coalition of civil rights organizations, rebuffed when it asked state officials to alter the proposal, has asked U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reject it.

SUPERINTENDENTS: The Hernando County School Board agrees to conduct a second district-wide survey to help evaluate superintendent Lori Romano's performance. Its first survey generated questions about its value.

TEACHER PAY: The Pasco County school district makes its salary proposal for teachers,  offering $3.15 million less than the union requested. "Ouch," teacher negotiator Val Smith said. • Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association executive director Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins discusses her county's wage dispute in the latest Gradebook podcast.

SCHOLARSHIPS: A proposal to grant scholarships to bullied public school students faces some pushback as it moves through the House. • A bill to permanently expand the Bright Futures scholarship sails through a Senate committee, the Sunshine State News reports.

AFTER THE STORM: The federal government will provide $2 million to help Florida schools recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria, US News & World Report reports. • Island evacuees continue to make their transition into Florida's education system, NPR reports.

STUDENT BUSING: Hillsborough County school transportation officials are investigating why wheels flew off two new school buses while moving, ABC Action News reports.

COMMUNICATION: Marion County School Board members spar with  administration officials over whether adequate information about a construction project was provided, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

FUNDING: Volusia County School Board members ask local chamber of commerce leaders to help fight for changes to the state district cost differential education funding formula, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

BAD ACTS: An Alachua County principal removed over alleged inappropriate comments to students had faced sexual harassment accusations while working in Levy County, the Gainesville Sun reports. • A Polk County teacher resigns as district officials learn of her past problems in other districts, the Ledger reports.

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ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 14, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 14, 2018

Frustrated with a string of legislative losses, the Florida Education Association — the state’s largest teacher union — selected new leadership for the coming three years. New president Fed Ingram promised to “start winning ag...
Published: 10/20/18
Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

A Northeast High School student who mangled his fingers using a table saw in class in 2016 is suing the Pinellas County School Board for negligence, asking for at least $15,000 in damages.According to a lawsuit filed Oct. 12, Brandon Jacob ...
Published: 10/19/18
State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

Eighty-eight Florida schools will join 630 others in gaining relief from some state education laws as "Schools of Excellence."The recognition, developed by lawmakers in 2017 as part of HB 7069, grants principals greater autonomy in daily operations, ...
Published: 10/19/18
Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

CLIMATE SURVEY: Large majorities of Pinellas County teachers say they feel valued and safe at their schools. District officials plan to break down these and other survey results by school, and use the information to make any needed improvements....
Published: 10/19/18
New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

Pinellas County schools recently wrapped up a new type of survey which asked school-level staff to evaluate aspects about their workplace.The results show about 70 percent of the 3,952 respondents agree that they feel valued by the adm...
Published: 10/18/18
Pasco school employees ask for 4.5 percent raises plus a bonus

Pasco school employees ask for 4.5 percent raises plus a bonus

Contending the school district has more money available than it has discussed, the United School Employees of Pasco requested 4.5 percent raises plus a nonrecurring bonus for all its support personnel during negotiations Wednesday.A similar requ...
Published: 10/18/18
Gradebook podcast: Are 11th and 12th grades a waste of time? A discussion on dual enrollment and early college

Gradebook podcast: Are 11th and 12th grades a waste of time? A discussion on dual enrollment and early college

As a Florida state lawmaker, John Legg often spoke about how the final two years of high school were becoming less important to students who had already passed many of their graduation requirements and could benefit from better preparation for colleg...
Published: 10/18/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, school threats, special education and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, school threats, special education and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County's school employees union prepares to make a salary request that exceeds what district officials have said is available. The sides have delayed negotiations two months while awaiting updated financial information. •...
Published: 10/18/18
Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

In advance of selling $67.5 million in certificates of participation, the Pasco County school district sent several high level officials to New York to pitch for a good credit rating.The effort paid off, chief finance officer Olga Swinson told t...
Published: 10/17/18
Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

After a two month break while awaiting updated financial data, negotiators for Pasco County school employees and the district administration return to bargaining this week, with plans to start talking pay.The United School Employees of Pasco intends ...
Published: 10/17/18