Friday, September 21, 2018

Florida education news: Start times, diplomas, bonuses and more

START TIMES: Hillsborough County did it. Now some Pinellas County parents are agitating for their high schools to begin classes later each morning. If the district administration doesn't deal with the issue, it could become a hot campaign topic as a majority of School Board seats come up for election in 2018.

CLASS OF 2019: Pasco County officials are looking for a way to let this year's Ridgewood High juniors complete a diploma from Ridgewood even as it converts to a technical school. It's not as straightforward as you might think.

PAY DISPUTE: Huge numbers of Hillsborough teachers keep the pressure on their School Board after the district offers $92 bonuses instead of once-promised $4,000 raises. • Meanwhile, the district announces its teacher of the year finalists.

SURVEY SAYS: The Pinellas County school district plans to contact more than 1,000 families to get input about schools, programs and more.

WANT A LIFT? Some Hillsborough County parents question the district's decision to send a private company's vans to transport their special-needs children.

WHO'S THERE? It might be your local lawmaker, if the Florida Legislature approves a bill to allow its members to visit public schools any time, any day, at his or her pleasure.

DAILY SCHEDULES:  Citrus County high schools abandon block scheduling in favor of a seven-period day, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • The Brevard County school district prepares to move early-release days from Wednesdays to Fridays, Florida Today reports. • The Broward County school district plans to start the 2018-19 academic year a week earlier than usual, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

LEADERSHIP: The principal of Sarasota County's Riverview High resigns to become Florida deputy chancellor of educator quality, the Observer reports. • An educator and Navy veteran is appointed to the Escambia County School Board, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. • Palm Beach County superintendent Robert Avossa receives a near-perfect performance evaluation, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

HUNGRY KIDS: Bay County schools use the increasingly popular "share tables" for students to place unwanted cafeteria food for others to take, the Panama City News-Herald reports.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE: Duval County's superintendent says public reports about district crime incidents and discipline have been misunderstood, the Florida Times-Union reports.

ELIGIBILITY: A Palm Beach County high school student from England finally wins approval to play on his school's soccer team, the Palm Beach Post reports.

VOUCHERS: Tampa businessman John Kirtley is a key player in Florida's tax-credit scholarship program, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

LABOR NEWS: The Florida Education Association joins with other labor organizations to blast what it considers a union-busting bill in the Legislature, Public News Service reports. More from Capitol News Service.

BAD ACTS: A Marion County principal is suspended for undisclosed reasons, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. • A Sarasota County assistant principal accuses her supervisors of retaliation, the Herald-Tribune reports. • A Broward County teacher is fired amid allegations he had sex with a student, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: Florida House PreK-12 Innovation, 10:30 a.m. • Florida House PreK-12 Appropriations, 4 p.m.

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Two Pasco County schools see principal shift

Two Pasco County schools see principal shift

Plagued with low staff morale, Pasco Middle School on Friday got a new principal charged with improving the climate of the Dade City campus.Danielle "Dee Dee" Johnson, principal of Wesley Chapel High since early 2017, was appointed to ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Time for Florida’s new student scholarships draws near

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It's six weeks into the 2018-19 school year, and Florida's two newest scholarship programs to help struggling readers and bullied children are about to become reality.Florida lawmakers established the Reading Scholarship and the "Hope" Scholarsh...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida education news: Football, mental health, accountability and more

Florida education news: Football, mental health, accountability and more

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Republican candidate for Florida governor Ron DeSantis offers more insights on his views about Common Core, testing, charter schools and civics education. He released his position paper on education earlier in the week. Several l...
Published: 09/21/18
Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

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We've been collecting documents to supplement our reporting about the upcoming Hillsborough sales tax referendum and thought we would share them here. This post will be updated.First: Facebook Live video of Superintendent Jeff Eakins' first town hall...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Mental health provider that evaluated Nikolas Cruz picked to service charter schools

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Florida's largest charter school membership organization announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's former mental health care provider to render services to schools.Broward County's Henderson Behavioral Heal...
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Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Plato Academy Trinity has told parents and students it's targeting Oct. 1 to open its new building on Old County Road 54.It still has several permits to obtain if it wants to meet that latest deadline.The Pasco County charter school, serving about 25...
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Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Florida's two major party candidates for governor have released their education platforms, and they couldn't have offered a more distinct choice.With the exception of wanting to expand career and technical education, and to pay teachers better, Repub...
Published: 09/20/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County teachers and staff continue to press for raises in the district's budget, getting only board promises to keep looking for funding. One School Board member urges his colleagues to make pay a top priority.RED TIDE: T...
Published: 09/20/18
Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Recess and physical education classes at two south Pinellas County schools were moved inside this week due to Red Tide, a toxic algae that continues to plague area beaches with throngs of dead fish and an unmistakable foul odor.Pr...
Published: 09/19/18
Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesn’t define her

Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesn’t define her

Early in the election cycle, Pasco County School Board candidate Tara O'Connor received criticism over her long list of supporters who are elected officials.Now, O'Connor is taking hits for accepting a $1,000 campaign contribution from Charter School...
Published: 09/19/18