Sunday, June 17, 2018

Florida education news: Graduation rates, capital funding, open meetings and more

GRADUATION RATES: Florida's high school graduation rate continues to climb, to a new high of 82.3 percent in 2017. For the first time, all four Tampa Bay area districts also surpass the 80 percent mark, with several schools making large gains. More from Orlando Sentinel, Florida Times-Union, TC Palm, Palm Beach Post 

CAPITAL FUNDS: Florida's charter schools receive a combined $91.2 million from local school district capital projects tax revenue, as a result of new law implemented through HB 7069. Several districts have sued over the mandated fund transfer.

SUNSHINE LAW: A circuit court judge rules the Pasco County school district's 2016-17 school boundaries advisory committee for west-side schools conducted its business improperly, and voids the resulting maps.

TEACHER SHORTAGE: Hillsborough County schools find gaps in their substitute teacher hiring process, which has allowed some questionable people into the classrooms. • The nation's 15 largest school districts, of which about half are in Florida including Hillsborough, have a teacher vacancy rate of around 1 percent, meaning thousands of students stand to suffer, Chalkbeat reports.

VINDICATED: Cleared of child abuse allegations, a Hillsborough County school principal and his wife, also an educator, are given their jobs back.

COLLEGE COSTS: Florida state senators are poised to approve legislation that would expand the Bright Futures scholarship program.

NEW HORIZONS: Pasco County School Board member Steve Luikart imposes his own term limits, announcing he will not seek a third term.

LABOR NEWS: Teacher union leaders raise concerns about a bill they say could kill union activity in Florida, WJHG reports. • More than 400 Sarasota County teachers and other school employees picket for raises outside district offices, a first such protest in nearly 30 years, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Brevard County superintendent Desmond Blackburn stands to receive a raise as teachers continue to battle over pay in contract talks, Florida Today reports.

VALS AND SALS: The Duval County school district considers changes to the way it ranks its high school graduates, the Florida Times-Union reports.

BUDGETING: Gulf County school district officials worry about the impact the 2018 legislative session will have on their budget for the coming year, the Port St. Joe Star reports.

SAVE OUR SCHOOL: Some community leaders join the NAACP in advocating to keep open a struggling Marion County elementary school, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

MAKEUP DAYS: Collier County schools remind students that classes will occur on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, to make up for time missed during Hurricane Irma. Excused absences will be granted in some cases, the Naples Daily News reports.

HIRING CONCERNS: The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs looks into a complaint that the Sarasota school district failed to interview a veteran for its communication director job, the Herald-Tribune reports.

FRIENDLY SKIES: Students at a Volusia County high school get ready to fly the airplane they've been building in class, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

CONSTRUCTION COSTS: Seminole County increases its education impact fee, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BAD ACTS: A Citrus County teacher is arrested for selling marijuana out of her home, Scripps reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: The full Senate is set to act on two priority education bills when it convenes at 3:30 p.m.

Comments
Hillsborough test results point to continued struggles in reading

Hillsborough test results point to continued struggles in reading

It's not yet clear if this year's Florida Standard Assessment results will free seven Hillsborough County schools up from outside management, as Superintendent Jeff Eakins had hoped.Things improved at Potter and Booker T. Washington Elementary S...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
School test scores are up all around the state

School test scores are up all around the state

Gov. Rick Scott is doing a victory lap and touting the level of state education funding, with standardized test scores inching up around the state.The numbers released Thursday show a one-point gain in English proficiency rates on the Florida Standar...
Published: 06/14/18
Florida education news: Superintendents fired and hired, election drama and a rally for unions

Florida education news: Superintendents fired and hired, election drama and a rally for unions

OUSTED: Hernando County School Board votes 3-2 to fire Superintendent Lori Romano, the Tampa Bay Times reports.LAWSUITS: A lawyer, apparently representing Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano, threatens legal action against two School B...
Published: 06/13/18
Pinellas School Board candidate calls opponent’s district address ‘disingenuous’

Pinellas School Board candidate calls opponent’s district address ‘disingenuous’

In an email blast on Tuesday, Pinellas County School Board candidate Matt Stewart accused his opponent, Lorena Grizzle, of "misleading voters."He called Grizzle's recent change of address into question and said voters would "see it for what it i...
Published: 06/12/18
School board race gets first candidate

School board race gets first candidate

Business leader Steve Cona filed Monday to run for Hillsborough County School Board in the District 1 seat that Susan Valdes will vacate to run for the State House.He is the first to file since Valdes filed her resign-to-run letter on June 8.  A...
Published: 06/12/18
Lawyer threatens legal action against Hernando School Board members, says they violated contract with superintendent

Lawyer threatens legal action against Hernando School Board members, says they violated contract with superintendent

A lawyer, apparently representing Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano, emailed School Board members Monday night threatening legal action against two of the officials she says violated the top adminstrator's contract wit...
Published: 06/12/18
Florida education news: tight budgets, changing posts and a TV debut

Florida education news: tight budgets, changing posts and a TV debut

CHANGING POSTS: Hillsborough County School Board member announces candidacy for spot in Florida House of Representatives the Tampa Bay Times reports.BUDGET: Hernando County schools superintendent releases list of budget priorities to be presented to ...
Published: 06/12/18
Susan Valdes will leave Hillsborough School Board to run for State House

Susan Valdes will leave Hillsborough School Board to run for State House

She moved against one of the most powerful school superintendents in the nation – and won. She championed the rights of Latino students while running afoul of the teachers' union.Now Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes is ...
Published: 06/11/18
Hernando schools superintendent to present budget priorities to cash-strapped School Board

Hernando schools superintendent to present budget priorities to cash-strapped School Board

Amidst tough conversations about how to fund new school safety measures recently required by state, Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano is set to present to the School Board items she thinks should make the cut into the distr...
Published: 06/11/18
Florida education news: tax hikes, PROMISE and a heart-warming graduation story

Florida education news: tax hikes, PROMISE and a heart-warming graduation story

MENTAL HEALTH: Davion Only, the St. Petersburg foster kid who pleaded in church for anyone to adopt him, graduates with family looking on, the Tampa Bay Times reports.PARKLAND: Palm Beach County supervisor of elections says nearly 4,000 youth under 2...
Published: 06/11/18