Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Florida education news: Tallahassee drama, vouchers, lawsuits and more

TALLAHASSEE STANDOFF: The Florida House and Senate adopt their budgets — each around $87 billion — but with significant differences, especially about education. The Senate took particular umbrage at the House effort to tie major policy changes (HB 7055) to the spending plan, and stopped that attempt in its tracks. "The House understands that the Senate would prefer to have these policies move through the traditional process, and not linked to the budget," Senate President Joe Negron said. Hear our podcast on the issues. More from Associated PressNews Service of FloridaFlorida Politics.

VOUCHERS: Lawmakers also continued to debate stricter oversight rules for private schools that accept state tax credit scholarships. Again the House and Senate differed on key points, including whether teachers at those private schools should have certification or degrees.

IN COURT: The Hillsborough County school district rebuts incendiary accusations by its former personnel chief, who has sued claiming defamation.

TENSE TIMES: One Hillsborough County School Board member attacks another on social media over connections to the highly critical Whistleblower site.

BRAWLING: Thirty-seven deputies are needed to break up a student fight at Hillsborough's Wharton High.

RELATIONSHIPS: Florida lawmakers seek to make illegal teacher romances with students who are at or above the age of consent.

"IN GOD WE TRUST": A House bill to require all public schools to display Florida's motto in a "conspicuous" place advances to the floor, while its Senate counterpart languishes, WFSU reports.

BAD ACTS: A Broward County teacher is removed from his classroom over accusations he molested at least one student, WPLG reports. • A Miami-Dade County ninth grader says she was raped by three other students in a school bathroom, WSVN reports.

JOB DESCRIPTIONS: The Okaloosa County School Board will review the role of its human resources assistant superintendent after the most recent job holder resigned facing charges for failure to report child abuse, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE: A Duval County family complains that their daughter was suspended for watching a school fight she was not a part of, Action News Jax reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Florida Department of Education officials take issue with school district officials who are refusing to send capital projects tax revenue to charter schools as required by law, WLRN reports.

THINK FIRST: The Indian River County school district apologizes after posting an image of a Confederate general on its website for Black History Month, TC Palm reports.

TURNAROUNDS: Six Polk County schools facing private takeover still have time to improve their performance and avoid that next step, the Ledger reports.

#METOO: A former Palm Beach County student recounts how he was molested by one of the district's star teachers, and the district did nothing about it, the Palm Beach Post reports.

EDUCATOR DISCIPLINE: A Palm Beach County former principal accused of plagiarizing parts of a graduation speech is assigned to a creative writing class, and reprimanded by the state, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: Wasn't Thursday's activity enough? Take a breather. They'll be back next week.

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Hillsborough School Board to talk taxes at special meeting

Hillsborough School Board to talk taxes at special meeting

Hillsborough County School Board members have scheduled a discussion on whether to hold a sales tax referendum as part of a special meeting Friday morning.But the board is unlikely to act quickly, despite the inclusion on the agenda of a resolution r...
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High lead levels found in the water at Azalea Elementary in St. Petersburg

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Pinellas County school officials have notified families at Azalea Elementary in St. Petersburg that lead levels in the water there are above the federal safety threshold, and they are using water bottles as a precaution.District spokeswoman Lisa Wolf...
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Fire inspector finds no problems in review of Wiregrass Ranch High cafeteria

Fire inspector finds no problems in review of Wiregrass Ranch High cafeteria

Pasco County fire inspectors gave Wiregrass Ranch High School's cafeteria a clean bill of health Tuesday, after receiving complaints that its lunch periods filled the room beyond capacity.A sign posted near the door said the cafeteria could hold 300 ...
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Florida education news: Amendment 8, Common Core, teacher tests and more

Florida education news: Amendment 8, Common Core, teacher tests and more

AMENDMENT 8: Leon County Judge John Cooper throws Amendment 8 off the November ballot, agreeing with arguments that its wording is misleading and does not indicate its chief purpose. The Constitution Revision Commission proposal would do three t...
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State responds to challenge of six bundled amendment proposals, calls them proper

State responds to challenge of six bundled amendment proposals, calls them proper

Hours after a Leon County judge tossed proposed constitutional Amendment 8 off the November ballot, calling it misleading, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a 47-page document asking the Supreme Court to leave the measure and five ot...
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Public invited to weigh in on USF consolidation in town halls

Public invited to weigh in on USF consolidation in town halls

As the University of South Florida System hones the specifics of its consolidation into a single USF, the school is inviting the public to weigh in at a series of town halls.The first meeting is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 22 at USF Tampa. There ...
Published: 08/20/18
Lawyers to get their 20 minutes in Florida’s long-running education equity suit

Lawyers to get their 20 minutes in Florida’s long-running education equity suit

The paperwork in Florida's nine-year-old education equity lawsuit has grown so voluminous that the plaintiff's lawyer asked the state Supreme Court for oral arguments.The court has granted 20 minutes per side.The hearing is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 8, two...
Published: 08/20/18
Judge orders Amendment 8 be removed from Florida ballot

Judge orders Amendment 8 be removed from Florida ballot

A Leon county judge ordered Monday that Amendment 8, the measure that seeks to create a pathway for the state to oversee charter schools and bypass local school boards, be removed from the ballot.Circuit Judge John Cooper wrote in a summary judgement...
Published: 08/20/18
Incumbent Pasco County School Board member loses Republican support over Common Core

Incumbent Pasco County School Board member loses Republican support over Common Core

Two-term Pasco County School Board member Cynthia Armstrong has long been a stalwart of county community and political activism, with deep ties in several organizations including the Republican Party.When it came time for the Republican Executive Com...
Published: 08/20/18
Florida education news: Lunch lines, shooter drills, shots fired and more

Florida education news: Lunch lines, shooter drills, shots fired and more

LUNCH LINES: Students and parents at some Pasco County high schools complain that schedule changes have created lunchtime woes, with too long lines and not enough time to eat.SHOOTER DRILLS: The Pinellas County school district releases vide...
Published: 08/20/18