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

The Florida House debates HB 7055 on Feb. 8, 2018. [The Florida Channel]
The Florida House debates HB 7055 on Feb. 8, 2018. [The Florida Channel]
Published February 9 2018
Updated February 9 2018

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.