Friday, October 19, 2018

Florida education news: Bus rides, school repairs, slavery lessons and more

BUS RIDES: Many Florida school districts have eliminated student bus routes, citing excessive costs. Now some state lawmakers aim to reverse that trend, advancing legislation to make it easier to identify hazardous walking routes and provide transportation to even more students. The only hangup remains the potential financial impact, listed at more than $150 million. Sponsor Sen. Greg Steube said he'd fight for the measure regardless: "I don't think there's a better use of taxpayer dollars than to make sure our students are safe."

SAVE OUR SCHOOL: Families and community leaders turn to Tampa city government in hopes of saving Lee Elementary School, which burned after Hurricane Irma.

SLAVERY STUDIES: A new report says Florida and several other states gloss over the details of slavery in their social studies curricula, the Florida Times-Union reports.

AFTER THE STORM: Puerto Rican students displaced by Hurricane Maria continue to adjust to school in Florida, Education Week reports. • Several Monroe County child care centers continue to seek homes after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the Keys Weekly reports.

IN COURT: A grand jury convenes to examine whether child abuse was taking place in Okaloosa County special education classrooms, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

BULLYING: Debate continues over an attempt to create a new tax credit scholarship program for Florida students who say they are bullied in school, the Associated Press reports.

INCLUSION: A Palm Beach County high school's efforts to include everyone at lunch time reaches an international audience, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

TIMING MATTERS: Sarasota County school district leaders worry that their superintendent's accusations against a board member will derail their tax referendum, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TAXES: Manatee County school district officials visit groups to explain their property tax referendum, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: House Higher Education Appropriations, 9:30 a.m. • House PreK-12 Appropriations, 12:30 p.m. (One bill on computer science instruction)

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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...
Updated: 12 hours ago
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
Florida education news: Turnarounds, rebuilding, funding and more

Florida education news: Turnarounds, rebuilding, funding and more

TURNAROUNDS: Hernando County's long struggling Moton Elementary School takes advantage of a state "Hope" grant to establish a family resource center for its students and parents. The goal is to help with issues outside school that impact academi...
Published: 10/17/18
Lee Elementary — or whatever it will ultimately be called — will be rebuilt in Tampa

Lee Elementary — or whatever it will ultimately be called — will be rebuilt in Tampa

Things have come full circle as the Hillsborough County School District moves ahead to rebuild fire-ravaged Lee Elementary School.The board on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that the district negotiated with its insurers that pays full cost of b...
Published: 10/16/18
Updated: 10/17/18
Pasco School Board, teachers take stands for improved education funding

Pasco School Board, teachers take stands for improved education funding

Stating the need for increased funding, about a dozen Pasco County teachers rallied Tuesday outside the school district headquarters for candidates and issues they say support public education."I believe that's what this year's election should really...
Published: 10/16/18
Florida superintendents association sets up account to help hurricane-hit school districts

Florida superintendents association sets up account to help hurricane-hit school districts

Hurricane Michael blasted at least 10 north Florida school districts, razing some campuses and leaving others unusable.Seven districts — Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty and Washington — remain closed indefinitely, a...
Published: 10/16/18