Sunday, July 22, 2018

Florida education news: Textbooks, policies, tax cuts and more

TEXTBOOKS: Florida lawmakers continue to propose tweaks to the rules governing public school textbook selection. This year, the bills advancing would allow parents and any other resident to recommend titles, whose publishers would have to be contacted and informed of bidding procedures. Critics say they fear a "small minority" would dominate the process, but proponents contend they're simply offering the public a greater voice.

POLICIES: The Hillsborough County School Board considers a variety of policy changes including how they name schools. • An Okaloosa County resident urges his School Board to develop a standard format for writing policy, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

LEADERSHIP: USF president Judy Genshaft gets a contract extension, without a raise.

TAX CUTS: Expanded school tax credits for scholarships make up nearly half of all tax cuts promoted in the Florida Legislature, the News Service of Florida reports.

COLLEGE COSTS: First-time Florida college and university students might get a break on the "excess" credits they take while pursuing their degrees, the News Service of Florida reports.

LABOR NEWS: Brevard County teachers and the School Board ratify a new contract with raises, Florida Today reports.

TEACHER SHORTAGE: The Brevard County school district looks to an employment agency to help fill substitute teacher vacancies, Florida Today reports.

LEGAL ADVICE: An Okaloosa County School Board member asks her colleagues for transparency if they make requests of the board attorney regarding ongoing grand jury activities, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

GUNS ON CAMPUS: An Escambia County sixth grader is arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school, WEAR reports.

BUSING: The Manatee County school district buys new buses, but struggles to find drivers, the Bradenton Herald reports.

TURNAROUNDS: The Polk County school district picks a Kentucky firm to operate six struggling schools if they don't improve in this year's testing results, the Ledger reports.

AFTER THE STORM: A Keys private preschool nears completion of its renovations and prepares to reopen, the Keynoter reports.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Broward County schools devise plans for handling now-legal medical marijuana if students bring it to school, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

MISCONDUCT: A Seminole County teacher and former Orlando Magic player is accused of violating district rules in his actions with another teacher, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: House Appropriations, 9 a.m. (HB 495 on school district cost indexing) • Full Senate, 10 a.m. • Full House, 1:30 p.m. (HB 1175 early learning coalitions, HB 577 graduation requirements) • Senate PreK-12 Appropriations, 1:30 p.m. (SB 1434) • Senate Higher Education Appropriations, 4 p.m.

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ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 15, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 15, 2018

Florida officially has a new tax credit scholarship, this one for students who claim they were victimized in school. The state Board of Education adopted rules governing the newest voucher-like program after learning it couldn’t do much to cont...
Published: 07/21/18
Pasco school district to consider new social media policy

Pasco school district to consider new social media policy

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become common ways for Pasco County schools to reach students, parents and the public over the past five years.The district issued usage guidelines in 2013. Now the administration is asking the Scho...
Published: 07/20/18
State lawyers file response in education funding lawsuit before Florida’s Supreme Court

State lawyers file response in education funding lawsuit before Florida’s Supreme Court

After lagging for months, the lawsuit challenging Florida's education funding system gained traction again this week, with lawyers submitting arguments urging the state Supreme Court to kill the case rather than send it back to a lower...
Published: 07/20/18
Florida education news: Parent voices, teacher tests, Amendment 8 and more

Florida education news: Parent voices, teacher tests, Amendment 8 and more

PARENT VOICES: Pinellas County mom Linda Kearschner becomes Florida PTA president, and vows to work on key issues to better education for all children regardless of background — even if lawmakers seem not to be listening. "The bi...
Published: 07/20/18
The contest for School Board District 4

The contest for School Board District 4

Melissa Snively, now running for a second term to represent East Hillsborough County on the Hillsborough County School Board, discussed the district budget, low-performing schools, morale in the ranks and the elimination of courtesy busing in her edi...
Published: 07/20/18
Pinellas parent becomes Florida PTA president

Pinellas parent becomes Florida PTA president

Linda Kearschner first joined the PTA at Azalea Elementary School because her daughter was starting kindergarten."I think we all start in PTA because of our own child," she said. "But then we realize to make the world a better place … we need t...
Published: 07/19/18
Hillsborough school board candidates speak their minds

Hillsborough school board candidates speak their minds

You heard from the candidates for Hillsborough County School Board in District 1 and District 2. Four of the six candidates for the countywide District 6 seat also interviewed for Times editorial board endorsements. Here is some of what they had to s...
Published: 07/19/18
Gradebook podcast: Fighting Amendment 8, with Florida League of Women Voters president Patricia Brigham

Gradebook podcast: Fighting Amendment 8, with Florida League of Women Voters president Patricia Brigham

Supporters of Florida Constitution Revision Commission Amendment 8 focus on the part that would create school board term limits, viewing it as a popular idea that could push the proposal to the 60 percent vote needed for passage.Critics say the measu...
Published: 07/19/18
Florida education news: Turnarounds, vouchers, charter schools and more

Florida education news: Turnarounds, vouchers, charter schools and more

TURNAROUNDS: With 2018 state grades out, Hillsborough and Pinellas school district leaders bring improvement plans for their most struggling campuses to the Florida Board of Education for approval. Each gets warnings that their plans m...
Published: 07/19/18
Credit recovery high school closes

Credit recovery high school closes

Hillsborough County this year will have two, not three alternative charter high schools operated by the Accelerated Learning Solutions management group.Town and Country Charter High School is being shut down because of low enrollment, the company con...
Published: 07/18/18