Saturday, October 20, 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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Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

A Northeast High School student who mangled his fingers using a table saw in class in 2016 is suing the Pinellas County School Board for negligence, asking for at least $15,000 in damages.According to a lawsuit filed Oct. 12, Brandon Jacob ...
Published: 10/19/18
State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

Eighty-eight Florida schools will join 630 others in gaining relief from some state education laws as "Schools of Excellence."The recognition, developed by lawmakers in 2017 as part of HB 7069, grants principals greater autonomy in daily operations, ...
Published: 10/19/18
Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

CLIMATE SURVEY: Large majorities of Pinellas County teachers say they feel valued and safe at their schools. District officials plan to break down these and other survey results by school, and use the information to make any needed improvements....
Published: 10/19/18
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...
Published: 10/18/18
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