Monday, April 23, 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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Florida submits revised Every Student Succeeds Act plan

Florida submits revised Every Student Succeeds Act plan

The Florida Department of Education sent in its revised federal school accountability plan Monday, months after the U.S. Education department said multiple revisions were needed.In its updated version, the state said it had filed for a waiver of...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Hernando teachers union says district “missed the mark” firing teachers at Moton Elementary

Hernando teachers union says district “missed the mark” firing teachers at Moton Elementary

The union for instructional staff in Hernando County is fighting the recent firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary, threatening legal action if the move isn't reversed.Hernando Classroom Teachers Association executive dire...
Updated: 10 hours ago
West Pasco parent files formal challenge to school district rezoning proposal

West Pasco parent files formal challenge to school district rezoning proposal

Jim Stanley does not give up without a fight.The west Pasco County parent who brought down the school district's 2017 attendance zone revisions, leading the administration to change its procedures along the way, has filed a new challenge to...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hillsborough teacher pay plan will get its “day in court”

Hillsborough teacher pay plan will get its “day in court”

There are two competing narratives when it comes to teacher pay in Hillsborough County:One: That a pay plan, negotiated in the glory days of teaching reform, has bled the district dry."Our district has given our employees more than $200 million in pa...
Published: 04/23/18
Florida education news: Substitute teachers, school renovations, turnarounds and more

Florida education news: Substitute teachers, school renovations, turnarounds and more

SUBS: Hillsborough County school district officials learned months ago of misconduct by their substitute teacher service. Leaders demanded quick answers and action. Four months later, they've gotten neither.REBUILDING: The estimates to renovate ...
Published: 04/23/18
Report: Rebuilding Tampa’s Lee Elementary will cost at least $14.9 million

Report: Rebuilding Tampa’s Lee Elementary will cost at least $14.9 million

Rebuilding Robert E. Lee Elementary School will cost far more than $9.2 million, a team of consultants confirmed in a report released Friday.The report was produced by JE Dunn Construction and architect John S. Kidwell. The three rebuild options...
Published: 04/21/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of April 15, 2018

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

Students across Florida conducted another walkout for school safety and gun control this week. It just figures that another school shooting would occur on the same day, this time in Ocala. One student was wounded.  • Don’t miss our w...
Published: 04/21/18
Griffin will hold town hall at Pierce Middle School

Griffin will hold town hall at Pierce Middle School

Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin is continuing her tour of town hall meetings with a gathering Monday evening at Pierce Middle School.The session will begin at 6 p.m. at Pierce Middle School, 5511 N Hesperides Street in Town 'N C...
Published: 04/20/18
Leon County judge issues formal order in HB 7069 case

Leon County judge issues formal order in HB 7069 case

Leon County Judge John Cooper has boiled his order against 13 Florida school districts' lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HB 7069 down to writing.As announced two weeks ago, Cooper found against the districts' arguments that the Legislatur...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida education news: Student walkouts, security, constitutional amendments and more

Florida education news: Student walkouts, security, constitutional amendments and more

STUDENT PROTESTS: Aiming to keep their gun control and school safety message alive, high school students around the Tampa Bay area and Florida will hold another class walkout in memory of the 1999 Columbine shooting. "After Parkland, I've f...
Published: 04/20/18