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

[Photo illustration | istockphoto.com]
[Photo illustration | istockphoto.com]
Published February 14 2018
Updated February 14 2018

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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