Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Florida education news: Tallahassee showdown, white nationalist teacher, ‘robotics moms’ and more

ARMING TEACHERS:  The Florida Senate holds a rare Saturday session to debate school safety and gun control, with much of the real disagreement coming over two key issues: Arming teachers, and banning assault weapons. The chamber narrowly approved the former, and narrowly rejected the latter. More from the Palm Beach Post. • Polk County educators split on the issue of arming teachers, the Ledger reports. • The discussion continues today as the Senate returns to the floor at 10 a.m., with the House taking up similar legislation when it goes into session at 10:30 a.m.

K-12 POLICY: Also on tap for final consideration in the Senate is HB 7055, the lengthy omnibus education package that has again been amended to look much more like the House priority measure. It would have to return to the House for final adoption. More from Politico Florida.

MONEY: Don't forget the budget, either. Legislators worked through the weekend to narrow their differences on education and other spending areas, but some key points remain to be settled, such as per student funding.

WHITE NATIONALIST TEACHER: A Citrus County social studies teacher has been hosting a white nationalist podcast under a pseudonym. The teacher claims it was satire, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

SCHOOL THREATS: A Manatee County teen is not facing criminal charges after writing a note stating he had an AR-15 weapon in his school duffel bag, the Bradenton Herald reports. • A Monroe County school resource officer faces disciplinary action over his lack of reports for gun-related threats and incidents, WLRN reports.

SCHOOL ACCESS: Florida International University shares a single access road with three public schools, raising concerns about safety and access in case of an emergency, the Miami Herald reports.

ROBOTICS MOMS: Schools' efforts to draw more students into STEM programs yield a new type of parent involvement, the Naples Daily News reports.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: There's no clear top choice to become the next Palm Beach County superintendent, the Palm Beach Post reports.

LABOR NEWS: Volusia County teachers anticipate more difficult contract negotiations ahead, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The Leon County school district prepares for long-requested upgrades to an aging Rickards High, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

SCHOOL NAMES: The Orange County School Board approves names for two schools, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

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New name, veterinary science center for Pinellas Technical High School after $5 million donation

New name, veterinary science center for Pinellas Technical High School after $5 million donation

After a unanimous vote by the Pinellas County School Board Tuesday, Pinellas Technical High School will be renamed to honor the late businessman and philanthropist Richard O. Jacobson of Clearwater.A foundation in his name recently gave $5 milli...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Six of seven ‘just one of many ideas’ to get more money to Pasco teachers, official says

Six of seven ‘just one of many ideas’ to get more money to Pasco teachers, official says

The idea of having Pasco County teachers work longer days in exchange for more pay has generated significant opposition since school district administrators floated the concept in late August.At the time, officials said they were serious about the "s...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pinellas school officials push for solution to attendance problems at Plato Academy Pinellas Park

Pinellas school officials push for solution to attendance problems at Plato Academy Pinellas Park

The Pinellas County School Board on Tuesday okayed an improvement plan for Plato Academy Pinellas Park, which earned a D grade last year.Lisa Cunningham, principal of the charter school, presented the plan to officials during a workshop last week. Sh...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Gum is not a food: Pasco schools seek ‘common sense’ tweaks to football game security

Gum is not a food: Pasco schools seek ‘common sense’ tweaks to football game security

With news of shootings at high school football games in other parts of Florida still fresh, the Pasco County school district amped up security at its sporting events, beginning Sept. 14.It didn't take long for some spectators to spot some flaws in th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida education news: Teacher bonuses, school security, classroom technology and more

Florida education news: Teacher bonuses, school security, classroom technology and more

BONUS CHALLENGE: The Florida Education Association's legal challenge of the "Best and Brightest" bonus program is headed to mediation for a possible resolution. The union contends the program discriminates against educators of a certain age and ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus lawsuit heads to mediation

Florida ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus lawsuit heads to mediation

A year-old case contending Florida's "Best and Brightest" teacher bonus program discriminates against educators of a certain age or race is headed to mediation in November.The complaint focuses on the part of the 2015 program that relies upon...
Published: 09/24/18
Hillsborough Sheriff joins oversight board for school tax

Hillsborough Sheriff joins oversight board for school tax

Sheriff Chad Chronister has agreed to serve as vice chair of an oversight committee for the proposed half-cent sales tax to benefit the Hillsborough County Public Schools.The school district announced his selection Monday morning. Betty Castor, who s...
Published: 09/24/18
First donations are logged in school referendum campaign

First donations are logged in school referendum campaign

Strengthen Our Schools, the political committee that is promoting the half-cent sales tax to benefit the Hillsborough County Public Schools, reported its first $150,600 in contributions this week.The biggest checks, each for $75,000, came from the Hi...
Published: 09/24/18
Florida education news: Scholarships, taxes, security and more

Florida education news: Scholarships, taxes, security and more

SCHOLARSHIPS: Several weeks into the school year, Florida's newest student scholarships are getting closer to reality. More than 2,700 children have applied for a Reading Scholarship, while car dealers will be allowed to start offering tax credi...
Published: 09/24/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 16, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 16, 2018

Florida’s race for governor is officially on, and the topic of education promises to be a key issue as the candidates seek support. The major party hopefuls focused on their policy priorities over the past week, and they differ is most every wa...
Published: 09/22/18