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

Gun buyers look through a selection of AR-15 rifles at the In Guns We Trust LLC booth during the Tampa Gun Show Saturday. [CHRIS URSO | Tampa Bay Ttimes]
Gun buyers look through a selection of AR-15 rifles at the In Guns We Trust LLC booth during the Tampa Gun Show Saturday. [CHRIS URSO | Tampa Bay Ttimes]
Published March 5

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.