Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Florida education news: School safety, education policy, free speech and more

"NEVER AGAIN": Teary-eyed and often choked up, state Sen. Lauren Book — a Democrat who represents the Parkland area — stood before her colleagues and acknowledged the shortcomings of the Senate's school safety bill. It included things Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students passionately asked not to have (armed school employees), and it didn't encompass ideas they demanded (an assault weapon ban). But the Legislature could not "let the perfect be the enemy of the good," Book said, and let the tragedy pass without doing anything. She urged the Senate to compromise and adopt the legislation. It did. • Bay County officials begin planning for immediate safety needs rather than wait for legislation to trickle down, the Panama City News Herald reports. • Four additional officers are assigned to Broward County schools, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • More from Tallahassee Democrat.

#HB7055: The Florida House adopted the Senate's version of the omnibus education policy bill, passing the measure along to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. The bill grants Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students a pass on this year's state tests and their consequences, WLRN reports.

CAN SHE SAY THAT? A Citrus County educator faces disciplinary action for her white nationalist podcast. Experts say the way teachers present their views, and exactly what they say, can make a difference in determining whether free speech rights should prevail. • The teacher has no record of previous complaints, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

HIGHER ED: Florida lawmakers approve a higher education package that expands Bright Futures scholarships and consolidates the University of South Florida's campuses. More from News Service of Florida.

OUSTED: A Marion County principal is removed for failing to make a timely report to authorities after learning a student might have been abused, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

DIVERSITY: The St. Johns County school district implements a plan to recruit more minority teachers, the St. Augustine Record reports. • Florida Institute of Technology gets its first Black Student Union, Florida Today reports.

STRUGGLING SCHOOL: A new Orange County school faces troubles in its inaugural year, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

ONLINE EDUCATION: St. Johns Virtual School grows slowly as students seek more flexibility with their classes, the St. Augustine Record reports.

TODAY: Senate session, 10 a.m. • House session, 10:30 a.m.

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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: 3 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: 6 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: 6 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: 10 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