Florida education news: School ‘guardians,’ budget delay, advanced classes and more

Twenty  protesters participate in a Die-In on the fourth floor rotunda of the Florida Capitol as the Florida House debated a bill that would add slightly stricter gun regulations while arming school officials. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
Twenty protesters participate in a Die-In on the fourth floor rotunda of the Florida Capitol as the Florida House debated a bill that would add slightly stricter gun regulations while arming school officials. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
Published March 7

'GUARDIANS': Call them marshals. Call them guardians. Call them what you will. A program that would allow some trained, armed school employees to carry concealed weapons on campuses remains on track for passage in the Florida Legislature. Opposition to the idea continues to grow, with the Hillsborough and Pasco school boards saying they would not adopt such a plan. Polk County's superintendent calls upon lawmakers to adequately fund resource officers for all schools instead, saying she also would not arm employees, the Ledger reports. The debate over this program stokes racial tensions in the Legislature, WLRN reports. More from the Daily Commercial.

BUDGET: Focused on gun control and school safety bills, the House and Senate fail to reach a budget agreement on time. • Pasco County officials said they worry any new revenue would come with restrictions — mostly for school safety expenses — and might hinder any academic programs, not to mention pay raises. • The Sarasota County School Board discusses borrowing money to pay for needed school security enhancements it added to its five-year plan, the Herald-Tribune reports.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Two Pasco County middle schools place all sixth graders in advanced language arts courses, eliminating the "basic" track, and like the results they're getting.

LAST STRAW? Teacher union leaders around Florida predict the state's teacher shortage will grow in the wake of HB 7055. • Sen. Bill Montford, head of the state superintendents association, faces mounting criticism for his support of HB 7055, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

OPT OUT: Some Polk County schools resist students' efforts to opt out of state testing, WFTS reports.

PAY DISPUTE: Florida Keys Community College seeks repayment of its 1996 investment into construction of a Monroe County high school, the Keynoter reports.

STUDENT VOICES: A high school student files papers to challenge a Citrus County School Board incumbent, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

HELPING HANDS: Community volunteers rally behind a Brevard County school serving a high-poverty area, Florida Today reports.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Palm Beach County School Board is expected to pick its next superintendent today, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

LABOR NEWS: Sarasota County teachers and the School Board ratify new contract terms, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BAD ACTS: A Nassau County high school principal resigns after admitting he took money from a school basketball game ticket sales, the Florida Times-Union reports.

TODAY: House session, 10:30 a.m. • Senate session, 12 p.m.

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