Sunday, July 15, 2018

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

'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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ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 8, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 8, 2018

Another week, another lawsuit. This time, it’s the League of Women Voters challenge to Amendment 8, a measure headed to the November ballot unless a judge stops it. The group contends the proposal is misleading because it aims to change charter...
Published: 07/14/18
Ethics complaint against Hillsborough School Board member Lynn Gray

Ethics complaint against Hillsborough School Board member Lynn Gray

A disability rights advocate in Tampa has filed a state ethics complaint against Hillsborough County School Board member Lynn Gray, based on reports that appeared in recent months in the La Gaceta newspaper.Karen Clay has asked the state agency to in...
Published: 07/13/18
Pasco school district looks to strengthen student address verification rules

Pasco school district looks to strengthen student address verification rules

Pasco County parents have demanded their school district amplify its efforts to make sure students are not lying about their addresses for more than two years. They've done so in hopes that drive might alleviate the need to change attendance zon...
Published: 07/13/18
Gradebook podcast: Why the Hernando School Board fired its superintendent

Gradebook podcast: Why the Hernando School Board fired its superintendent

Florida's Hernando County school district is proving that not only the biggest systems suffer from politics and infighting.After years of internal disputes, and growing discontent within the general public, the board recently fired superintendent Lor...
Published: 07/13/18
Florida education news: Amendment lawsuit, charter appeals, safety and more

Florida education news: Amendment lawsuit, charter appeals, safety and more

AMENDMENT 8: Calling the title and summary "misleading," the Florida League of Women Voters asks the Leon County Court to remove Amendment 8 from the November ballot. The measure includes three items — civics education, school board t...
Published: 07/13/18
Pinellas School Board candidates talk inequity, retaliation and more at wide-ranging forum

Pinellas School Board candidates talk inequity, retaliation and more at wide-ranging forum

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas School Board candidates fielded questions about school security, educational inequity and retaliation in a wide-ranging Thursday evening forum at Pinellas Technical College.A dozen candidates, spread across four races,...
Published: 07/12/18
Pasco teacher contract talks continue focus on evaluations

Pasco teacher contract talks continue focus on evaluations

With some key financial data still unavailable, Pasco County teacher contract negotiators kept their attention turned to improving annual performance evaluations as they met Thursday afternoon.Representatives from both sides continued their focu...
Published: 07/12/18
Lawsuit challenges education amendment on Florida ballot

Lawsuit challenges education amendment on Florida ballot

A constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow charter school organizers to bypass local school boards to get approval is "intentionally misleading" because it doesn't directly explain to voters that the amendment is designed to c...
Published: 07/12/18
Approve those charter schools, Florida review panel says

Approve those charter schools, Florida review panel says

The Palm Beach County School Board lost its court battle in 2017 challenging the state's authority to overturn its denial of a charter school application.Now the board is poised to see its rejection of two charters overturned.Applicants to open ...
Published: 07/12/18
Florida education news: Diversity, demands, rivalries and more

Florida education news: Diversity, demands, rivalries and more

SEEKING DIVERSITY: Two Pasco County African-American moms are asking the school district to better train faculty and staff on how to handle cultural differences among students.FIGHTING BACK: Recently fired former Hernando County superintend...
Published: 07/12/18