Friday, July 20, 2018

Florida education news: School safety, financial literacy, budgets and more

SCHOOL SAFETY: After hours of passionate debate, the Florida House signs off on a plan to enhance security in the state's schools. The proposal, now headed to Gov. Rick Scott, addresses mental health services, some gun restrictions and controversial guidelines to allow schools to have some employees carry weapons. • Lawmakers stressed that districts do not have to activate the "guardian" model, and many school leaders signaled they have no plans to do so, regardless of any law.More from the Florida Times-Union. • Could the initiative have unintended consequences? State data show that some school employees in the past have records of threatening colleagues, hurting kids or using weapons improperly.  • Amid all the action, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

BUDGETS: Stalled during the gun debate, legislative spending plans found a tentative agreement between House and Senate leaders in the waning hours of Wednesday. Details should emerge today, with session expected to be extended a day to allow the required cooling off period. More from the Herald-Tribune.

TRY, TRY AGAIN: A bill to require Florida high school students take a half-credit course in financial literacy again fails to make its way through the Legislature.

CALENDARS: The Hillsborough County School Board decides to give students off for both the Strawberry Festival and State Fair in 2019, instead of just one or the other.

STUDENT BUSING: The Martin County school district creates a plan to transport students living along hazardous walking routes, and leaders say it would be too expensive, TC Palm reports.

STUDENT VOICES: A second high school student files to run for Citrus County School Board, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • Students at Pensacola High organize an in-school assembly on school safety issues to avoid concerns associated with a walkout, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

UNDER REVIEW: A Collier County school principal facing a second district investigation in four years has been removed from her school, the Naples Daily News reports. • Police are investigating a confrontation between two Manatee County School Board members, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: The Palm Beach County School Board picks chief operating officer Donald Fennoy as its next superintendent, the Palm Beach Post reports. • Duval County business leaders complain about their level of input on the district's superintendent search, the Florida Times-Union reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Duval County School Board extends the contracts of 12 charter schools, including one with D and F grades, the Florida Times-Union reports.

WINDFALL? A potential sale of Jacksonville Electric Authority has Duval County leaders discussing whether the school district could benefit financially, the Florida Times-Union reports.

ENOUGH, ALREADY: A 23rd student from Volusia or Flagler counties is arrested for making a hoax threat of violence against a school, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

TODAY: House session, noon • Senate session, noon

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Pasco school district to consider new social media policy

Pasco school district to consider new social media policy

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become common ways for Pasco County schools to reach students, parents and the public over the past five years.The district issued usage guidelines in 2013. Now the administration is asking the Scho...
Updated: 5 hours ago
State lawyers file response in education funding lawsuit before Florida’s Supreme Court

State lawyers file response in education funding lawsuit before Florida’s Supreme Court

After lagging for months, the lawsuit challenging Florida's education funding system gained traction again this week, with lawyers submitting arguments urging the state Supreme Court to kill the case rather than send it back to a lower...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida education news: Parent voices, teacher tests, Amendment 8 and more

Florida education news: Parent voices, teacher tests, Amendment 8 and more

PARENT VOICES: Pinellas County mom Linda Kearschner becomes Florida PTA president, and vows to work on key issues to better education for all children regardless of background — even if lawmakers seem not to be listening. "The bi...
Updated: 11 hours ago
The contest for School Board District 4

The contest for School Board District 4

Melissa Snively, now running for a second term to represent East Hillsborough County on the Hillsborough County School Board, discussed the district budget, low-performing schools, morale in the ranks and the elimination of courtesy busing in her edi...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Pinellas parent becomes Florida PTA president

Pinellas parent becomes Florida PTA president

Linda Kearschner first joined the PTA at Azalea Elementary School because her daughter was starting kindergarten."I think we all start in PTA because of our own child," she said. "But then we realize to make the world a better place … we need t...
Published: 07/19/18
Hillsborough school board candidates speak their minds

Hillsborough school board candidates speak their minds

You heard from the candidates for Hillsborough County School Board in District 1 and District 2. Four of the six candidates for the countywide District 6 seat also interviewed for Times editorial board endorsements. Here is some of what they had to s...
Published: 07/19/18
Gradebook podcast: Fighting Amendment 8, with Florida League of Women Voters president Patricia Brigham

Gradebook podcast: Fighting Amendment 8, with Florida League of Women Voters president Patricia Brigham

Supporters of Florida Constitution Revision Commission Amendment 8 focus on the part that would create school board term limits, viewing it as a popular idea that could push the proposal to the 60 percent vote needed for passage.Critics say the measu...
Published: 07/19/18
Florida education news: Turnarounds, vouchers, charter schools and more

Florida education news: Turnarounds, vouchers, charter schools and more

TURNAROUNDS: With 2018 state grades out, Hillsborough and Pinellas school district leaders bring improvement plans for their most struggling campuses to the Florida Board of Education for approval. Each gets warnings that their plans m...
Published: 07/19/18
Credit recovery high school closes

Credit recovery high school closes

Hillsborough County this year will have two, not three alternative charter high schools operated by the Accelerated Learning Solutions management group.Town and Country Charter High School is being shut down because of low enrollment, the company con...
Published: 07/18/18
Florida Board of Education adopts rules on scholarships for bullied students

Florida Board of Education adopts rules on scholarships for bullied students

Satisfied the program has safeguards in place to prevent fraud, the Florida Board of Education on Wednesday adopted a rule governing the state's new tax-credit scholarship for students who claim they have been bullied in public school.In craftin...
Published: 07/18/18