Saturday, April 21, 2018

Florida education news: School safety, education spending, and more

SCHOOL SAFETY: The Legislature's school safety and gun control bill landed on Gov. Rick Scott's desk Thursday. Today, after meeting with families of the Parkland school shooting victims, Scott is set to sign the measure into law. State Sen. Bill Galvano, a key sponsor, says amending the legislation to exclude many teachers from the armed "guardian" provision helped sway Scott's view. • President Donald Trump suggested lawmakers were "listening to me" in crafting the legislation. • The Florida Education Association has urged Scott to veto the funding portion of the "guardian" program, which it opposes. • Legal experts suggest the armed employees could become exposed to lawsuits as a result of the program, Reuters reports. • Critics also worry that 132 hours of training would not be enough to prepare the employees for a real crisis situation, USA Today reports. • Bay County school district leaders say they are open to the using the "guardian" program, the Panama City News Herald reports. Flagler County officials rejected the idea, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

SHOOTING AVERTED: Brevard County officials tell parents that a local high school thwarted a Parkland-type shooting a year ago, Florida Today reports.

LOCKDOWN RULES: Escambia County schools post instructions for parents and others to follow if their children's school is locked down, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

BUDGETS: Lawmakers unveiled their $89 billion budget, a record level boosted by school safety and hurricane responses. Base student allocation is up 47 cents, or 0.01 percent, leaving district officials concerned that any new funding will be restricted in use. See the proposed FEFP here.  More from the News Service of Florida.

CHOPPING BLOCK: A Miami performing arts school with a long list of famous alumni stands to lose added state funding, Politico Florida reports.

TAXES: Sarasota County leaders discuss their upcoming property tax referendum, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TEACHER DISCIPLINE: The Hernando County school district suspends a teacher accused of harassing a co-worker.

BAD ACTS: A Duval County teacher is arrested on federal child pornography charges, the Florida Times-Union reports. • A Broward County assistant principal loses his certification for a year after making lewd text messages to a student, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

UNWELCOME COMMENTS: Parents at an Orange County middle school raise concerns about a teacher's anti-Muslim statements on social media, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TODAY: House session, 10:30 a.m. • Senate session, 1 p.m.

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Report: Rebuilding Tampa’s Lee Elementary will cost at least $14.9 million

Report: Rebuilding Tampa’s Lee Elementary will cost at least $14.9 million

Rebuilding Robert E. Lee Elementary School will cost far more than $9.2 million, a team of consultants confirmed in a report released Friday.The report was produced by JE Dunn Construction and architect John S. Kidwell. The three rebuild options...
Updated: 6 hours ago
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of April 15, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of April 15, 2018

Students across Florida conducted another walkout for school safety and gun control this week. It just figures that another school shooting would occur on the same day, this time in Ocala. One student was wounded.  • Don’t miss our w...
Published: 04/21/18
Griffin will hold town hall at Pierce Middle School

Griffin will hold town hall at Pierce Middle School

Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin is continuing her tour of town hall meetings with a gathering Monday evening at Pierce Middle School.The session will begin at 6 p.m. at Pierce Middle School, 5511 N Hesperides Street in Town 'N C...
Published: 04/20/18
Leon County judge issues formal order in HB 7069 case

Leon County judge issues formal order in HB 7069 case

Leon County Judge John Cooper has boiled his order against 13 Florida school districts' lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HB 7069 down to writing.As announced two weeks ago, Cooper found against the districts' arguments that the Legislatur...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida education news: Student walkouts, security, constitutional amendments and more

Florida education news: Student walkouts, security, constitutional amendments and more

STUDENT PROTESTS: Aiming to keep their gun control and school safety message alive, high school students around the Tampa Bay area and Florida will hold another class walkout in memory of the 1999 Columbine shooting. "After Parkland, I've f...
Published: 04/20/18
Gradebook podcast: Arming Florida’s school employees – Bay County takes a closer look

Gradebook podcast: Arming Florida’s school employees – Bay County takes a closer look

Florida lawmakers recently created a program to allow schools to have armed employees on campus, as part of an expanded security measure. Most superintendents and school boards have balked. But not the folks in Bay County, in Florida's Panhandle, whe...
Published: 04/19/18
Florida education proposal tagged as Amendment 8 (sound familiar?)

Florida education proposal tagged as Amendment 8 (sound familiar?)

The Florida Constitution Revision's already controversial education proposal is quickly gaining its own social media tag based on its anticipated spot on the November ballot — #Amendment8.If that sounds familiar to education advocates across th...
Published: 04/19/18
Florida education news: Student activists, budget cuts, parent voices and more

Florida education news: Student activists, budget cuts, parent voices and more

STUDENT ACTIVISTS: After the Parkland school shooting, high school students across the Tampa Bay area and Florida rose up to say 'never again.' Articulate and poised, the students galvanized the nation on the key issues of school safety and gun ...
Published: 04/19/18
Teacher asks Pasco County School Board to revise its policy on service animals

Teacher asks Pasco County School Board to revise its policy on service animals

Pasco County school district rules are clear: Service animals helping students or staff are allowed in schools and district property.What's more vague is what to do with service animals in training.Wesley Chapel High School science teacher Susan...
Published: 04/18/18
Hillsborough district looks for rebuilding firms at Lee Elementary

Hillsborough district looks for rebuilding firms at Lee Elementary

Despite insisting no decision has been made concerning fire-ravaged Robert E. Lee Elementary School, the Hillsborough County School District this week invited contractors to step forward if they can rebuild the school.The district anticipates a budge...
Published: 04/18/18