Friday, September 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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Two Pasco County schools see principal shift

Two Pasco County schools see principal shift

Plagued with low staff morale, Pasco Middle School on Friday got a new principal charged with improving the climate of the Dade City campus.Danielle "Dee Dee" Johnson, principal of Wesley Chapel High since early 2017, was appointed to ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Time for Floridaís new student scholarships draws near

Time for Floridaís new student scholarships draws near

It's six weeks into the 2018-19 school year, and Florida's two newest scholarship programs to help struggling readers and bullied children are about to become reality.Florida lawmakers established the Reading Scholarship and the "Hope" Scholarsh...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida education news: Football, mental health, accountability and more

Florida education news: Football, mental health, accountability and more

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Republican candidate for Florida governor Ron DeSantis offers more insights on his views about Common Core, testing, charter schools and civics education. He released his position paper on education earlier in the week. Several l...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

We've been collecting documents to supplement our reporting about the upcoming Hillsborough sales tax referendum and thought we would share them here. This post will be updated.First: Facebook Live video of Superintendent Jeff Eakins' first town hall...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mental health provider that evaluated Nikolas Cruz picked to service charter schools

Mental health provider that evaluated Nikolas Cruz picked to service charter schools

Florida's largest charter school membership organization announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's former mental health care provider to render services to schools.Broward County's Henderson Behavioral Heal...
Published: 09/20/18
Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Plato Academy Trinity has told parents and students it's targeting Oct. 1 to open its new building on Old County Road 54.It still has several permits to obtain if it wants to meet that latest deadline.The Pasco County charter school, serving about 25...
Published: 09/20/18
Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Florida's two major party candidates for governor have released their education platforms, and they couldn't have offered a more distinct choice.With the exception of wanting to expand career and technical education, and to pay teachers better, Repub...
Published: 09/20/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County teachers and staff continue to press for raises in the district's budget, getting only board promises to keep looking for funding. One School Board member urges his colleagues to make pay a top priority.RED TIDE: T...
Published: 09/20/18
Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Recess and physical education classes at two south Pinellas County schools were moved inside this week due to Red Tide, a toxic algae that continues to plague area beaches with throngs of dead fish and an unmistakable foul odor.Pr...
Published: 09/19/18
Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesnít define her

Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesnít define her

Early in the election cycle, Pasco County School Board candidate Tara O'Connor received criticism over her long list of supporters who are elected officials.Now, O'Connor is taking hits for accepting a $1,000 campaign contribution from Charter School...
Published: 09/19/18