Thursday, September 20, 2018

236 days for Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart. (But who’s counting?)

Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart isn't hiding it: She's a short-timer.

"236 days," she said, greeting a reporter.

Stewart has long talked about her pending retirement, speaking about working through her final legislative session, for instance. But she hadn't publicly put a firm date to her departure to this point.

She made it clear on Wednesday, before the State Board of Education meeting in Largo. She said she's promised Gov. Rick Scott she will remain in office through his last day, and then she's finished.

Setting the countdown helps, Stewart said, in that it makes clear "the amount of time we have to get things done."

Then, the work will be up to the next administration. Stewart doesn't anticipate sticking around — she's got grandchildren to spend time with, and other interests to pursue.

But she also doesn't rule out remaining, if the next governor asks.

"Given the right set of circumstances, I would do what I can for the state of Florida," Stewart said, suggesting her retirement will not be idle.

Stewart has been commissioner since 2013, when she took over as interim leader after the resignation of Tony Bennett. The State Board made the move permanent a few months later.

Comments
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...
Updated: 4 hours ago
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...
Updated: 6 hours ago
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...
Updated: 8 hours ago
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...
Updated: 11 hours ago
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 doesn’t define her

Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesn’t 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
Pasco board member presses colleagues, staff to set priorities

Pasco board member presses colleagues, staff to set priorities

As several teachers urged the Pasco School Board to improve their wages, one board member hammered home his view that the district has not followed through on raises despite setting that priority three straight years.Steve Luikart, who retires i...
Published: 09/19/18
Florida education news: Policy proposals, achievement gap, tax plans and more

Florida education news: Policy proposals, achievement gap, tax plans and more

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Republican candidate for governor Ron DeSantis unveils his education plan for Florida, as Democrat Andrew Gillum highlights his proposals. Their positions could not be more starkly different, except for the area of career educati...
Published: 09/19/18
In town hall, Eakins takes school district's story to Ballast Point

In town hall, Eakins takes school district's story to Ballast Point

  TAMPA — First, the disclaimer: "I'm not here to tell you how to vote," Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins told his audience. "I'm here to educate you about why we're here." From there, in his Tuesday evening prese...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
Report: Pinellas improves on achievement gap, but needs to do better

Report: Pinellas improves on achievement gap, but needs to do better

School for black students in Pinellas County is getting better, according to a report detailing the school district's progress a year into its effort to close the educational achievement gap by 2027.Of the six measures included in...
Published: 09/18/18