Thursday, August 16, 2018

Florida education news: Amendment 8, school safety talks, principal changes and more

CHARTERS: Following Superintendent Kurt Browning’s recommendation, Pasco County School Board approves a 5-year contract with a school associated with Florida’s largest charter company, the Tampa Bay Times reports. • After the Palm Beach County School Board’s vote to shut it down, problematic Eagle Art Academy could get a second chance, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BALLOT BOX: Three Florida school board members form a political committee called 8 is Great to promote Amendment 8, which calls for school board term limits, required civics literacy classes and the ability for the Legislature to create new forms of public schools, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Republican gubernatorial candidates Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis voice support for school board term limits but do not weigh in on other two provisions in Amendment 8, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

ADMINISTRATION: Principal transferred out of long-struggling Potter Elementary School by Hillsborough County School Board ahead of possible takeover by an outside operator this summer, the Tampa Bay Times reports. • A Collier County principal fired in April files a lawsuit alleging the school district punished her for reporting on-campus criminal activity to law enforcement rather than keeping matters “in house,” the Naples Daily News reports. • Duval County school interim Superintendent Patricia Willis promotes son and niece to principal positions, the Florida Times-Union reports.

SCHOOL CHANGES: After three years of work, Pine View Middle School becomes Pasco County’s first International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme authorized school, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

COURT: Parents suing the state over its public education funding system ask the Florida Supreme Court to send the case back for another review after lower courts dismissed it, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

SUPER SALARY: Lee County School Board members vote 6-1 to approve a nearly 13 percent raise in pay for Superintendent Greg Adkins, the News-Press reports.

BOARD TROUBLE: The Sarasota County School Board bickers after one member said she would hold a special discussion on school security even if her fellow officials could not attend, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SCHOOL SAFETY: Law enforcement will stage an active shooter drill involving “simulated-blank gunfire” this morning at Bayshore High School in Manatee County, the Herald-Tribune reports. • Palm Beach County sheriff rejects school district’s request that he provide a rotating team of deputies for overtime patrols at 50 public elementary schools, calls for one-year deal instead, the Palm Beach Post reports.  •  St. Johns County schools superintendent says cost of state-required school safety measures have left board in budget limbo, the St. Augustine Record reports.

BAD NEWS: Tests conducted in 16 Tallahassee schools show elevated levels of lead in water fountains, News4Jax reports. More from the Miami Herald.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: One student’s essay about racism at Miami’s elite MAST Academy Virginia Key racks up enough views to crash host website, the Miami Herald reports.

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Dems vow to raise teacher pay

School leaders filled the Hillsborough High School auditorium Thursday to hear pitches from two of this year's Democratic candidates for governor.They were a study in contrasts as they addressed the Hillsborough Association of School Administrators: ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Teachers complain about campaign material in their email

Teachers complain about campaign material in their email

This post has been updated with the candidate's response.Laurie Rodriguez opened her Hillsborough County School District email and found a campaign flyer for Steve Cona, a builders association executive who is running for School Board.Rodriguez, a te...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Florida’s teacher shortage is ‘real, and it’s going to get worse,’ State Board of Ed member worries

Florida’s teacher shortage is ‘real, and it’s going to get worse,’ State Board of Ed member worries

As millions of Florida's school children returned to classes this week, many schools struggled to find enough teachers greet and teach them."We are very concerned about the growing teacher shortage," Cathy Boehme of the Florida Education Associa...
Published: 08/16/18
Florida education news: Budgets, audits, board races and more

Florida education news: Budgets, audits, board races and more

BUDGETS: Florida Board of Education members say local school districts should have more flexibility in how they spend their resources, while kicking off planning for their next legislative budget request. Teacher salaries and school security top...
Published: 08/16/18
Brooksville Elementary gets new principal

Brooksville Elementary gets new principal

Mike Lastra has been chosen as the new principal of Brooksville Elementary School, Hernando County school district announced Wednesday.He follows Jill Renihan, who recently left the position to take a job as the district's new director of s...
Published: 08/15/18
Florida Board of Education supports funding flexibility as it discusses budgets

Florida Board of Education supports funding flexibility as it discusses budgets

Teacher pay and school security topped the list of concerns for Florida Board of Education members Wednesday as they kicked off their annual legislative budget request process.Though they wondered where they might find the money for any added ex...
Published: 08/15/18
Achievement schools are getting those needed teachers

Achievement schools are getting those needed teachers

At Tuesday's Hillsborough County School Board meeting, Superintendent Jeff Eakins answered our questions about the 50 Achievement Schools and lingering teacher vacancies. The district's communications office gave us more information that we will shar...
Published: 08/15/18
State audit shows some students improperly received Florida Tax Credit Scholarships

State audit shows some students improperly received Florida Tax Credit Scholarships

To be eligible for a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, children must meet specific financial criteria including household income standards.When issuing scholarships between 2015-2017, funding organization Step Up For Students did not pro...
Published: 08/15/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, birthday treats, water supply and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, birthday treats, water supply and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County School Board members said they want to look for money in the district budget to give employees raises. So far, they've asked questions but come up with no solid answers.TRANSPARENCY: Hillsborough County school dist...
Published: 08/15/18
Pasco School Board members ask questions, await answers in pursuit of money for raises

Pasco School Board members ask questions, await answers in pursuit of money for raises

Pasco County School Board members say they want to give employees pay raises this year.In the two weeks since declaring their desire, though, the board members have not submitted a single idea to the administration they say they would support to...
Published: 08/14/18