Friday, August 17, 2018

Florida education news: tax hikes, PROMISE and a heart-warming graduation story

MENTAL HEALTH: Davion Only, the St. Petersburg foster kid who pleaded in church for anyone to adopt him, graduates with family looking on, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

PARKLAND: Palm Beach County supervisor of elections says nearly 4,000 youth under 21 have registered to vote in Palm Beach and Broward counties in the 10 weeks since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Palm Beach Post reports. • School safety board remains unsatisfied as Broward County School District defends its controversial diversion program, PROMISE, the Miami Herald reports. • Broward County law enforcement does not have access to discipline data for students in PROMISE program, the Miami Herald reports.

BAD ACTS: A Boynton Beach High School band director faces neglect charge after allegedly kicking a student off a bus, leaving him to walk for miles, the Palm Beach Post reports. • Principal in Broward County steps down from her post amidst the district’s investigation into an allegation that she was running a side business at her school, the Sun Sentinel reports.

SCHOOL SAFETY: Broward County School District reports only a portion of its actual crimes to the state, making it impossible to spot a school’s trouble spots and inform parents about safety, the Sun Sentinel reports. • Only half of Broward County’s schools have a full-time police officer, so the district is likely to consider adding armed security guards to comply with new state law, the Sun Sentinel reports. • Manatee County school officials still in talks with sheriff as they prepare to approve guardians set to patrol schools for the upcoming year, the Bradenton Herald reports. • South Florida communities continue to consider 50-50 funding agreement with Lee County School District to pay for school resource officers, the Daily News reports. • Lee County school resource officers spend five days in training, the News-Press reports. • Despite talks of tax hike to pay for school security and teacher raises, most Brevard County School Board members do not support it, Florida Today reports.

TAXES: Palm Beach County schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy suggests raising school tax by $150 million a year to fund security and mental health services, and increase teacher salaries, the Palm Beach Post reports. • The Clay County School Board will ask voters for a $1 property tax increase to meet safety measures required by state, the Times-Union reports.

UNIONS: Volusia County’s teacher contract negotiations are at a standstill, with both sides unwilling to schedule a time to meet, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Following an Orlando Sentinel story showing problems with some private school curriculums, four central Florida lawmakers say they’d like to strengthen rules for private schools that receive state vouchers, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

DISAGREEMENT: Polk County schools superintendent accuses School Board member of spreading “serious and false” accusations in a blog post, the Ledger reports.

SUPERINTENDENT: Brevard County School Board contracts with Florida School Board Association to spend at least $14,000 finding a new superintendent, Florida Today reports.

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