Monday, October 22, 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.

Comments
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 14, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 14, 2018

Frustrated with a string of legislative losses, the Florida Education Association — the state’s largest teacher union — selected new leadership for the coming three years. New president Fed Ingram promised to “start winning ag...
Published: 10/20/18
Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

A Northeast High School student who mangled his fingers using a table saw in class in 2016 is suing the Pinellas County School Board for negligence, asking for at least $15,000 in damages.According to a lawsuit filed Oct. 12, Brandon Jacob ...
Published: 10/19/18
State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

Eighty-eight Florida schools will join 630 others in gaining relief from some state education laws as "Schools of Excellence."The recognition, developed by lawmakers in 2017 as part of HB 7069, grants principals greater autonomy in daily operations, ...
Published: 10/19/18
Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

CLIMATE SURVEY: Large majorities of Pinellas County teachers say they feel valued and safe at their schools. District officials plan to break down these and other survey results by school, and use the information to make any needed improvements....
Published: 10/19/18
New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

Pinellas County schools recently wrapped up a new type of survey which asked school-level staff to evaluate aspects about their workplace.The results show about 70 percent of the 3,952 respondents agree that they feel valued by the adm...
Published: 10/18/18
Pasco school employees ask for 4.5 percent raises plus a bonus

Pasco school employees ask for 4.5 percent raises plus a bonus

Contending the school district has more money available than it has discussed, the United School Employees of Pasco requested 4.5 percent raises plus a nonrecurring bonus for all its support personnel during negotiations Wednesday.A similar requ...
Published: 10/18/18
Gradebook podcast: Are 11th and 12th grades a waste of time? A discussion on dual enrollment and early college

Gradebook podcast: Are 11th and 12th grades a waste of time? A discussion on dual enrollment and early college

As a Florida state lawmaker, John Legg often spoke about how the final two years of high school were becoming less important to students who had already passed many of their graduation requirements and could benefit from better preparation for colleg...
Published: 10/18/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, school threats, special education and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, school threats, special education and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County's school employees union prepares to make a salary request that exceeds what district officials have said is available. The sides have delayed negotiations two months while awaiting updated financial information. •...
Published: 10/18/18
Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

In advance of selling $67.5 million in certificates of participation, the Pasco County school district sent several high level officials to New York to pitch for a good credit rating.The effort paid off, chief finance officer Olga Swinson told t...
Published: 10/17/18
Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

After a two month break while awaiting updated financial data, negotiators for Pasco County school employees and the district administration return to bargaining this week, with plans to start talking pay.The United School Employees of Pasco intends ...
Published: 10/17/18