Monday, September 24, 2018

Florida education news: Diversity, demands, rivalries and more

SEEKING DIVERSITY: Two Pasco County African-American moms are asking the school district to better train faculty and staff on how to handle cultural differences among students.

FIGHTING BACK: Recently fired former Hernando County superintendent Lori Romano demands a hearing to prove she was dismissed without cause, which could allow her access to retirement benefits.

RIVALRIES: Pasco High's football coach tries to cancel his school's long-running grudge match against nearby Zephyrhills High, alleging recruiting violations. Superintendent Kurt Browning steps in to ensure the game goes on.

AMENDMENT 8: The bulk of money behind Amendment 8 on the November ballot is coming from charter school firms and supporters of a controversial visa program, News Service of Florida reports. Amendment 8 would allow creation of a state charter authorizer, among other things.

GROWTH: The emergence of two new charter schools could eliminate the Brevard County school district's need to build new schools of its own to ease crowding, Florida Today reports.

TAX HOLIDAY: Computers are back on the list of items exempted from sales tax during Florida's annual back-to-school tax holiday, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SECURITY: The Sarasota County school district has had a winding path to arrive at its new security plan, the Herald-Tribune reports. • Districts around the state are interpreting Florida's new school security law differently, leading to a variety of results, TC Palm reports. • Volusia County school guards begin training, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Palm Beach County school district officials and police union leaders negotiate a 5 percent raise for school officers, the Palm Beach Post reports.

SCHOOL GRADES: Duval County school district leaders discuss plans to improve based on their state grades, WJXT reports. • Clay County school district leaders see progress in their schools' performance and aim to move even higher, Clay Today reports.

CERTIFICATION: Nearly 100 Polk County teachers will lose their jobs because of problems with their state certification, the Ledger reports.

LABOR NEWS: Florida's teacher organized labor movement appears to be gaining membership in the face of new requirements to remain active, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TURNAROUNDS: Some Bay County parents complain about the replacement of their school principal, the Panama City News Herald reports.

NIMBY: The Duval County School Board seeks to make it harder for marijuana dispensaries to locate near schools, the Florida Times-Union reports.

MENTAL HEALTH: Critics raise concerns that Florida's new law requiring students to reveal their mental health records to schools will continue the stigma those children face, Florida Phoenix reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: The Broward Teachers Union does not endorse any School Board candidates with ties to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

ON BOARD: Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells considers leaving the board of a charter school amid allegations the school's principal wrote a job recommendation for a teacher accused of child pornography, the Herald-Tribune reports.

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Florida ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus lawsuit heads to mediation

Florida ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus lawsuit heads to mediation

A year-old case contending Florida's "Best and Brightest" teacher bonus program discriminates against educators of a certain age or race is headed to mediation in November.The complaint focuses on the part of the 2015 program that relies upon...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough Sheriff joins oversight board for school tax

Hillsborough Sheriff joins oversight board for school tax

Sheriff Chad Chronister has agreed to serve as vice chair of an oversight committee for the proposed half-cent sales tax to benefit the Hillsborough County Public Schools.The school district announced his selection Monday morning. Betty Castor, who s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
First donations are logged in school referendum campaign

First donations are logged in school referendum campaign

Strengthen Our Schools, the political committee that is promoting the half-cent sales tax to benefit the Hillsborough County Public Schools, reported its first $150,600 in contributions this week.The biggest checks, each for $75,000, came from the Hi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida education news: Scholarships, taxes, security and more

Florida education news: Scholarships, taxes, security and more

SCHOLARSHIPS: Several weeks into the school year, Florida's newest student scholarships are getting closer to reality. More than 2,700 children have applied for a Reading Scholarship, while car dealers will be allowed to start offering tax credi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 16, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 16, 2018

Florida’s race for governor is officially on, and the topic of education promises to be a key issue as the candidates seek support. The major party hopefuls focused on their policy priorities over the past week, and they differ is most every wa...
Published: 09/22/18
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 ...
Published: 09/21/18
Time for Florida’s new student scholarships draws near

Time for Florida’s 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...
Published: 09/21/18
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...
Published: 09/21/18
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...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/23/18
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