Monday, October 15, 2018

Florida education news: Drinking water, building permits, VAM scores and more

WHAT'S IN THE WATER? Hillsborough County school district officials discovered that several schools had high levels of lead in the drinking water. They didn't tell parents for more than a year.

NOT QUITE READY: A Pasco County charter school lacks several permits, and a certificate of occupancy, to begin classes in its new building on Aug. 13 as planned.

TEACHER TRANSFERS: Pasco County school district leaders say they don't plan to reassign teachers out of turnaround schools just because of low "value-added" scores, regardless of state rule.

SICK SCHOOL: Plant High School in Tampa suffers a lack of air conditioning and a mold infestation in its auditorium, which could force relocation of some classes.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Overviews of Pasco County School Board races in District 1, District 3 and District 5. • Parkland parents call for an overhaul of the Broward County School Board on election day, the Miami Herald reports. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio endorses one of the challengers in a Broward race, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Tampa Bay area schools prepare for the first day of classes with a variety of new initiatives, from later high school start times to new technical schools.

IN COURT: Lawyers for the plaintiff's in Florida's long-running education equity suit urge the Florida Supreme Court not to be fooled by the defendants' "illogical" arguments.

TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIPS: Many of the private schools planning to accept Florida's new scholarship for students who claim they were bullied in school do not welcome LGBTQ students, the Huffington Post reports.

CHARTER APPEAL: A Leon County charter school applicant wins its state-level appeal to open after the school district rejected its request, WTXL reports. More from Tallahassee Democrat.

SECURITY: The Citrus County sheriff says all schools will have armed security on the first day of classes despite a contract dispute for the services, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • A state commission investigating school safety says campuses need more than one "feel good" officer for real security, TC Palm reports. • Lee County schools will have one secure point of entry for the new academic year, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Brevard County's new schools superintendent discusses his plans and priorities, Florida Today reports. • Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie faces growing criticism in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Manatee County's interim superintendent says she has no plan to head to Duval County with her former boss, the Herald-Tribune reports.

COLLEGE COSTS: A push to provide free tuition for Florida students continues to mount, Florida Phoenix reports.

CLOSER LOOK: State officials plan to investigate a Manatee County schools software deal that has landed the district deputy superintendent in hot water as its costs and scope grew, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup

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When do Florida schools take buses off the roads?

When do Florida schools take buses off the roads?

35 miles per hour.That's the wind speed at which the Florida Department of Education has recommended school districts start pulling buses off the road, for safety's sake.The department sent the message to districts as Hurricane Michael churned n...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida education news: Union leaders, hurricane recovery, superintendent reviews and more

Florida education news: Union leaders, hurricane recovery, superintendent reviews and more

UNION LEADERS: Florida Education Association delegates ousted union president Joanne McCall in favor of challenger Fed Ingram, who had been vice president. Ingram's arguments that the group should be more aggressive in its push against the Repub...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida Education Association elects new leadership

Florida Education Association elects new leadership

Frustrated by three years of failed attempts to fight legislative actions deemed unfriendly to teachers, Florida Education Association members on Friday ousted the group's leadership team in favor of challengers who pledged to "rebuild our power...
Published: 10/13/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 7, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 7, 2018

With elections less than a month off, Floridians have focused attention on who will be the people setting education policy for the next two or four years. They’re homing in on policy positions such as teacher pay, tax rates and school safety, a...
Published: 10/13/18
It’s been a tough few years for Florida teachers. Will a new union leader shake things up?

It’s been a tough few years for Florida teachers. Will a new union leader shake things up?

Top education leaders have spent years pleading, lobbying and rallying at the state capitol, but Tallahassee lawmakers keep making life harder and harder for Florida's public school teachers.The Florida Education Association advocates for the state's...
Published: 10/12/18
Class size concerns rise in Pasco County schools

Class size concerns rise in Pasco County schools

Reacting to cramped and crowded classrooms, a Fivay High School student created a 5-minute video depicting the situation and urging Pasco County communities to "take action."The video, which aired in the school news report and is posted on the school...
Published: 10/12/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, school security, storm damage and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, school security, storm damage and more

TEACHER PAY: State Sen. Kevin Rader says he will refile his bill to set Florida minimum teacher pay at $50,000. It's a key piece of Democrat Andrew Gillum's education platform in his campaign for governor. Rader predicts if Gillum wins, the meas...
Published: 10/12/18
Gradebook podcast: Active shooter drills and class size – when Florida law confuses

Gradebook podcast: Active shooter drills and class size – when Florida law confuses

It's a quarter of the way through Florida's school year, and some schools continue to grapple with implementation of two key requirements, one new and one old.Leaders remain uncertain of exactly how often to run active shooter drills, required by the...
Published: 10/11/18
Hillsborough school district will sell more land

Hillsborough school district will sell more land

The Hillsborough County School District stands to raise close to $3 million by selling off surplus land in a series of transactions that will come before the School Board on Tuesday.The board already approved a $575,000 deal on an office building in ...
Published: 10/11/18
Records show nearly spotless record for Pinellas school resource officer accused of sexual harassment

Records show nearly spotless record for Pinellas school resource officer accused of sexual harassment

The personnel file for a Carwise Middle School resource officer who retired amid sexual harassment allegations this week shows a nearly spotless 20-year history with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.Deputy Bernard D'Agostino, 52, was hired b...
Published: 10/11/18