Monday, September 24, 2018

Florida education news: Amendment challenge, charter school contracts, branding and more

AMENDMENT 8: Lawyers for both sides make their final appeals to the Florida Supreme Court over whether Amendment 8 should stay off the November ballot. During questioning, four justices suggest the title and summary do not clearly convey the measure's chief purpose, while two say they struggle to understand what's confusing about it. They did not rule. Here's a brief backgrounder on what's on the line.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Leaders of Pasco County's oldest charter school prepare to drop their delay in signing a contract renewal with the school district, after hearing district officials insist the school will have capital funding in coming years.

BRANDING: The University of South Florida unveils a new academic logo as it aims to redefine itself to the outside world.

PAYROLL PROBLEMS: New software causes problems with paychecks and purchases by the Manatee County school district, the Bradenton Herald reports. A software solution might be on its way, the Herald reports.

SECURITY: A statewide commission focused on school safety issues proposes an expansion of the armed school employee modelTC Palm reports. • Duval County schools prepare to begin active assailant drills with students, the Florida Times-Union reports. • Central Florida charter schools have trouble affording security required under new state law, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

SCHOOL GRADES: Flagler County's superintendent lays a path for the district to earn an A from the state, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

SUPPLY DRIVE: A Bay County elementary school seeks donated supplies to replace those stolen from six classrooms over the Labor Day weekend, the Panama City News Herald reports.

MISSING MONEY: The Miami-Dade County Council of PTA is looking into whether thousands of dollars were taken from an elementary school's chapter, the Miami Herald reports.

"IN GOD WE TRUST": Palm Beach County schools replace signs reading "In God We Trust" with the state seal, which includes the phrase, after some teachers complain about the initial signs, the Palm Beach Post reports. State lawmakers this year required all public schools to post the motto in a conspicuous place.

SURPRISE: About 250 eighth graders at a Duval County middle school receive their own computers to help with school work from Comcast, the Florida Times-Union reports.

TAXES: Lee County School Board members explain the perceived need for a local sales tax increase, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

CONSTRUCTION FUNDING: Broward County school district officials say the district has extra money available if its $800 million bond runs out before projects are completed, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

IN COURT: The first of four Okaloosa County school district officials arrested on child abuse-related charges is about to stand trial, and says he won't be a scapegoat, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

HOME SCHOOLING: The number of Florida families schooling their children at home continues to rise, Redefined reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup

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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: 3 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
Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Delayed Pasco charter school aims for Oct. 1 move to new site

Plato Academy Trinity has told parents and students it's targeting Oct. 1 to open its new building on Old County Road 54.It still has several permits to obtain if it wants to meet that latest deadline.The Pasco County charter school, serving about 25...
Published: 09/20/18