Florida education news: Sales tax, security checks, social media scanning and more

Published September 7 2018

SALES TAX: Hillsborough County voters will get a say in November whether to increase the local sales tax to support school construction and maintenance projects. The School Board met all the requirements, including obtaining an outside audit, to place the item on the ballot.

SECURITY: Many Florida schools failed to conduct security assessments and to accurately report campus crime in the years before the Parkland school shooting, the Associated Press reports. • Brevard County's former superintendent speaks against arming more school personnel, as a state panel weighing security concerns advances the idea, Florida Today reports. • Debate continues over whether the state should redirect unused school guardian funding, TC Palm reports.  • The Marion County school district tightens security efforts for high school football games, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

SOCIAL MEDIA: A growing number of school districts and universities in Florida and elsewhere have hired companies to scan social media sites for potential threats of violence, the NY Times reports. • A Citrus County teen is arrested for posting a school threat on social media, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

TEACHER TESTS: Several Florida school districts seek changes to the state's required teacher certification exams, which have a rising failure rate, WFTS reports.

CAREER EDUCATION: The Gulf County school district seeks grant funding to create an industry certification program in unmanned aircraft operation, as the industry is poised to grow in the region, the Port St. Joe Star reports.

TECH TROUBLES: Understaffing caused delays and frustrations in the Manatee County school district's effort to implement a massive new software system, the Bradenton Herald reports.

DRINKING WATER: Two Polk County schools have high lead levels in their water supply, the Ledger reports.

DRESS CODE: Some St. Johns County parents demand changes to a school dress code they say discriminates against girls, the St. Augustine Record reports.

GETTING THERE: A Charlotte County community will provide self-driving school buses to a nearby charter school, the Charlotte Sun reports.

LABOR NEWS: Lake County teachers ratify a negotiated contract agreement, which next heads to the School Board, the Daily Commercial reports.

TODAY: The Florida Supreme Court is expected to release its order on whether Amendment 8 will return to the Nov. 6 ballot. A Leon County judge has removed it, calling the measure's title and summary misleading. While you wait, watch the court's 45-minute hearing on The Florida Channel.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup