Friday, September 21, 2018

Florida education news: School taxes, security, leadership and more

TAXES: A growing number of Florida school districts ask their voters to increase local sales or property tax rates to pay for needs that state funding doesn't cover. Ten of 10 requests won approval during the August primary, and more are scheduled for November.

SECURITY: A group of southeast Hillsborough County moms start a nonprofit to help raise money for school security needs. • Florida lawmakers officially refuse Gov. Rick Scott's request to release unused school guardian funds, the Associated Press reports. • The Manatee County school district fires a school guard over his social media conspiracy theories, the Bradenton Herald reports. • The Polk County school district will increase the price it charges school volunteers to get background checks, the Ledger reports. • The Sarasota County school district continues to fill school guard positions, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TIME TO GO? University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft is expected to announce her retirement after 18 years leading the school.

GONE: The principal of a Pinellas County middle school resigns amid a district investigation.

SCHOOL GRADES: Pasco County's Ridgewood High School earns a C state grade for 2017-18, which would have removed it from the state accountability watch list. The district closed Ridgewood, converting it to a technical high school, before learning the grade. • An Alachua County middle school learns it received a C grade and will get to remain open, WCJB reports.

STATE GRADES: Florida ranks fourth nationally in student achievement, and 20th overall, in Education Week's annual Quality Counts effort to rate state education systems based on available data, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

GO TO SCHOOL: The Lake County school district launches a campaign to combat chronic absenteeism, the Daily Commercial reports.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The Okeechobee County school district prepares to set a policy on student use of medical marijuana, the Okeechobee News reports.

THREAT RESPONSE: Collier County law enforcement warn students that treats against schools will be taken seriously, the Naples Daily News reports.

HOT DAYS: A Palm Beach County elementary schools struggles with air conditioning outages, the Palm Beach Post reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The city of Parkland approves the area's first charter school, amid resident concerns about increased traffic, WLRN reports.

ENROLLMENT: The Broward and Palm Beach school districts see a dramatic slowing of what has been rapid growth in student numbers, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

ADDRESS VERIFICATION: Efforts to remove "boundary jumpers" help ease crowding at a Palm Beach County high school, but a boundary change is still looming, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

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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 ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Time for Floridaís new student scholarships draws near

Time for Floridaís 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...
Updated: 6 hours ago
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...
Updated: 12 hours ago
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...
Updated: 1 hour ago
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
Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Gradebook podcast: DeSantis vs. Gillum and the future of Florida education policy

Florida's two major party candidates for governor have released their education platforms, and they couldn't have offered a more distinct choice.With the exception of wanting to expand career and technical education, and to pay teachers better, Repub...
Published: 09/20/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County teachers and staff continue to press for raises in the district's budget, getting only board promises to keep looking for funding. One School Board member urges his colleagues to make pay a top priority.RED TIDE: T...
Published: 09/20/18
Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Recess and physical education classes at two south Pinellas County schools were moved inside this week due to Red Tide, a toxic algae that continues to plague area beaches with throngs of dead fish and an unmistakable foul odor.Pr...
Published: 09/19/18
Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesnít define her

Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesnít define her

Early in the election cycle, Pasco County School Board candidate Tara O'Connor received criticism over her long list of supporters who are elected officials.Now, O'Connor is taking hits for accepting a $1,000 campaign contribution from Charter School...
Published: 09/19/18