Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Florida education news: English language learners, school construction, campaign contributions and more

HURRICANE MICHAEL UPDATE: Schools in the Tampa Bay Times readership area — Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties — are scheduled to operate as usual as Hurricane Michael approaches the Panhandle. Schools further north have closed in anticipation of the storm and its effects, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Get the latest details from the National Hurricane Center.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS: A new federal report shows Florida among the states with the highest number of students learning English, but it's not in the group of top achievers. The data comes from 2012-14.

SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION: Revenue for Pasco County's local option sales tax outpaces projections, as the several school renovation projects it pays for progress on schedule.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: The candidates for Hillsborough County School Board District 1 draw several large contributors, while the race for the District 6 pales in comparison. • New campaign ads from the Democrats blast Gov. Rick Scott for his early cuts to education funding, Florida Politics reports.

IMPACT FEES: Questions arise over the state auditor's office assessment of how some Florida school districts use their impact fee revenue, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

SOFTWARE STRUGGLES: A troubled software update project continues to cost the Manatee County school district staff and money, the Bradenton Herald reports.

TEACHER PAY: The fate of Florida's Best and Brightest bonus program looms over the Volusia County school district's teacher contract negotiations, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

ON DEFENSE: A Marion County School Board member faces calls for her resignation over her social media comments about "whores destroying men," the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

VOLUNTEERS: The Polk County school district delays increasing the charge for volunteer background checks as it seeks a corporate sponsor to cover the cost, the Ledger reports.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: The cost to fully implement the Broward County school district's mental health action plan could reach $202 million, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SECURITY: Parents at an Orange County school for children with disabilities are concerned it does not have a full-time officer assigned, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BANNED: A candidate for Seminole County Commission is banned from working as a substitute teacher in county schools over comments made to students, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BAD ACTS: A Pinellas County school resource officer retires amid an investigation into accusations that he sexually harassed a teacher.  • Police investigate threats from a Broward County teen that caused schools in Broward and Brevard counties to lock down, Florida Today reports. • A Charlotte County high school custodian is arrested on accusations of showing pornography to a student, WINK reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news in review

Comments
Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

In advance of selling $67.5 million in certificates of participation, the Pasco County school district sent several high level officials to New York to pitch for a good credit rating.The effort paid off, chief finance officer Olga Swinson told t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

After a two month break while awaiting updated financial data, negotiators for Pasco County school employees and the district administration return to bargaining this week, with plans to start talking pay.The United School Employees of Pasco intends ...
Published: 10/17/18
Florida education news: Turnarounds, rebuilding, funding and more

Florida education news: Turnarounds, rebuilding, funding and more

TURNAROUNDS: Hernando County's long struggling Moton Elementary School takes advantage of a state "Hope" grant to establish a family resource center for its students and parents. The goal is to help with issues outside school that impact academi...
Published: 10/17/18
Lee Elementary — or whatever it will ultimately be called — will be rebuilt in Tampa

Lee Elementary — or whatever it will ultimately be called — will be rebuilt in Tampa

Things have come full circle as the Hillsborough County School District moves ahead to rebuild fire-ravaged Lee Elementary School.The board on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that the district negotiated with its insurers that pays full cost of b...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco School Board, teachers take stands for improved education funding

Pasco School Board, teachers take stands for improved education funding

Stating the need for increased funding, about a dozen Pasco County teachers rallied Tuesday outside the school district headquarters for candidates and issues they say support public education."I believe that's what this year's election should really...
Published: 10/16/18
Florida superintendents association sets up account to help hurricane-hit school districts

Florida superintendents association sets up account to help hurricane-hit school districts

Hurricane Michael blasted at least 10 north Florida school districts, razing some campuses and leaving others unusable.Seven districts — Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty and Washington — remain closed indefinitely, a...
Published: 10/16/18
Florida education news: Sales tax, scholarships, ballot language and more

Florida education news: Sales tax, scholarships, ballot language and more

SALES TAX: With limited funding, the campaign for a Hillsborough County schools sales tax increase relies on parent volunteers to get the word out. If approved, the revenue will pay for air conditioning repairs, among other construction and main...
Published: 10/16/18
Amendment 8 ballot language was ‘defective,’ Florida Supreme Court rules

Amendment 8 ballot language was ‘defective,’ Florida Supreme Court rules

The Florida Supreme Court removed Amendment 8 from the November 6 ballot because it failed to inform voters of its true purpose, the court stated in its opinion on the matter, released Monday."That the ballot summary is unclear is best demonstrated b...
Published: 10/15/18
Scholarship letters begin circulating for bullied Florida students

Scholarship letters begin circulating for bullied Florida students

Fifteen days after their official launch, Florida's new tax credit scholarships for students who claim being bullied in public school have begun being offered.Families that report any of 13 types of incidents, as outlined in law, are gettin...
Published: 10/15/18
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...
Published: 10/15/18