Florida education news: Term limits, funding priorities, bats and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala
Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala
Published January 11

TERM LIMITS: Floridians might yet get a chance to decide whether to limit  school board members' terms to eight consecutive years. The idea, which failed to make its way to the 2018 ballot, is back in the Legislature for another round of consideration.

FUNDING: The Florida House Higher Education Appropriations chairman says every dollar in the state's $12.8 billion higher ed budget is on the table for possible reallocation. Members of the PreK-12 Appropriations committee meanwhile say they intend to focus efforts on students and choices, not organizations and groups.

BAT PROBLEM: A Clay County high school halts some activities as bats invade, WJAX reports.

SCHOOL DAYS: The Brevard County school district revisits its 2019-20 calendar after noting its winter break would begin on a Tuesday, leaving the lone Monday a strong candidate for high absenteeism, Florida Today reports.

DETOUR: The Okaloosa County school district explores alternate transportation plans after a bridge closure cuts off the connection between Destin and the high school many of the city's teens attend, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

VAPING: Martin County superintendent Laurie Gaylord plans to launch an education initiative about vaping after three students are hospitalized after using the vape pens at school, CBS reports.

TEACHER OF THE YEAR: The Franklin County School Board expands eligibility for the annual teacher honor to include charter school teachers, the Apalachicola Times reports. • Marion County officials surprise the district's teacher of the year finalists, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

TAXES: Two Palm Beach County charter schools sue the school district for a share of its newly increased property tax revenue, the Palm Beach Post reports.

DUAL ENROLLMENT: The Manatee and Sarasota school districts near an agreement with the University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee to allow them to provide dual enrollment courses on their high school campuses, the Herald-Tribune reports. The move comes after the area community college ended its dual enrollment arrangement with the districts.

SCHOOL CHOICE: Volusia County eighth graders attend a fair to learn about their high school options, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

PUBLIC INPUT: The Polk County School Board holds an informal roundtable to hear from teachers, parents and others without the restrictions of official meeting rules, the Ledger reports.

SCHOOL SECURITY: Santa Rosa County schools begin installing new closed-access systems at their entries, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Disgraced former state House speaker Ray Sansom launches a bid for Okaloosa County school superintendent, the Associated Press reports.

WEAPONS ON CAMPUS: A Boynton Beach High student faces charges after allegedly pulling a gun on another student at school, the Palm Beach Post reports. • A Riviera Beach teen is arrested after police find a gun, ammunition and drugs in his backpack at school, the Palm Beach Post reports. • A Flagler County sixth grader is arrested on accusations of bringing a knife to school and threatening a fellow student, the St. Augustine Record reports. • Two Leon County fifth grade students are accused of plotting to harm a classmate with an undisclosed weapon, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup