Florida education news: Electrical failure, charter schools, testing dates and more
IT WAS AN ACCIDENT: The fire that burned down historic Lee Elementary School in Tampa was caused by electrical failure, likely compounded by the effects of Hurricane Irma.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL: Pinellas County teachers ratify a contract offer that boosts starting pay to $43,000.
CHARTER SCHOOLS: An appellate court sides with the Indian River County School Board against the state's move to overturn the board's rejection of a charter school application, the News Service of Florida reports.
TESTING: Duval County school district officials warn that proposed changes to state testing standards could drop their district's high school graduation rate, the Florida Times-Union reports. • Miami-Dade County school district leaders ask the state to delay spring testing by a week because of days missed during Hurricane Irma, WLRN reports. Lee County officials have made a similar request, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
TAXES: The Okaloosa County Commission approves placing a school district sales tax referendum on a May special election ballot, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.
DON'T DRINK THE WATER: Ten Manatee County schools come under a boil alert, the Bradenton Herald reports.
DUAL ENROLLMENT: A new report shows Florida dual-enrolled high school students outpace their national peers in college completion, the Port St. Joe Star reports.
CONSTRUCTION FUNDS: The Martin County School Board approves borrowing $9.9 million to improve a high school's long overlooked athletic complex, TC Palm reports.
DISMISSED: A Marion County teacher's aide is fired for abandoning her job after her arrest on allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a teen, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.
BENEFITS: Sarasota County school employees will see their health insurance premiums rise, the Herald-Tribune reports.
TAKE A KNEE: A handful of Manatee County parents and students protest their district's mandate that all students must stand during the national anthem, the Bradenton Herald reports.