Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Education

Charter school groups to meet with Hillsborough officials

TAMPA — Two groups that run charter schools in Hillsborough County agreed Friday to meet with the district, a step that could resolve a conflict affecting three schools.

After meeting this week, the Florida Charter Educational Foundation and Bay Area Charter Foundation said they're willing to have face-to-face discussions about their roles at the Woodmont, Winthrop and Henderson Hammock schools.

The offer comes a day after superintendent MaryEllen Elia assured families that even though the district might terminate the schools' charters, she won't close them this school year.

"Under no circumstances will we disrupt the education of students," Elia wrote, seeking to quell fears at the schools, which serve more than 2,000 students.

At issue, Elia wrote, is whether the schools are governed by local boards or the Florida board, which has close ties to the for-profit Charter Schools USA, the schools' management company.

For months district officials have tried to get clarity about the boards' roles.

Unable to arrange a meeting, Elia warned the schools last week that she would seek to terminate their charters. That warning touched off a letter-writing campaign from parents at the schools.

It also prompted a harsh response from Bay Area Charter Foundation chairman Rod Jurado, who called Elia's act "pathetic" and the district's record "abysmal."

Since then Jurado's tone has softened.

In a letter Friday to parents, he said he appreciated their support. He urged them to be patient as the two sides work toward a resolution.

"I ask you to remain positive," Jurado wrote. "We have truth and the law on our side and are very confident that this will be resolved quickly.

"We strongly encourage you to continue voicing your concerns to the School Board as well as Superintendent Elia.

"The more they understand how tremendous our school is, the better the chance they will begin supporting our success."

Comments
Bill to sweeten Bright Futures scholarship sails through Senate

Bill to sweeten Bright Futures scholarship sails through Senate

Nearly a decade since the luster on Florida’s signature merit scholarship program began to grow dim, state lawmakers have taken a decisive step toward restoring its appeal. Just three days into the 2018 Legislative session, the Florida Senate ...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
Parents vent at school district meeting over fate of Lee Elementary School

Parents vent at school district meeting over fate of Lee Elementary School

TAMPA — Leaders of the Hillsborough County School District tried Thursday to reassure parents they are doing their best for the displaced students of Lee Elementary School, who lost their school in a September fire. To some, it was a hard sell...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
UF fraternity suspended until 2021

UF fraternity suspended until 2021

The University of Florida becomes the latest school to suspend a fraternity for alleged incidents involving alcohol and drug use. In December, Heather White, UF’s interim dean of students, sent the university’s chapter of Tau Epsilon Phi...
Published: 01/11/18
Napping, name-calling and stealing: Who’s subbing for your kids’ teachers in Hillsborough?

Napping, name-calling and stealing: Who’s subbing for your kids’ teachers in Hillsborough?

TAMPA — Kenneth Spain told his students at Chamberlain High School that he overcame a pornography addiction when he found Jesus. Pornography and Jesus are both taboo topics for public school teachers, so this became a case for the Hillsborough...
Published: 01/11/18
Will Florida bring back full tuition breaks for college? State senators weigh in today

Will Florida bring back full tuition breaks for college? State senators weigh in today

A bill that would permanently expand state financial aid for tens of thousands of Florida college students faces a key vote today in the state Senate.The "Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018," also known as Senate Bill 4, recently sail...
Published: 01/11/18

Pasco school board election ballot fills

One Pasco County School Board incumbent has decided not to pursue another term, while two others have announced their 2018 reelection bids.Steve Luikart, often a dissenting voice on some of the board’s more contentious issues, said Wednesday he will ...
Published: 01/11/18
Excellence in Education: Hillsborough school district celebrates best

Excellence in Education: Hillsborough school district celebrates best

Teacher of the YearBonnie BresnyanLewis ElementaryBresnyan has taught for 31 years, 20 of those in Hillsborough County, and currently serves Lewis as an ESE specialist. Her accomplishments include National Board Certification, 2006-07 Ida S. Baker Di...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/14/18
District: Michael and Kimberly Hoskinson will return to Coleman Middle and Plant High School

District: Michael and Kimberly Hoskinson will return to Coleman Middle and Plant High School

TAMPA — Educators Michael and Kimberly Hoskinson, who were accused in November of child abuse but later cleared of wrongdoing, will return to their jobs in the Hillsborough County Public Schools.The school district announced their reinstatement on We...
Published: 01/10/18
A first: Graduation rate tops 80 percent for all four Tampa Bay area school districts

A first: Graduation rate tops 80 percent for all four Tampa Bay area school districts

Graduation rates in Florida and the Tampa Bay area continued their steady rise last year, with three local school districts surpassing the state average and all four of them reporting rates over 80 percent. The latter statistic provided something of ...
Published: 01/10/18

PACE Center for Girls a go in Hernando County

The Hernando County School Board on Tuesday approved the opening of PACE Center for Girls, an alternative education program that will begin taking students this month.According to the year-long contract between the School District and PACE, the Herna...
Published: 01/10/18