Saturday, June 23, 2018
Education

New law allowing for early graduation causes confusion in Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — A new state law that makes it possible for students to graduate from high school early will force some Hernando County students who are dual enrolled to bear the brunt of their community college costs.

The law is causing a good bit of confusion. But one thing it does not do is force students to graduate after they reach 24 high school credits.

Students are not being told they must graduate, and the district has never denied students access to certain classes or told them they cannot come back to school if they hit the 24-credit mark, superintendent Bryan Blavatt said.

"We're not telling them not to come back to school," Blavatt said.

There's been some confusion in the district recently as to what the new law means and how it will affect students.

"We certainly want students to continue to learn," Blavatt said.

"The situation is that once you meet the 24 credits, if you've met the right classes, you are determined to be a graduate. (Students) can come to school in their senior year and take classes. I sure don't want them to come here and waste their time."

Last session, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 7059, and the bill took effect July 1.

The bill provides a student the option to graduate from high school early once the student has completed at least 24 credits and met standard graduation requirements, according to a staff analysis of the bill.

It eliminated the requirement that a student must attend high school for four years, Blavatt said.

The biggest impact, he said, is with students who are dual enrolled with the Pasco-Hernando Community College.

Once a student hits 24 credits, the student will have to pay tuition costs at the community college.

"They can no longer take the courses there without being considered a (high school) graduate," Blavatt said. "It's making it more difficult for these students."

In response, Nature Coast Technical High School has moved from a seven-course day to a six-course day, which should slow the process of students reaching 24 credits.

Blavatt said students will not be getting less education.

"It's still the same educational day," he said, noting that the courses will be longer.

Blavatt said the move will primarily affect seniors, who haven't had much time to tweak their schedules.

The issue is expected to be discussed tonight when the Hernando School Board meets. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at district headquarters, 919 N Broad St., Brooksville.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432.

Comments
First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

TAMPA — As chief of diversity for the Hillsborough County School District, Minerva Spanner-Morrow tries to keep her expectations realistic."We want the best of the best and I know that’s very difficult," she told principals last week as they prepared...
Published: 06/23/18
Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

BROOKSVILLE — With dust still settling from the Hernando County School Board’s close vote to fire Superintendent Lori Romano — and days before her time as head of the district runs out — school officials and community members seem to be already movin...
Published: 06/20/18
Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

BROOKSVILLE — As schools and districts across the state await their 2018 grades from the Florida Department of Education, the standardized test scores that factor into those ratings and were dropped last week show slight gains in Hernando County.The ...
Published: 06/20/18
Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

An early analysis of the Pasco County School District’s 2018-2019 budget projects a deficit of more than a million dollars, with more than half of that coming from a shortfall in funding new school safety requirements.Costs to hire and train 53 new s...
Published: 06/20/18
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Published: 06/20/18
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Published: 06/20/18

Hillsborough school district will pursue two kinds of local taxes

TAMPA — Hillsborough County School District officials took an important step Tuesday toward asking the voters to pay higher taxes for schools that, they say, are not getting enough money from the state.The board voted 5-0 to submit a tax referendum r...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

DADE CITY —Just a few weeks into summer vacation, Pasco Middle School student Jade Neal, 14, was back at school, delving into a challenging STEM activity on force in motion, as the theme to Mission Impossible played in the background.The assignment? ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18