Florida lawmakers head back to Tallahassee on Monday to finish what they couldn't resolve during their two month regular session, namely a budget for the looming fiscal year.
Of course, the overall education spending plan remains up for debate. The Florida Board of Education has made its pitch for Gov. Rick Scott's "historic" per-student funding proposal, while superintendents are calling for full funding of enrollment growth....
ASPIRATIONS: Two Pasco fourth graders beat a decade-old school reading record and set their sights on the previous holder's next big accomplishment — valedictorian.
COSTLY ERRORS: A recent audit of Hernando school finances turns up mistakes that could cost the district nearly $4 million....
WESLEY CHAPEL — All school year, Samantha Allen and Anna Buckler kept close tabs on what the other was reading.
Not just the titles, either. The Pasco County fourth-graders monitored numbers of pages, and even the location of their bookmarks within the inches-thick tomes.
They were in hot pursuit of a record that has stood for nearly a decade at Sand Pine Elementary School, and neither wanted the other to gain an edge. ...
The news that just one firm submitted a proposal to review the Florida Standards Assessments raised eyebrows among the activists seeking to reform the state testing system.
They questioned whether companies are trying to avoid the state's messy political debate. They challenged whether the validity study can be relied upon....
LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County middle and high school students who struggle with Florida's language arts exams could find themselves freed of the much hated intensive reading course next fall.
The changes could affect thousands of children. Districtwide, nearly 13,000 students are enrolled in intensive reading programs.
District officials cheered lawmakers' recent move to grant educators more flexibility in how to support low-performing students, and quickly crafted plans to take full advantage. They no longer have to funnel children into a second hour of reading, which had been mandatory, instead gaining the ability to more closely deal with students' individual needs....
CAPITAL NEEDS: The Hernando school district kicks off its campaign for a local sales tax.
ON THE RUN: Candidates emerge for Hillsborough School Board....
The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced its first round of college-sponsored scholarships to graduating seniors on Wednesday. About 2,200 students received the awards nationwide.
Among them were 29 students from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. They are:
Eric Briggs, East Lake HS
Jacquelyn Nagy, Gulf HS
Lisa Goldworthy, Sunlake HS
Emily Suvannasankha, Land O'Lakes HS
Wendy Smith, Steinbrenner HS
Katherine Jones, Hillsborough HS
Taylor Cavaliere, East Lake HS
Ariel Perry-Mills, Palm Harbor University HS
Daniel Rosato, East Lake HS
Sara Scharf, Palm Harbor University HS
Jeremy Stephen, East Lake HS
Michael Pothoven, home school, Plant City
David Beck, home school, Riverview
Ryan Schipfer, Robinson HS
Trenton Sweigart, St. Petersburg HS
Katherina Fucci, Shorecrest Preparatory School
Rachel Panico, Lakewood HS Center for Advanced Technologies
Rahul Borra, Carrollwood Day School
Alexander Harris, Middleton HS
Eric Luo, King HS
Christina Maldonado, Hillsborough HS
Jenna McKinney, Plant HS
Kathy Nguyen, Robinson HS
John Qin, King HS
Daniel Suen, King HS
Lily Tang, Wharton HS
Joseph Gallagher, Bloomingdale HS
Christopher Springfield, Durant HS
Olivia Sunna, Wiregrass Ranch HS...
The panel asked to choose a firm to review the validity of Florida's new testing system doesn't appear to have much work to do when it meets Friday.
Only one group has submitted a bid to do the work....
Principal changes are afoot for some Pasco County schools as the district prepares for its administrative reappointments.
Katie Lail, who has led Pasco Elementary in Dade City since 2011, will retire after 27 years with the district. Her staff learned Wednesday morning that Nena Green, the school's well-liked assistant principal, has been recommended to take over the top job.
Green, who joined the district from out-of-state in 2012, will come to the School Board for approval on June 16....
A Pasco County math teacher who faced an investigation over concerns that she encouraged students to opt out of a state end-of-course exam has received a formal reprimand for her action.
Meredith Jewell, a district teacher since 2005, has told the district she plans to submit a rebuttal to some of the specific accusations against her. Mitchell High School principal Jim Michaels wrote in his reprimand that Jewell deviated from set procedures for administering tests, in that she discussed the possibility of opting out of the exams with students and made them believe she supported that decision....
UPDATE: The New York Board of Regents unanimously voted to install MaryEllen Elia as their next state education chancellor just before 4 p.m. She is to begin on July 6.
ORIGINAL POST: MaryEllen Elia, recently let go as Hillsborough County schools superintendent, wasn't out of the business for long....
A second consecutive $1 billion increase in local property values will bolster the Pasco County school district's bottom line for the coming fiscal year.
Property appraiser Mike Wells informed district officials that their estimated taxable value for fiscal 2016 is $23.46 billion, up from $22.41 billion a year ago. The higher values should contribute to a stronger budget picture for the district as leaders seek to expand programs and improve salaries....
TESTING: The Palm Beach School Board will ask Gov. Rick Scott to halt the negative consequences associated with state testing, the Palm Beach Post reports.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Proposals to overhaul high school sports oversight won't return in Florida's special legislative session, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports....
TOUGHER TIMES: Hillsborough and Pinellas teachers find it more difficult to teach at high-poverty schools.
ONLINE LEARNING: Florida Virtual School offers students desired flexibility, the Panama City News Herald reports....