Jeffrey S. Solochek - Education Reporter

Education Reporter

I've been an education reporter for more than 25 years, in Illinois, Texas and Florida. Why stick with it? Because I see education as key to our community, whether it's about children learning, teachers and staff working, or residents seeking the best for their tax dollars. Our school systems are critical to our society, and I strive to tell you what's going on there. I've worked at the Tampa Bay Times since 2000, covering statewide education issues as well as the districts in Hernando, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Think I've missed something? Send your ideas my way. I read all my emails.

  1. An unidentified family attended Gov. Ron DeSantis' signing of legislation that places new requirements on school book selection, at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University on March 25, 2022. DeSantis said the new law provides additional rights for parents in their children's education.
  2. Pinellas School Board chairperson Eileen Long wants answers to why four Tarpon Springs High School assistant principals quit their jobs over the past year.
  3. Students at Hillsborough High School participate in a statewide school walk-out in March to protest legislation to limit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. Battles over the measure, which takes effect Friday, continue across the state in courts, school board sessions and political campaigns.
  4. As a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Pasco County School Board, Al Hernandez is facing questions from opponents about his residency.
  5. Ashley Johnson enseña educación cívica a estudiantes de séptimo grado en Lauderdale Lakes Middle durante el primer día de clases, en Broward, el miércoles 18 de agosto del 2021.
  6. Ashley Johnson teaches civics to seventh graders at Lauderdale Lakes Middle on the first day of school in Broward on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Teachers are raising concerns about new civics materials being presented to them for the 2022-23 school year.
  7. Schoolchildren holding signs against the concept of critical race theory stand on stage alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he addresses the crowd before signing HB 7 in April. A federal judge is considering whether to delay implementation of the law.
  8. Candidates for Pinellas School Board District 7, Karl Nurse (far left) and Caprice Edmond (far right) are pictured on Election Day at The Coliseum on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in St. Petersburg. School board races across Florida have become more partisan just two years later.
  9. Academy of the Holy Names Catholic School in Tampa is one of several religious schools in Florida that accepts tax credit scholarships.
  10. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the U.S. Supreme Court's majority opinion in the school voucher case, Carson vs. Makin.
  11. Madison Middle School is one of Hillsborough County's underutilized campuses. District officials are making plans to balance enrollments across the county.
  12. Landon Aponte and a classmate play with puppets in Ashlie Brierley's class at Dunedin Elementary on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Dunedin.
  13. Teacher Ashlie Brierley helps Nyla Kramer write a sentence while Aaron Acosta-Horsman, right, draws a dinosaur in a Rising Kindergarten class at Dunedin Elementary on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
  14. Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks moments before signing the Parental Rights in Education bill in March. He has based his first round of school board endorsements on candidate support of this bill and other parts of his agenda.
  15. Candidates wait to answer questions from the audience during the Tiger Bay candidate forum for the Hillsborough School Board on Friday, June 17, 2022, at The Cuban Club in Tampa.
  16. Kevin Hendrick, currently the Pinellas County school district's chief academic officer, begins his new role as superintendent on July 1.
  17. Voters will select school board members in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties in the August and November elections.
  18. A view of Library West at the center of the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.
  19. Demonstrators protest inside the Florida State Capitol on March 7 as House Republicans advanced a bill, limiting instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. President Biden has issued an executive order aimed at curbing legislation like Florida's.
  20. Representatives from the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association and the school district administration negotiated agreements preventing employees from dipping into personal leave when quarantined because of COVID-19. They ran into problems when the deal expired, and the district continued to send teachers home after positive test results.
  21. A view of Pinellas County school district headquarters in Largo. District officials are scheduled to hear testimony in a class action grievance by two employee unions on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
  22. The Pinellas County school district is offering signing bonuses for new bus drivers, as it competes with other districts for a limited pool of applicants.
  23. The Pinellas County school district is offering $1,000 hiring bonuses as it seeks to fill dozens of school bus driver vacancies in advance of the 2022-23 school year.

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