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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. Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis (center) and School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) sign Davis' contract with the Hillsborough County School District after it was unanimously approved by the school board on February 18, 2020.
  2. The attendance zones for Northwest, Gulf Highlands and Fox Hollow elementary schools would shift under a proposed rezoning that also includes the closing of Hudson Elementary.
  3. Associate professor of biology Caitlin Gille leads the Pasco-Hernando State College faculty union, which challenged the school's public comment rules.  (Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Gille)
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  5. Prekindergarten students at James B. Sanderlin IB World School in St. Petersburg, show the peace sign during an assembly in 2012. New state data show children in prekindergarten are better prepared for kindergarten than those who don't attend.
  6. Leon County fifth-grader Ingrid Hanley asks the Senate Education Committee not to adopt legislation that would get tougher on D-rated schools, during a Feb. 17, 2020, session.
  7. The Voluntary Prekindergarten room is one feature of the new Bardmoor Branch of the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. The location also includes a child-care center and Preschool Academy.
  8. FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. School districts continue to improve their security plans in the aftermath. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)
  9. Clay County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis (wearing a pink tie), center, takes photos with the  Hillsborough County Public Schools board members after being voted unaminous as the new incoming superintendent in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
  10. Chikara Parks, right, along with her children in front of their home in St. Petersburg. In the back is Kamijah Laswon, 14. In front of Kamijah is her sister Tanijah Clark, 12. Their brothers are 7-year-old Tai'jon Carter, left, and Dai'quan Carbart, 9. The four children used to attend Pinellas public schools. Now they are in private schools, using Florida's tax credit scholarship program. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  11. Florida Board of Education member Michael Olenick speaks during a July 17, 2019, board meeting in Polk County. [The Florida Channel]
  12. A new house under construction in Waterset on Big Bend Road in Hillsborough County's Apollo Beach area. Developed by Newland Communities, which also developed Fishhawk Ranch  in Hillsborough, Waterset has had more housing starts in the past year than any other new-home community in the Tampa Bay area. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times]
  13. Florida lawmakers are considering changes to the state grant that helps students who attend private colleges and universities such as Eckerd College, whose 2005 commencement is shown here.
  14. Students from Lakewood Elementary School dismiss for the day in St. Petersburg, Monday, February 10, 2020.
  15. Chancellor Jacob Oliva explains recommended new academic standards in language arts and math to the Florida Board of Education at a Feb. 12, 2020, meeting in Tallahassee. The board unanimously adopted the proposal.
  16. Pasco County residents have recommended naming the school district's next high school after student Sean Bartell, Sheriff's deputy Capt. Bo Harrison and principal Adam Kennedy, each of whom has passed away. The district received dozens of proposals.
  17. This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter. The video was produced this summer for third- through fifth-grade students ahead of the state-mandated active shooter drills to take place during the 2018-19 school year. On Monday, after parent protests, the district announced it no longer planned to show the videos to elementary school students. [Pinellas County Schools]
  18. The attendance zones for Northwest, Gulf Highlands and Fox Hollow elementary schools would shift under a proposed rezoning that also includes the closing of Hudson Elementary.
  19. Newer teachers such as Pasco County's Kaitlyn Geddes and Kevin Knibbs could see raises as high as 15 percent, depending on what plan state lawmakers devise.
  20. Students wait to board a bus during dismissal at Central High School on Monday, December 17, 2019, in Brooksville. Questions about how lockdowns are determined have recently arisen in Miami, where one school took that step after a nearby shooting, but two closer schools did not.
  21. State senators Dennis Baxley, left, and Bill Montford, right, have differing views on legislation to ask voters whether to impose limits on school board member terms.
  22. Crews are building a new 1,500-student middle school on the Cypress Creek Middle-High campus in Wesley Chapel. The Pasco County School Board has redrawn attendance zones to fill the buildings. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
  23. School districts should think long and hard about disciplining teachers over student complaints over 'small offenses,' to avoid having classrooms 'become arid environments' that teachers cannot control, a state hearing officer writes. (Washington Post)
  24. Marian Phillips, president of the Nassau County Educational Support Professionals, wears a customized hat as she listens to a bill on teacher pay Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in a committee meeting during the Florida Education Association's "Take on Tallahassee" rally in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)