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. Woodmont Charter School in Temple Terrace is one of dozens of charters in Hillsborough County. New School Board members want the district to become a little more questioning of charters going forward.
  2. Representatives for the Pasco County school district and United School Employees of Pasco reach a pay agreement during a Jan. 11, 2021, negotiation session. State officials have lamented that several school districts have yet to distribute raises that lawmakers authorized last spring.
  3. Jan. 13• The Education Gradebook
    The Pasco County school district is renovating Northwest Elementary School in Hudson as part of its effort to improve opportunities in northwest county schools. This is a rendering of how the campus is supposed to look.
  4. Parents, teachers and students from area schools came together in September to protest possible budget cuts for arts programs in Hillsborough County schools. The district is now examining several ways to reduce spending.
  5. Nena Green, left, will become principal of Pasco County's Wiregrass Elementary. She will replace Steve Williams, right, who shifts to an assistant principal role at Pine View Middle.
  6. A classroom in Newsome High, one of three images included in a tweet by Superintendent Addison Davis on Tuesday.
  7. Jan. 12• The Education Gradebook
    Representatives for the Pasco County school district and United School Employees of Pasco discuss raises during a Jan. 11, 2021, negotiation session that most attended virtually.
  8. Check for the latest breaking news.
  9. Jan. 11• The Education Gradebook
    Students cross Fishhawk Boulevard to Newsome High in Lithia on Thursday, October 22, 2020.
  10. Lakewood Elementary in St. Petersburg will offer one of Pinellas County's new magnet programs in the 2021-22 school year. The Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando districts are accepting choice applications now for next year.
  11. This photo of a Newsome High classroom in October illustrates how difficult it is to maintain social distance in schools. The image was included in a tweet by superintendent Addison Davis. More than 75 COVID-19 cases have been reported at Newsome this year.
  12. Jan. 8• The Education Gradebook
    Students are greeted in schools by visual reminders like this one, in Pinellas County, to stay socially distant in school.
  13. Negotiators for the Pinellas County school district and teachers union practice social distancing while in a collective bargaining session Wednesday. One of the issues on the table: classroom social distancing.
  14. Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. It's been a stunning day as a number of lawmakers and then the mob of protesters tried to overturn America's presidential election, undercut the nation's democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  15. In this image from a Pinellas County Schools video, a worker cleans a classroom. Teachers have raised concerns about how the district will handle sick leave if they are unable to work because of the coronavirus.
  16. Representatives from the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association and the school district administration keep their social distance as they negotiate second semester work conditions on Dec. 9, 2020. They plan to return to the table on Wednesday.
  17. Evena Seneque, a lead 4th grade math teacher, answers questions from students Jerome Robinson, 9, left, and Addison Merritt, 9, during class in November. Many Florida teachers have ongoing concerns about returning to classrooms, as well as about raises, vaccines and other key issues.
  18. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks in 2019. They have not met in person for talks during 2020.
  19. Jan. 4• The Education Gradebook
    Tampa  Heights Elementary School is reopening on Jan. 4. The rebuilt school retained many design features in the original school, which burned in a 2017 fire.
  20. What started as an 11th-grade English assignment grew into school-wide project at Academy of the Lakes in Pasco County: Write a six-word memoir. Many kids weighed in on the pandemic. “All of a sudden, this lesson in diction and syntax became a platform for their voices,” their teacher said.
  21. Dec. 18, 2020• The Education Gradebook
    Rep. Randy Fine sits with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as others watch him sign state anti-Semitism bill in the King David. Fine will chair PreK-12 Appropriations and sit on the Education and Employment Committee. [Jeffrey Schweers | USA Today Network - Florida]
  22. Dec. 18, 2020• The Education Gradebook
    A Pasco County report card
  23. Teachers have found many students taking classes from home are struggling to pass. It's led to a discussion about how best to issue grades, both during the pandemic and after it ends.