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Florida education news: #HB7055, school safety, turnarounds and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
United School Employees of Pasco leaders send a message to drivers at SR 54 and Sunlake Boulevard on Feb. 19, 2018. [Jeffrey S. Solochek]
United School Employees of Pasco leaders send a message to drivers at SR 54 and Sunlake Boulevard on Feb. 19, 2018. [Jeffrey S. Solochek]
Published Feb. 20, 2018

#HB7055: Today the Florida Senate takes up the House's priority education omnibus bill, which includes a wide range of issues from expanded tax credit scholarships to state testing changes. Committee chair Sen. Dorothy Hukill has filed a strike-all amendment to make the measure more to the Senate's liking. One provision still there is teacher union decertification language that teachers protested once again Monday evening in Pasco County.  More on the decertification issue from Miami New Times. See also this WLRN breakdown of what the House version strives to accomplish. • Follow @jeffsolochek and @mahoneysthename on Twitter for meeting updates starting at 11 a.m.  The meeting also will be aired on The Florida Channel. (Agenda)

SCHOOL SAFETY: Largo High will host its first active shooter preparedness event. • As schools prepare to drill on what to do, teachers say they should be alerted in advance. • Gov. Rick Scott will hold meetings to discuss how to improve school safety, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • Brevard County's superintendent says more money for equipment is one key piece, Florida Today reports. More from the Citrus County Chronicle, Herald-Tribune. • Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie wants lawmakers to see what a shooter incurred inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the Miami Herald reports.

RALLY IN TALLY: Students from Parkland plan to march on Tallahassee to pressure lawmakers to act after their school was shot up. • Leon County schools will grant excused absences to students who skip classes to join the effort, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. More from Politico Florida.

TURNAROUNDS: The Pinellas County School Board will consider bringing in an outside operator to help improve three struggling schools.

OUTTA THERE: A sometimes controversial Collier County School Board member says she will not seek a second term, decrying the "hatred and vitriol" she had been subjected to, the Naples Daily News reports.

OPEN ACCESS: Florida lawmakers would gain unrestricted access to public schools under a bill moving through the Legislature, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

BAD ACTS: A Collier County high school student is removed after writing a school "hit list," the Naples Daily News reports. • A Monroe County teen is arrested for making threats against a school, the Keynoter reports. • School officials remind students that school threats — even false ones — can lead to felony charges, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: Senate Education meets at 11 a.m. HB 7055 is the main agenda item. • The House will be in session at 1:30 p.m. On the calendar are HB 839 on displaying the state motto, HB 1279 on school accountability, HB 731 on home education. • Senate Judiciary meets at 4 p.m. It will discuss SB 1236, which would allow certain individuals to carry guns at schools. • Also today (but in Jacksonville), the Florida Constitution Revision Commission holds a public hearing at 1 p.m.

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