1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Schools of Hope, resource officers, attendance zones and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
The Florida House made a promotional video for Schools of Hope after passing the charter school program. [Florida House]
The Florida House made a promotional video for Schools of Hope after passing the charter school program. [Florida House]
Published Mar. 28, 2018
Updated Mar. 28, 2018

NEW OPERATORS: Few charter school operators appeared to focus on participating in Florida's new Schools of Hope program after lawmakers approved it in 2017. The requirements seemed too strict. But after the Board of Education adopted temporary standards for providers that were less stringent, two stepped forward. The board approved those firms to operate in the state on Tuesday.

SCHOOL SECURITY: U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis tries to direct $75 million to the nation's largest school districts — two of which he represents — for additional resource officers. • The Brevard County school district moves ahead with plans to hire an armored car to transport district cash and checks, despite requests to use the money for more school officers, Florida Today reports. • The state's superintendents reiterate their stance that the Legislature has not allocated enough money to cover its mandate for at least one officer per campus, the News Service of Florida reports. • The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office announces it will hire more people specifically to provide school security, the Bradenton Herald reports. • The Citrus County School Board delays a decision on adding resource officers, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • The Martin County School Board votes against arming school employees, TC Palm reports. • The Leon County School Board adopts a similar rule, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The Gainesville police chief pledges any school shooters will be met with force, the Gainesville Sun reports. • The Palm Beach County school district should be able to cover all its campuses with security using the state money provided, the Palm Beach Post reports.

ATTENDANCE ZONES: Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning revises his recommendation for altering school boundaries after hearing from some parents. Browning does not accept some of the criticisms of the process that others raised, though.

BUDGET CUTS: Hillsborough County superintendent Jeff Eakins says he anticipates cutting 500 to 600 positions in his district's continuing efforts to balance its budget. • Brevard County school district leaders are looking at spending cuts and a possible tax increase to offset rising costs including school security, Florida Today reports.

IN COURT: A Pinellas County parent sues the school district alleging negligent supervision of her daughter with special needs, who was inappropriately touched by a school janitor.

TURNAROUNDS: The Florida Board of Education denies a Bay County school district request to extend its time working on academic improvements for a low-performing elementary school, reports. More from Panama City News Herald.

TEACHING NEEDS: Florida school districts continue to have a shortage of teachers in certain subject areas, Miami Today reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Two teens running for Citrus County School Board say the board needs more voices representing the students it serves, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

PRIVATE SCHOOLING: A new Miami-area private school offers one teacher per student, the Miami Herald reports.

BAD ACTS: A Jacksonville charter school teacher is fired amid accusations of pushing a student, WJXT reports.