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Florida education news: K-8 schools, charters, security and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
John Newman is chief of security for the Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Published Mar. 30, 2018

K-8 SCHOOLS: Empty seats. Competitive nearby charter schools. Concerns over middle schools. The Hillsborough County school district hopes to resolve all those issues by converting three north-county elementary schools into K-8 campuses. Interest is growing. But concerns rise over what the changes might do to student populations in other schools. "I'm just going to say it," board member Cindy Stuart said. "I think the little white kids that go here are going to stay here. And you're going to make Buchanan and Liberty and Greco and Benito look very differently."

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The wives of two influential state lawmakers seek to help open new charters in communities far from their homes.

SECURITY: The Hillsborough County School Board discusses its options to add safety officers to all its campuses. • The city of Treasure Island has no school in it, but its police chief says he will help staff nearby Pinellas County schools in need. • The St. Petersburg Police Department will assist in placing officers in schools by taking some off the streets. • The Palm Beach County school district fixes doors that wouldn't lock, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BUDGETS: The Pasco County school district implements hiring and purchasing freezes to save some money in advance of a tighter budget year.

TASTE TEST: Hernando County students help pick food they like for next year's lunches.

RESIDENCY: A Lee County School Board member fights back against allegations that he is not eligible for his seat, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. He's contemplating a reelection run to prove it.

DATA PRIVACY: The Leon County school district launches an internal review of its data security after seeing Florida Virtual School suffer a major breach, WFSU reports.

LABOR NEWS: Martin County teachers and the school district agree to new contract terms that include $300 raises, TC Palm reports.

SPELLING BEE: The Lee County school district cancels its annual spelling bee after losing its sponsor, the Naples Daily News reports.

GUNS ON CAMPUS: A Duval County teen is arrested on accusations of possessing a loaded weapon at a school, the Florida Times-Union reports.

THREATS: The Volusia County sheriff's office makes its 19th school threat arrest since Feb. 14, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

AFTER PARKLAND: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students who missed school on the day of the shooting massacre suffer survivor's guilt, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

AFTER THE RALLY: Leon County superintendent Rocky Hanna apologizes for calling supporters of arming school employees "idiots," the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

BACK TO SCHOOL: A Collier County teacher returns to his classroom after drug charges against him are dropped, the Naples Daily News reports.

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