Florida education news: Start times, attendance zones, tax rates and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
[Times | 2017]
[Times | 2017]
Published April 11, 2018

START TIMES: Research suggests that teens perform better in school if they begin classes after 8 a.m. Hillsborough County made the change for next year. Pinellas County parents asked for the same. They won 15 minutes, as the School Board moved high schools' first bell to 7:20 a.m. "This journey's not finished," school superintendent Mike Grego said.

SCHOOL ZONES: A small but vocal group of Pasco County parents urged their School Board to reconsider a proposal that would reassign two subdivisions out of the schools they prefer. Their battle has lasted nearly two years.

ARMED SCHOOL EMPLOYEES: The Broward County School Board officially rejects any program to arm school workers, Sun-Sentinel reports. • Brevard County's sheriff rescinds his recommendation that schools arm employees and instead calls for a focus on adding resource officers, Florida Today reports.

SECURITY MEASURES: Citrus County leaders come closer to agreement on how to pay for resource officers in schools, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • The Polk County School Board explores placing security guards at schools, the Ledger reports. • The Palm Beach County school district looks into replacing its police chief as it expands the department, the Palm Beach Post reports.

STUDENT VOICES: Students at Miami Northwestern Senior High walk out of classes to protest gun violence, the Miami Herald reports.

PROPERTY TAXES: The Orange County School Board wants to ask voters to extend a local property tax that supports school operational costs, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • A Manatee County school district tax referendum could generate millions more than initially projected, the Bradenton Herald reports. • The Martin County School Board plans to seek a tax increase to support school security and teacher pay, putting off a separate tax to fund school improvements, TC Palm reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Leon County School Board delays its decision whether to reject two charter school applications as the superintendent recommended, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

IMPACT FEES: The Seminole County Commission amends its new school impact fee to give a break to builders with current projects, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

POLITICS: The chairman of the sparring Manatee County School Board  rules a motion to remove him out of order, despite a majority calling for the discussion, the Bradenton Herald reports.

NATION'S REPORT CARD: Miami-Dade County schools have a strong showing on the biennial NAEP exam, the Miami Herald reports.  • Duval County schools also celebrate the test results, the Florida Times-Union reports.

HOMELESSNESS: The Santa Rosa County school district seeks additional funding to continue its program assisting homeless students, the Santa Rosa Press-Gazette reports.

LAND SALES: The mayor of Gulf Breeze wants to reconsider the city's deal to sell land to the Santa Rosa County school district after an appraisal indicates the value is nearly double what the sides agreed upon, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Lee County superintendent Greg Adkins gets positive reviews from his board, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

CUTTING COURSES: The St. Johns County school district will phase out classes offered by First Coast Technical College outside the county, the St. Augustine Record reports.

SUNSHINE VIOLATION: The Okaloosa County school district's director of community affairs pleads no contest to a charge he violated the state Sunshine Law, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

YOU'RE FIRED: The Manatee County School Board dismisses a bus driver convicted of soliciting a prostitute, the Bradenton Herald reports. • A Sarasota County assistant principal who filed a discrimination complaint against the district does not get her contract renewed, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TODAY: Florida Education Practices Commission, Fort Lauderdale