Saturday, August 18, 2018

Florida education news: Air conditioning, reading lessons, security and more

HOT AIR: About 40 Hillsborough  County schools continue to have air conditioning problems requiring major repairs that officials said they cannot afford. The district spent $34 million over the summer to fix the systems at 10 schools, and superintendent Jeff Eakins said the state did not provide enough funding to do the rest of the work. Temperatures are expected to hit the high 80s on the first day of classes Friday.

EXTRA HELP: Eligible families should be able to begin applying for Florida's new $500 Reading Scholarship in a week.

SECURITY: The Hernando County school district hires a safe schools director a month after the state deadline passed. • The Citrus County school district continues to debate how to provide armed security for all its schools, as agreements with law enforcement prove elusive, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

ORGANIZING LABOR: The United School Employees of Pasco reaches its membership goal to avoid decertification under new state law.

HERE COME THE BOOKS: Teachers from Pasco County's Calusa Elementary load books into their cars and deliver them to students for summer reading.

TEACHER TRAINING: Polk State College offers free tuition to Polk County high school seniors who want to begin studying to become teachers, WFTS reports.

"IN GOD WE TRUST": Leon County school district officials say flying Florida's flag prominently should comply with new state law requiring the posting of the state motto at public schools, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • Several north Florida school districts will use signs to meet the mandate, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

EARLY EDUCATION: A growing number of people are questioning the validity of Florida's kindergarten readiness assessment, the Herald-Tribune reports.

MISCONDUCT? A Manatee County deputy superintendent is placed on administrative leave amid an investigation of his role in a software upgrade project that nearly doubled in scope and price, the Bradenton Herald reports. • The Indian River County school district's top finance official is under investigation for diverting millions of dollars into various accounts to make the district's financial picture look worse than it is, TC Palm reports.

CHOICE MATTERS: Duval County superintendent Diana Greene says she expects students to perform better when in programs they choose, WJXT reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Sarasota County superintendent Todd Bowden asks his School Board to delay discussion on his contract extension until after the first day of school and board elections have passed, the Herald-Tribune reports. The board has been divided over his performance and the contract terms.

ICYMI: Yesterday's education news roundup

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ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Aug. 12, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Aug. 12, 2018

Florida’s schools aren’t getting enough qualified applicants to fill all their teaching jobs. Even the once unconvinced state Board of Education is acknowledging the issue. The question is, what to do about it. Teachers will say, stop mic...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Students, parents complain about 30-minute lunches in Pasco schools

Students, parents complain about 30-minute lunches in Pasco schools

Back in May, Pasco County school district officials moved to streamline schools' daily schedules to ensure every student gets the same amount of education.The action came after the district found not every school operated the same, as it tried to pla...
Published: 08/17/18
Pinellas releases videos it will show kids before active shooter drills in schools

Pinellas releases videos it will show kids before active shooter drills in schools

The Pinellas County school system has released three videos it plans to show students in the coming days in preparation for the "active assailant drills" that are to begin soon in schools.Kindergarden through second grade:Grades 3-5:Middle and high s...
Published: 08/17/18
Gradebook podcast: Should Amendment 8 remain on Florida’s November ballot?

Gradebook podcast: Should Amendment 8 remain on Florida’s November ballot?

The Leon County Courthouse was the scene Friday for the first of what looks to be several showdowns over the fate of Amendment 8, a Constitution Revision Commission proposal to change portions of the state constitution's education article.The proposa...
Published: 08/17/18
Everything you need to know about who’s running for Hernando’s School Board

Everything you need to know about who’s running for Hernando’s School Board

More seats than not are contested on the Hernando County School Board this year, meaning local education politics could soon look very different. Or not, considering that two of three races have incumbents vying to keep their spots.The Aug. 28 primar...
Published: 08/17/18
Florida education news: Teacher shortage, school board campaigns, campus security and more

Florida education news: Teacher shortage, school board campaigns, campus security and more

TEACHER SHORTAGE: Florida Board of Education members acknowledge the state's ability to fill its teaching jobs is worsening, and say they want to find solutions. Two Democrats running for governor tell local teachers that they'd work t...
Published: 08/17/18
Dems vow to raise teacher pay

Dems vow to raise teacher pay

School leaders filled the Hillsborough High School auditorium Thursday to hear pitches from two of this year's Democratic candidates for governor.They were a study in contrasts as they addressed the Hillsborough Association of School Administrators: ...
Published: 08/16/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Teachers complain about campaign material in their email

Teachers complain about campaign material in their email

This post has been updated with the candidate's response.Laurie Rodriguez opened her Hillsborough County School District email and found a campaign flyer for Steve Cona, a builders association executive who is running for School Board.Rodriguez, a te...
Published: 08/16/18
Florida’s teacher shortage is ‘real, and it’s going to get worse,’ State Board of Ed member worries

Florida’s teacher shortage is ‘real, and it’s going to get worse,’ State Board of Ed member worries

As millions of Florida's school children returned to classes this week, many schools struggled to find enough teachers greet and teach them."We are very concerned about the growing teacher shortage," Cathy Boehme of the Florida Education Associa...
Published: 08/16/18
Florida education news: Budgets, audits, board races and more

Florida education news: Budgets, audits, board races and more

BUDGETS: Florida Board of Education members say local school districts should have more flexibility in how they spend their resources, while kicking off planning for their next legislative budget request. Teacher salaries and school security top...
Published: 08/16/18