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

Hillsborugh County school superintendent Jeff Eakins speaks to a room full of teachers, administration and press during his annual back-to-school press conference Monday at Valrico Elementary [BRONTE WITTPENN | Times]
Hillsborugh County school superintendent Jeff Eakins speaks to a room full of teachers, administration and press during his annual back-to-school press conference Monday at Valrico Elementary [BRONTE WITTPENN | Times]
Published August 7 2018

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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