Florida education news: Drinking water, building permits, VAM scores and more

[Bronte Wittpenn | Times]
[Bronte Wittpenn | Times]
Published August 10 2018
Updated August 10 2018

WHAT'S IN THE WATER? Hillsborough County school district officials discovered that several schools had high levels of lead in the drinking water. They didn't tell parents for more than a year.

NOT QUITE READY: A Pasco County charter school lacks several permits, and a certificate of occupancy, to begin classes in its new building on Aug. 13 as planned.

TEACHER TRANSFERS: Pasco County school district leaders say they don't plan to reassign teachers out of turnaround schools just because of low "value-added" scores, regardless of state rule.

SICK SCHOOL: Plant High School in Tampa suffers a lack of air conditioning and a mold infestation in its auditorium, which could force relocation of some classes.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Overviews of Pasco County School Board races in District 1, District 3 and District 5. • Parkland parents call for an overhaul of the Broward County School Board on election day, the Miami Herald reports. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio endorses one of the challengers in a Broward race, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Tampa Bay area schools prepare for the first day of classes with a variety of new initiatives, from later high school start times to new technical schools.

IN COURT: Lawyers for the plaintiff's in Florida's long-running education equity suit urge the Florida Supreme Court not to be fooled by the defendants' "illogical" arguments.

TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIPS: Many of the private schools planning to accept Florida's new scholarship for students who claim they were bullied in school do not welcome LGBTQ students, the Huffington Post reports.

CHARTER APPEAL: A Leon County charter school applicant wins its state-level appeal to open after the school district rejected its request, WTXL reports. More from Tallahassee Democrat.

SECURITY: The Citrus County sheriff says all schools will have armed security on the first day of classes despite a contract dispute for the services, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • A state commission investigating school safety says campuses need more than one "feel good" officer for real security, TC Palm reports. • Lee County schools will have one secure point of entry for the new academic year, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Brevard County's new schools superintendent discusses his plans and priorities, Florida Today reports. • Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie faces growing criticism in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Manatee County's interim superintendent says she has no plan to head to Duval County with her former boss, the Herald-Tribune reports.

COLLEGE COSTS: A push to provide free tuition for Florida students continues to mount, Florida Phoenix reports.

CLOSER LOOK: State officials plan to investigate a Manatee County schools software deal that has landed the district deputy superintendent in hot water as its costs and scope grew, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup