Florida education news: Lunch lines, water supply, teacher pay and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Wiregrass Ranch High has added outdoor seating to accommodate students during large lunch periods. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Wiregrass Ranch High has added outdoor seating to accommodate students during large lunch periods. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published Aug. 22, 2018|Updated Aug. 22, 2018

LUNCHTIME: Students and parents at several Pasco County schools complain that their lunch periods are too short, making it hard to get through the cafeteria lines with enough time to eat. Officials find few problems, though, when they look into the concerns.

DRINKING WATER: Azalea Elementary School students and staff will use bottled water after testing finds high lead levels in the school's water lines.

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County school district officials propose having teachers work longer days as a way to increase their salaries. The plan, which they said is similar to Hillsborough County's teaching schedule, would pay for itself by reducing the number of teachers needed to staff classes. • Several south Florida teachers leave the job because of low pay, NBC Miami reports.

HIGHER ED FUNDING: After winning a hard fought effort for preeminent status, the University of South Florida finds itself receiving less performance-based funding than the year before.

TAXES: The Washington County school district asks voters to approve a half-percent sales tax increase to support better classroom technology, WTVY reports.

SECURITY: Gov. Rick Scott directs unused school guardian funding to be released to school districts for other security costs, WLRN reports. • Orange County commissioners provide $11 million more for school resource officers, WKMG reports. • The Lake County school district will consider using a company to scan social media posts for possible school threats, the Daily Commercial reports.

CROWDING: Orange County parents say their children's schools are overcrowded, and they want answers, WKMG reports.

CONSTITUTION REVISION: A group of former Florida lawmakers urges rejection of all proposals by the Constitution Revision Commission, and suggests abolishing the commission, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The state Attorney General's Office files a formal notice of appeal of the case that has removed Amendment 8 from the ballot, the News Service of Florida reports.

SCHOOL NAMING: A dispute over the name of a new Manatee County high school is delayed amid legal wrangling, the Bradenton Herald reports.

LEADERSHIP: Duval County's new superintendent wants to give students, parents and teachers more input into the selection of new principals, the Florida Times-Union reports.

DISCIPLINE: The Lee County school district settles a complaint with the NAACP over concerns that African-American students were more likely to be suspended or disciplined for misbehavior at school than other students, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Sarasota County School Board agrees to give more capital funding to charter schools, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BOARD DISPUTE: Polk County School Board members admonish colleague Billy Townsend over his calls for an investigation into a contract, saying he is wasting people's time, the Ledger reports.

BAD ACTS: A Palm Beach County high school student is arrested on accusations he sexually assaulted a girl on a school bus ride, the Palm Beach Post reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup