Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Florida education news: School taxes, security, leadership and more

TAXES: A growing number of Florida school districts ask their voters to increase local sales or property tax rates to pay for needs that state funding doesn't cover. Ten of 10 requests won approval during the August primary, and more are scheduled for November.

SECURITY: A group of southeast Hillsborough County moms start a nonprofit to help raise money for school security needs. • Florida lawmakers officially refuse Gov. Rick Scott's request to release unused school guardian funds, the Associated Press reports. • The Manatee County school district fires a school guard over his social media conspiracy theories, the Bradenton Herald reports. • The Polk County school district will increase the price it charges school volunteers to get background checks, the Ledger reports. • The Sarasota County school district continues to fill school guard positions, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TIME TO GO? University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft is expected to announce her retirement after 18 years leading the school.

GONE: The principal of a Pinellas County middle school resigns amid a district investigation.

SCHOOL GRADES: Pasco County's Ridgewood High School earns a C state grade for 2017-18, which would have removed it from the state accountability watch list. The district closed Ridgewood, converting it to a technical high school, before learning the grade. • An Alachua County middle school learns it received a C grade and will get to remain open, WCJB reports.

STATE GRADES: Florida ranks fourth nationally in student achievement, and 20th overall, in Education Week's annual Quality Counts effort to rate state education systems based on available data, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

GO TO SCHOOL: The Lake County school district launches a campaign to combat chronic absenteeism, the Daily Commercial reports.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The Okeechobee County school district prepares to set a policy on student use of medical marijuana, the Okeechobee News reports.

THREAT RESPONSE: Collier County law enforcement warn students that treats against schools will be taken seriously, the Naples Daily News reports.

HOT DAYS: A Palm Beach County elementary schools struggles with air conditioning outages, the Palm Beach Post reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The city of Parkland approves the area's first charter school, amid resident concerns about increased traffic, WLRN reports.

ENROLLMENT: The Broward and Palm Beach school districts see a dramatic slowing of what has been rapid growth in student numbers, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

ADDRESS VERIFICATION: Efforts to remove "boundary jumpers" help ease crowding at a Palm Beach County high school, but a boundary change is still looming, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

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Florida education news: Oversight, choice, growth and more

Florida education news: Oversight, choice, growth and more

OVERSIGHT: To help convince voters to support its cause, the Hillsborough County school district announces well-respected Betty Castor will head a committee to review spending of revenue from a requested sales tax increase. The money would be de...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco schools see higher enrollment growth than projected

Pasco schools see higher enrollment growth than projected

In discussing pay raises, Pasco County school district officials have asked their employee negotiating groups to wait and see if more students turn up than expected.The state projected district enrollment to rise by 1,001 children. Any more than that...
Published: 09/17/18
Pasco school district changes its choice application procedures

Pasco school district changes its choice application procedures

Pasco County parents seeking to send their children to schools other than the ones they're assigned to will face a new set of deadlines this fall, as the district streamlines its process.Instead of separating the applications between magnet and open ...
Published: 09/17/18
Florida education news: School security, teacher pay, drinking water and more

Florida education news: School security, teacher pay, drinking water and more

SECURITY: The Florida Board of Education discusses ways to offer school districts more flexibility in the way they use future guardian funding. State lawmakers, however, aren't ready to release unused money from the current year allocation, TC P...
Published: 09/17/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 9, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Sept. 9, 2018

School security remains a point of high concern for Florida schools. When it comes to funding, there’s talk of spending more. Yet when the idea of giving school districts flexibility in deciding how to use the money, there’s not too much ...
Published: 09/15/18
On the campaign trail with Hillsborough School Board candidate Karen Perez

On the campaign trail with Hillsborough School Board candidate Karen Perez

The Tampa Bay Times was not able to interview Karen Perez during her primary campaign for Hillsborough County School Board. After she placed second in a six-way districtwide race to replace April Griffin, we invited her again to complete our que...
Published: 09/14/18
Updated: 09/15/18
Les Muma, a familiar face at USF, will lead the search for its next president

Les Muma, a familiar face at USF, will lead the search for its next president

A familiar face will be leading the University of South Florida's quest to find a replacement for retiring president Judy Genshaft. Les Muma will chair the search committee, USF board of trustees chairman Brian Lamb announced Friday.Muma and his wife...
Published: 09/14/18
Meet this year’s National Merit Semifinalists from Tampa Bay

Meet this year’s National Merit Semifinalists from Tampa Bay

A total of 126 students from around the Tampa Bay area were announced this week as semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program. They were among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide.Taken together, they are said to represent the top 1 perc...
Published: 09/14/18
Florida Board of Education explores flexibility for school guardian funding

Florida Board of Education explores flexibility for school guardian funding

Taking a lead from Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Board of Education member Michael Olenick on Friday pushed his colleagues to offer school districts flexibility in how they spend money set aside for security in the state budget."They're asking for this, a...
Published: 09/14/18
Pasco teachers union calls for tax referendum to fund pay raises

Pasco teachers union calls for tax referendum to fund pay raises

The president of Pasco County's school employees union is calling for a  referendum in which voters can decide whether to increase local property taxes so teachers and staff can get raises."USEP feels that the burden for coming up with additiona...
Published: 09/14/18