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

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Across Florida, even in some heavily conservative counties, voters are supporting added local taxes for schools. Of 10 local education funding measures on the Aug. 28 primary ballot, every one passed. [iStockphoto.com]
Published Sep. 10, 2018

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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