1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Budgets, pay plans, campaign claims and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
[Associated Press | 2016]
[Associated Press | 2016]
Published Sep. 12, 2018

BUDGET SEASON: The Florida Board of Education prepares to consider a legislative budget proposal including "no change in 2018-19 millage rates." • Without comment, the Hillsborough County School Board approves a $3 billion budget with a decreased property tax rate. • The Pinellas County School Board approves a $1.5 billion budget, also without comment. • The Collier County School Board narrowly approves a new district tax rate and budget, the Naples Daily News reports. • The Sarasota County School Board  approves it budget with one dissent, the Herald-Tribune reports.

PAY PLAN: The Pasco County school district asks teachers for their thoughts about a plan that would offer more pay in exchange for longer work days. • The Lake County School Board approves raises for all teachers, the Daily Commercial reports.

CAMPAIGN CLAIMS: Running for U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Scott releases an ad touting historic funding for Florida schools, Florida Politics reports. The ad comes under immediate attack as misleading. More from the Capitolist.

SECURITY FUNDS: Duval County school district leaders urge state lawmakers to reconsider a proposal to release unused school guardian funds for other security uses, the Florida Times-Union reports. • The Citrus County School Board explores the idea of adding a guard program to support resource officers in schools, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

SMOKING IN THE CLASSROOM: Miami-Dade County high school students say it's easy to sneak an e-cigarette puff or two in class, and it happens often, the Miami Herald reports. The City of Miami Beach aims to crack down on sales of the items to under-age children.

ACTIVE SHOOTER DRILLS: Some St. Johns County parents question the content of videos to be shown to students for active shooter response training, the St. Augustine Record reports. They say they should have been allowed to view the materials or given the choice to opt out.

SOFTWARE PROJECT: An internal auditor says Manatee County school district officials routinely ignored warnings about problems with a software installation that has gone well beyond its scope and budget, the Herald-Tribune reports.

STUDENT VOICES: The Leon County School Board gets a new student representative who pledges to listen to student concerns, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

BACK PAY: A former Leon County high school athletic director wins a settlement for payment he earned but never received, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

TEACHER SHORTAGE: Florida charter schools face the same trouble finding qualified educators as district schools, Redefined reports.

IN COURT: An Okaloosa County school district official pleads no contest to four counts of failure to report child abuse, in an ongoing case that involved four district employees, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. • A Volusia County family sues the school district alleging negligence as their child was bullied in school, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup


  1. Police say Terrence Hoover, right, broke into a $4 million Vinoy Place condo on Jan. 17. The penthouse is owned by Scott Swift, left, the father of supererstar Taylor Swift.
  2. In a body cam video from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, two police officers are heard questioning why a school allowed a 6-year-old student to be committed to a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act.
  3. In this Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004, file photo, Tiffany Carr, executive director of Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, left, speaks at a news conference held by Gov. Jeb Bush, background right, to announce a public awareness campaign designed to prevent disaster-related domestic violence, in Tallahassee, Fla. On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered an investigation into a nonprofit domestic abuse agency whose CEO, Carr, had received $7.5 million in compensation over a three-year span. (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)
  4. Former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad heads to trial Feb. 24 on five charges of attempted murder. He fired upon SWAT team members who were arresting him on a warrant at his home, but his attorneys will argue it is a stand your ground case.
  5. Race cars go down pit row before the NASCAR Daytona 500 on Sunday.
  6. The Voluntary Prekindergarten room is one feature of the new Bardmoor Branch of the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. The location also includes a child-care center and Preschool Academy.
  7. Danielle Wade, Megan Masako Haley, Mariah Rose Faith and Jonalyn Saxer in the nationally touring company of Mean Girls the Musical, coming to the Straz Center Feb. 18-23.
  8. Mary Margaret's Olde Irish Tavern co-owner Pete Boland poses with photos of his family that will hang in the St. Petersburg pub. He's holding a portrait of his late grandmother Mary Margaret Prescott, whom the bar is named after. [MEAGHAN HABUDA | Times]
  9. Musician Kerry Courtney, a former "American Idol" contestant, poses for a portrait on Feb. 10 in St. Petersburg.
  10. Philip and Gay Courter were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship after days being quarantined for Coronavirus risk
  11. The Republican Party recently asked Florida tax collectors to provide "all email addresses" that had been collected by their offices.
  12. El presidente interino de Venezuela y líder de la oposición Juan Guaidó. Foto: Archivo AP