Thursday, September 20, 2018

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

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

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Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, Red Tide, campaign contributions and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County teachers and staff continue to press for raises in the district's budget, getting only board promises to keep looking for funding. One School Board member urges his colleagues to make pay a top priority.RED TIDE: T...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Red Tide forces two Pinellas schools to move recess, physical education inside

Recess and physical education classes at two south Pinellas County schools were moved inside this week due to Red Tide, a toxic algae that continues to plague area beaches with throngs of dead fish and an unmistakable foul odor.Pr...
Published: 09/19/18
Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesn’t define her

Pasco School Board candidate says charter school campaign contribution doesn’t define her

Early in the election cycle, Pasco County School Board candidate Tara O'Connor received criticism over her long list of supporters who are elected officials.Now, O'Connor is taking hits for accepting a $1,000 campaign contribution from Charter School...
Published: 09/19/18
Pasco board member presses colleagues, staff to set priorities

Pasco board member presses colleagues, staff to set priorities

As several teachers urged the Pasco School Board to improve their wages, one board member hammered home his view that the district has not followed through on raises despite setting that priority three straight years.Steve Luikart, who retires i...
Published: 09/19/18
Florida education news: Policy proposals, achievement gap, tax plans and more

Florida education news: Policy proposals, achievement gap, tax plans and more

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Republican candidate for governor Ron DeSantis unveils his education plan for Florida, as Democrat Andrew Gillum highlights his proposals. Their positions could not be more starkly different, except for the area of career educati...
Published: 09/19/18
In town hall, Eakins takes school district's story to Ballast Point

In town hall, Eakins takes school district's story to Ballast Point

  TAMPA — First, the disclaimer: "I'm not here to tell you how to vote," Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins told his audience. "I'm here to educate you about why we're here." From there, in his Tuesday evening prese...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
Report: Pinellas improves on achievement gap, but needs to do better

Report: Pinellas improves on achievement gap, but needs to do better

School for black students in Pinellas County is getting better, according to a report detailing the school district's progress a year into its effort to close the educational achievement gap by 2027.Of the six measures included in...
Published: 09/18/18
Struggling Plato Academy Pinellas Park vows to boost school culture, attendance

Struggling Plato Academy Pinellas Park vows to boost school culture, attendance

After their school earned a D grade for its first year in operation, educators from Plato Academy Pinellas Park presented an improvement plan to Pinellas County school officials on Tuesday, pointing to plans to improve&#...
Published: 09/18/18
Pasco schools budget faces showdown over salaries

Pasco schools budget faces showdown over salaries

For the past several months, Pasco County school employees have agitated for pay raises this year.School Board members said they'd look for ways to direct more money into salaries, but so far haven't found much. The current proposal contemplates abou...
Published: 09/18/18
Pasco School Board to lay groundwork for new schools

Pasco School Board to lay groundwork for new schools

With enrollment growth continuing and school crowding yet unresolved, the Pasco County School Board is taking steps to add three promised new schools to its inventory.The School Board is poised to approve a 5-year work plan that includes a new middle...
Published: 09/18/18