Florida education news: English language learners, school construction, campaign contributions and more

Hurricane Michael has become a Category 4 storm as it heads toward the Florida Panhandle. [National Hurricane Center]
Hurricane Michael has become a Category 4 storm as it heads toward the Florida Panhandle. [National Hurricane Center]
Published October 10

HURRICANE MICHAEL UPDATE: Schools in the Tampa Bay Times readership area — Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties — are scheduled to operate as usual as Hurricane Michael approaches the Panhandle. Schools further north have closed in anticipation of the storm and its effects, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Get the latest details from the National Hurricane Center.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS: A new federal report shows Florida among the states with the highest number of students learning English, but it's not in the group of top achievers. The data comes from 2012-14.

SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION: Revenue for Pasco County's local option sales tax outpaces projections, as the several school renovation projects it pays for progress on schedule.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: The candidates for Hillsborough County School Board District 1 draw several large contributors, while the race for the District 6 pales in comparison. • New campaign ads from the Democrats blast Gov. Rick Scott for his early cuts to education funding, Florida Politics reports.

IMPACT FEES: Questions arise over the state auditor's office assessment of how some Florida school districts use their impact fee revenue, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

SOFTWARE STRUGGLES: A troubled software update project continues to cost the Manatee County school district staff and money, the Bradenton Herald reports.

TEACHER PAY: The fate of Florida's Best and Brightest bonus program looms over the Volusia County school district's teacher contract negotiations, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

ON DEFENSE: A Marion County School Board member faces calls for her resignation over her social media comments about "whores destroying men," the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

VOLUNTEERS: The Polk County school district delays increasing the charge for volunteer background checks as it seeks a corporate sponsor to cover the cost, the Ledger reports.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: The cost to fully implement the Broward County school district's mental health action plan could reach $202 million, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SECURITY: Parents at an Orange County school for children with disabilities are concerned it does not have a full-time officer assigned, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BANNED: A candidate for Seminole County Commission is banned from working as a substitute teacher in county schools over comments made to students, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BAD ACTS: A Pinellas County school resource officer retires amid an investigation into accusations that he sexually harassed a teacher.  • Police investigate threats from a Broward County teen that caused schools in Broward and Brevard counties to lock down, Florida Today reports. • A Charlotte County high school custodian is arrested on accusations of showing pornography to a student, WINK reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news in review

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