Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Teacher pay, tax rates, charter schools and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.

TEACHER PAY: In the race for Florida governor, Democrat Andrew Gillum proposes lifting teachers' starting pay to $50,000. The idea gains support from people who see educators as underpaid, but raises serious questions about whether it can happen in the state's political environment. Republicans including candidate Ron DeSantis have focused on improving performance pay plans instead. • More on the differences between the two candidates' education plans from the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

TAX RATES: The Pasco County School Board will consider a resolution urging lawmakers to let school districts maintain their property tax rates for fiscal 2020, rather than having to reduce them again to keep revenue flat.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Many Florida charter schools complain about the structures in place that make it difficult for them to obtain loans for ongoing operations. A Pasco County charter has requested a lengthy contract extension so it can qualify to purchase the property it has leased for more than a decade.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: One Pasco County School Board race remains on the November ballot. It pits a teacher against a parent volunteer.

AFTER THE STORM: The Escambia and Santa Rosa county school districts will reopen a day after Hurricane Michael blew through, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.  Leon County schools remain closed, with some in use as shelters, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

DRESS CODE: The NAACP asks the Florida Department of Education to take action against schools that have banned children because of dreadlocks, braids and other hairstyles, Huffington Post reports. • The Volusia County School Board approves new pants colors in its uniform policy, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? A Manatee County community pushes to rename a new school rising in its midst, the Bradenton Herald reports.

A/C WOES: Palm Beach County schools log in more air conditioning malfunction reports more often than before voters approved a sales tax increase to fix the problems, the Palm Beach Post reports.

DRUG DEBRIS: Several Miami-Dade County schools cope with discarded needles and other refuse left on campuses, the Miami Herald reports.

GROWTH: The Lee County school district receives bids to build its planned new high school, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Clay County school district officials brace for rising enrollment as housing development booms, Clay Today reports.• Charter schools help growing school districts handle crowding concerns, Redefined reports.

GONE PHISHING: A St. Johns County teacher falls victim to a false email offer that appeared to come from his principal, the St. Augustine Record reports. District IT officials are working to prevent similar scams.

OOPS: A Hillsborough County school guard resigns after accidentally pepper spraying students.

BAD ACTS: A Brevard County middle school physical education teacher is arrested on a charge of battery against a student, Florida Today reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup