Florida education news: School names, teacher pay, mental health services and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
This signed photo of Robert E. Lee was for sale at a 2009 auction in St. Petersburg.  [TIMES FILES]
This signed photo of Robert E. Lee was for sale at a 2009 auction in St. Petersburg. [TIMES FILES]
Published November 16

NEW BUILDING, NEW NAME: Robert E. Lee Elementary School in a heavily minority section of Tampa burned nearly to the ground after an electrical surge in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The school will rise again. But it will shed its Confederate namesake, with the School Board choosing to call it Tampa Heights Elementary instead.

TEACHER PAY: Incoming Florida Senate president pro tempore David Simmons says his chamber will find ways to better pay teachers, as it focuses on improving education in public and private spheres.

RESIGN TO SERVE: Pasco County School Board member-elect Megan Harding resigns her teaching position so she can assume her spot on the board. • Marion County School Board member-elect Nancy Thrower resigns her district job before taking the oath of office, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

FUNDING SNAG: A state review of university construction projects uncovers that the University of South Florida misused $6.4 million to complete a research center.

BUS SAFETY: Pasco County deputies crack down on drivers who speed by stopped school buses after some parents complain.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: Florida sees an increase in reported student behavioral issues, yet limited change in the services available, WFTS reports.

CLASSROOM TECH: The Lake County school district prepares to expand its 1-to-1 Chromebook program, the Daily Commercial reports.

IN COURT: The Volusia County school district is among several dismissed from a lawsuit challenging Florida's Best and Brightest teacher bonus, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

AFTER PARKLAND: A state inquiry into the activities surrounding the day of the Parkland school shooting in February continues, the Miami Herald reports. More from the Sun-Sentinel.

SCIENCE LESSONS: Several Florida teachers learn new ideas for teaching about the climate, WLRN reports.

GENDER ISSUES: A Sarasota County student talks about life in school as a transgender boy, the Herald-Tribune reports.

RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION: The Flagler County School Board adopts a state mandated religious expression policy despite misgivings, Flagler Live reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup

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