Florida education news: Arming teachers, busing students, picking a president and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times Damian Moran, 13, of Spring Hill, stands in the driveway of his home in Spring Hill on Nov. 13, almost a week after he was hit by a car on Northcliffe Blvd while crossing Landover Boulevard en route to his 8th-grade classes at Explorer K-8 in Spring Hill. Moran, who said he was hit by a woman who was driving a Ford Focus, suffered a broken clavicle, 17 stitches in his knee, 5 stitches in his shoulder, 4 stitches in his elbow and a contusion on the side of his head, despite wearing a helmet.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times Damian Moran, 13, of Spring Hill, stands in the driveway of his home in Spring Hill on Nov. 13, almost a week after he was hit by a car on Northcliffe Blvd while crossing Landover Boulevard en route to his 8th-grade classes at Explorer K-8 in Spring Hill. Moran, who said he was hit by a woman who was driving a Ford Focus, suffered a broken clavicle, 17 stitches in his knee, 5 stitches in his shoulder, 4 stitches in his elbow and a contusion on the side of his head, despite wearing a helmet.
Published November 26

ARMING TEACHERS: After watching what went wrong at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on the day of its shooting massacre, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri shifts his view on arming Florida teachers as a line of campus defense.

SCHOOL BUSING: Concerned about student safety, the Hernando County School Board seeks to provide busing to all children living farther than 1.5 miles from schools, rather than the usual 2 miles. Funding is critical, though, so the board is making the issue its top legislative priority for 2019. • The Leon County school district prepares to eliminate all bus routes for students living closer than 2 miles from school, if they aren't needed for safety reasons, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

TAXES: Hillsborough County schools could benefit from new sales tax projections indicating millions more in anticipated collections than when voters approved an increase on Nov. 6.

PICKING A PRESIDENT: University of South Florida trustees prepare for a nationwide search to replace Judy Genshaft, the school's leader for the past 18 years.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Florida School Boards Association will advise the Marion County School Board on how to select a superintendent, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. The position has been elected to this point.

LEGISLATIVE DIRECTION: New leaders of Florida's House and Senate differ in their approaches to public education and school choice, setting the stage for some critical debates, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • A key state senator has filed legislation to ban "bundled" amendment proposals by the Constitution Revision Commission, Florida Politics reports. (Think the ill-fated Amendment 8 as a prime example.)

REINSTATED: The president of the Gulf County Education Association settles a lengthy dispute with the school district, ending her suspension from the classroom, the Port St. Joe Star reports.

CLASSROOM CONTROVERSY: Students at a Miami-Dade County charter school complain about a teacher's incendiary far-right views, Miami New Times reports.

SCHOOL SAFETY: Parents at a Charlotte County high school petition for clear backpacks and metal detectors after the campus faces three threats in a week, the Charlotte Sun reports. • The Lake County School Board explores security options including improved bus radios and an extended contract for resource officers, the Daily Commercial reports. • The Polk County school district seeks financial support to help pay for background checks on all school volunteers, the Ledger reports. • The Palm Beach County school district misses the deadline to submit its safety plans to the state as required, the Palm Beach Post reports.

MIDDLE SCHOOL SPORTS: Flagler County middle schools expand their sports program after the first year brings high participation, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

BOARD FEUD: One Polk County School Board member blasts another for his repeated attacks against her during the election season, the Ledger reports.

SCHOOL DAYS: Volusia County parents question the need to extend elementary school days by 30 minutes, as the administration has proposed, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

REZONING: The Palm Beach County school district considers redrawing attendance zones to ease crowding at one elementary school while filling empty seats at others nearby, the Palm Beach Post reports.

HOMELESSNESS: The number of homeless students in Miami-Dade County schools has risen by 50 percent in two years, WLRN reports.

RELIGION IN SCHOOL: The Flagler County School Board prepares to adopt a state-mandated policy on religious expression, more than a year after its passage into law, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

BAD ACTS: A Broward County high school soccer coach is arrested on allegations of sending inappropriate text messages to a female student, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

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