Florida education news: School safety, tax credit scholarships, teacher pay and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Pasco County middle and high schools have resource officers assigned to them. The elementary schools  hired security guards. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Pasco County middle and high schools have resource officers assigned to them. The elementary schools hired security guards. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published January 4

SCHOOL SAFETY: Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis' transition advisory committee focusing on public safety turns its attention to schools, with members suggesting police officers should have more authority over law enforcement on campuses. Some further propose ideas such as adding compliance with state security laws to school grading, or holding superintendents criminally responsible for failure to comply, Florida Politics reports. • Leon County school district officials say they will not consider arming teachers as part of their security measures, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIPS: Incoming Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran has supported using state tests to hold accountable private schools that accept the scholarships. Will he again? • The Department of Education reinstates an Orange County private school to the scholarship program, after having previously kicked it out over the hiring of a felon, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County teachers might see raises by spring break, if negotiations break their way and delays are minimal.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Pasco County School Board members have ongoing concerns about a district proposal to close two west-side elementary schools as part of a larger reorganization.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Tampa philanthropist Kiran Patel brings a new charter high school to Hillsborough County. It is his second venture into charters.

SCHOOL CHOICE: Pinellas County schools open applications for more than 70 programs.

SAT SCORE BATTLE: A Miami-Dade County teen accused of cheating on her SAT gets some high-profile legal help to fight the allegations, which are hurting her efforts to gain admission to university, the Miami Herald reports.

MOVING ON: Robin Bartleman, the Broward County School Board's most senior member, announces she will resign in 2020 to seek a state House seat, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

IN COURT: A legal battle over Florida Virtual School records heads to its first court hearing, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Marion County superintendent Heidi Maier offers to leave in June 2020 if the School Board agrees to pay her salary for the remainder of her term, through November, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. County voters recently converted the job to an appointed one, and officials have debated how to make the transition ever since. • Manatee County School Board members appear split over whether to extend interim superintendent Cynthia Saunders' contract, amid a state investigation into grade inflation allegations, the Herald-Tribune reports.