Florida education news: Teacher pay, transgender issues, private school scholarships and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
More than 100 people turned out Jan. 15, 2019, to give the Pasco County School Board their thoughts on the district's policy and procedures for transgender student rights. Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times
More than 100 people turned out Jan. 15, 2019, to give the Pasco County School Board their thoughts on the district's policy and procedures for transgender student rights. Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times
Published January 18

TEACHER PAY: After months of disagreement, Pasco County teachers and school-related personnel reach a deal for 2 percent raises. The teachers declare impasse, though, on some non-monetary aspects of the contract including terms for performance evaluations and use of seniority during layoffs. • The Manatee County teachers union arrive at a tentative contract settlement, including “longevity payments” to the most senior teachers, the Bradenton Herald reports.

GENDER ISSUES: Conservative speakers ask the Pasco School Board to consider adopting rules used in Hillsborough County for dealing with transgender students. Officials find Hillsborough’s policies more lenient than Pasco’s, though.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: St. Petersburg Catholic High receives its largest donation ever.

COLLABORATION: The University of South Florida debuts a new medical engineering lab.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Florida’s new “Hope” scholarship for students who claim they were bullied in public school gets off to a slow start, Watchdog.org reports. More from the Orlando Sentinel. • Florida lawmakers consider boosting funding for the Bright Futures scholarship, the News Service of Florida reports.

SECURITY: Broward County school district officials outline safety reforms and recommendations to improve campus security, the Sun-Sentinel reports. More from the Miami Herald. • The Marion County school district adds staff to its safe schools office, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

EXPANSION PLANS: A Miami private prep school gets a $9 million loan to back its construction project, the South Florida Business Journal reports. • A Volusia County middle school will remain open during its two-year reconstruction, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

DRINKING WATER: A Marion County middle school will get a water filtration system even as tests find its well system is safe, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

REZONING: The Palm Beach County school district seeks public input on plans to redraw several elementary school attendance zones to ease crowding, the Palm Beach Post reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: The newest Florida Board of Education member, whose daughter died in the 2018 Parkland school shooting, sets the removal of Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie as a top goal, WLRN reports.

TEACHER DISCIPLINE: A debate brews over the fate of a Sarasota County middle school teacher who remains on administrative leave after being cleared of a battery charge against a student, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BAD ACTS: A Marion County elementary school teacher is arrested on child sex charges, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. • An Escambia County teacher is arrested on accusations he solicited a sexual video from a student, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

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