Florida education news: USF consolidation, Bible classes, Parkland anniversary and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
SCOTT KEELER   |   Times Students walk across the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, Thursday, 9/28/17.
SCOTT KEELER | Times Students walk across the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, Thursday, 9/28/17.
Published February 11

CONSOLIDATION: University of South Florida trustees take charge of planning to consolidate three campuses into one system. They have some major decisions to make on issues large and small.

BIBLE CLASSES: Atheists of Florida say they’d like to see the state require a comparative religions course for high school students.

PARKLAND ANNIVERSARY: A year after the shooting massacre inside a Broward County high school, state and local leaders still grapple with how to best improve school security and mental health services, GateHouse reports. • The Sun-Sentinel reviews what’s been done and what hasn’t in the year since the shooting.

COMMON CORE: A review of Florida’s state standards could prove expensive, even if the changes are few, TC Palm reports.

CALM DOWN: The FHSAA asks parents attending high school sporting events to “cool it,” saying unruly parents can cause problems, Florida Today reports.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: Florida lawmakers continue to file legislation seeking alternative methods for students to earn a diploma, WUSF reports.

TEACHER RETENTION: Teacher organizations say Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new teacher bonus pay proposal won’t help attract and retain teachers as much as he hopes, WFSU reports.

SCHOOL SECURITY: The Nassau County school district hires its first three school guards, WJXT reports. • Central Florida school districts say their substitute teachers are trained in emergency procedures like other employees, WKMG reports. • Select Florida superintendents and sheriffs meet to discuss collaborating to keep schools safe, Fox 13 reports. • Seminole County schools announce new lockdown procedures, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TAXES: A committee to oversee how the Charlotte County school district spends its new tax referendum revenue will meet for the first time, the Charlotte Sun reports.

CONSTRUCTION PLANS: Lake County school district leaders rebut rumors of plans to close Eustis Elementary as part of a larger renovation schedule, the Daily Commercial reports.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE: Several Lake County middle schools give students more voice in dealing with discipline through restorative practices, the Daily Commercial reports.

STARTING TIMES: Volusia County students, parents and educators debate the pros and cons of starting high school classes an hour later each day, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

THERAPEUTIC RIDES: The Marion County school district seeks a replacement therapy for its school for students with special needs, after a therapeutic riding program departs over sinkhole concerns, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

FINANCIAL SAVINGS: Bay County school district officials explain the financial reasons behind a plan to temporarily close three elementary schools, the Panama City News Herald reports.

CAREER TRAINING: Students at Lee County’s Bonita Springs High learn to be airplane pilots, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Students at Leon County’s Godby Technical receive job training and industry certifications to help them beyond high school, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Manatee County School Board members will decide whether to remove the “interim” from superintendent Cynthia Saunders’ title, once a certainty but now a question after allegations arise that Saunders improperly inflated district graduation rates, the Herald-Tribune reports.

LABOR NEWS: The outlook is not bright for upcoming teacher contract negotiations in Sarasota County, the Herald-Tribune reports.