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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.
Published Feb. 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.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The Pasco County school district is considering adopting a policy for student medical marijuana use on district property. [Getty Images]
    The rule will not change the district’s current approach to the touchy topic.
  2. Shown in 2002, Carolyn Hill, then the principal of Kenly Elementary School in east Tampa, celebrated after 78 of her students improved their state scores and were treated to lunch at The Colonnade Restaurant. Hill, now deceased, might be honored Tuesday as the Hillsborough County School Board considers naming a school for her in the SouthShore area. STAFF  |  Tampa Bay Times
    School Board members will select a name on Tuesday
  3. Alachua County school superintendent Karen Clarke welcomes the crowd at a "listening session" Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 to discuss changes in the Florida's education standards. A similar session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Jefferson High, 4401 W Cypress St. in Tampa. The Florida Channel
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. The Pinellas School Board recognized James Krull as the district's bus Driver of the Year at its meeting Tuesday. From left are board members Bill Dudley, Eileen Long, Carol Cook, Rene Flowers, Krull, and board members Nicole Carr, Joanne Lentino and Lisa Cane. Pinellas County Schools
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  5. In this image from a telecast by The Florida Channel, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks to a Gainesville crowd that came to discuss revisions to the state's education standards this past week. “We’re going to end up with the world’s best standards,” Corcoran said. The Florida Channel
    The effort, ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis, aims to transform the way students learn in public schools. A “listening session” is set for Tampa’s Jefferson High.
  6. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times  Florida Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr., R- Hialeah; Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, watch the passage of the school voucher bill Tuesday in the Florida House.
    The new program, designed to eliminate waiting lists for tax credit scholarships, is likely to be challenged in court.
  7. A research group has raised concerns that Florida's plan to track student social media usage and collect other data will compromise children's privacy.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. Sigfredo Garcia rubs his eyes as he prepares to hear the closing arguments on Thursday in his trial on charges he killed Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel in 2014. The case went to the jury later in the day, and they will resume deliberations Friday. Tallahassee Democrat
    Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel was killed in 2014. Prosecutors blame his ex-wife, but only the hitman and his girlfriend stand trial.
  9. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Veteran teachers aren’t included. The governor can’t set teacher salaries. And a host of other concerns.
  10. Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is scheduled to lead a listening session on the state's education standards review. CHRIS URSO  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Watch the discussion on the Florida Channel.
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