Florida education news: Security grand jury, teacher talks, school choice and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
The Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court
Published February 26

GRAND JURY: The Florida Supreme Court grants Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request for a year-long grand jury investigation into whether school districts have properly followed state school safety laws. The grand jury will be based in Broward County, the site of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting that left 17 dead. More from News Service of Florida.

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS: Before heading to formal impasse hearings, Pasco County teacher union and school district representatives will see if a federal mediator can help resolve their contract differences.

SCHOOL CHOICE: Critics blast a new survey on vouchers and school choice in Florida, saying the report is more propaganda than research.

VOICE FROM THE BACKBENCH: Democrat Sen. Janet Cruz of Tampa slams the Republican legislative playbook for education as lawmakers prepare for their 2019 session, Florida Politics reports.

BIG WIN: A group of Manatee County high school students wins the national Formula 1 championship, the Bradenton Herald reports.

POLITICS: The state Democratic Party criticizes Citrus County superintendent Sam Himmel over her reasoning for quitting the party, leaving the county without a Democrat in a partisan office for the first time, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

PRIVATE SCHOOL SCANDAL: A controversial St. Lucie County private school leader retakes control of the school just weeks after resigning, TC Palm reports.

SECURITY: Broward County teachers anxiously await more security measures in their schools, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: The Daytona Tortugas baseball team will help expand programs and opportunities for Volusia County students and staff, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

FACEOFF: Supporters of Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie clash with a group that wants Runcie removed, during a testy town hall meeting on school safety, the Miami Herald reports. More from the Sun-Sentinel.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Alachua County school district leaders struggle with the language of the state’s “Hope” scholarship, saying it leaves them no room to rescind a scholarship for a student whose claim of being bullied is disproven, WUFT reports.

UCF WOES: The interim chief finance officer for the University of Central Florida resigns her post, just days after the departure of the school’s president amid a construction spending investigation, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BUDGET CUTS: The relocation of prekindergarten classes and staff out of a central Pensacola school generates backlash from African-American parents who say their children are being shortchanged by the Escambia County district, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Destin residents want to know why their Okaloosa County community might get a new charter school rather than a district school, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

CLEARED: An Okaloosa County school bus driver will not face charges after dropping off a student with disabilities about a mile from her home, as he was not informed of the student’s disabilities, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

SCHOOL THREATS: A Miami-Dade County teen is arrested on accusations of making a social media threat of violence against a school, WPLG reports. • Two Duval County students are arrested on charges of conspiracy to make or use an explosive device after making a threat against their school, WJAX reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

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