Florida education news: Vouchers, graduation ‘pathways,’ transgender rights and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
[Miami Herald file photo]
[Miami Herald file photo]
Published March 7
Updated March 7

SENATE PRIORITIES: A state Senate committee advances the chamber’s education priority legislation, which includes voucher expansion and changes to the Best and Brightest teacher bonus program. Some members disagree on how to fund the proposals. More from Florida Politics, WFTS. • The Best and Brightest awards from 2017-18 are announced as lawmakers consider revamping the model, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

PATHWAYS: A state Senate subcommittee quickly moves ahead with a bill that would allow high school students to substitute some graduation requirements, with a focus on career industry certifications.

BRIGHT FUTURES: Students could find it more difficult to earn a Bright Futures scholarship as lawmakers push a measure to increase the requirements.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS: The Pasco County School Board refuses to buckle to demands it restrict restroom and locker room use to a person’s born gender.

CASE CLOSED: The Polk County student who was arrested after causing a disturbance related to his refusal to stand for the Pledge, will not face any charges, the Ledger reports.

DEMOCRATS’ ALTERNATIVE PLAN: Florida Democrats unveil their “New Sunshine Deal,” including a call for higher teacher salaries, GateHouse reports. More from Florida Phoenix.

SECURITY: The Clay County sheriff makes a proposal to keep deputies in all county schools, Clay Today reports. • St. Johns County school district officials say they are confident they’ve been implementing state security mandates properly, but it hasn’t been easy, the St. Augustine Record reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Sarasota County School Board temporarily delays a charter school’s expansion into high school grades, the Herald-Tribune reports.

HELPING HANDS: A Flagler County elementary school gets 20 donated sewing machines to keep its sewing club alive, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • The St. Joe Community Foundation donates Chromebooks and wifi hotspots to Bay County high schools, which have struggled with consistent internet access since Hurricane Michael, the Panama City News Herald reports. • Verizon donates $100,000 to Gulf County schools to support employees and students still suffering the effects of the hurricane, the Port St. Joe Star reports.

EDUCATOR DISCIPLINE: A Palm Beach County principal is barred from leading a school for two years, after asking his staff to complete his son’s homework assignments, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BAD ACTS: A Collier County teacher is fired after his arrest on multiple charges of molestation of a minor child, the Naples Daily News reports. • The band director of a Broward County high school is arrested on accusations of sexual assault against a minor in his care, the Miami Herald reports.

TODAY: House Higher Education Appropriations, 9 a.m. • House PreK-12 Quality, 9 a.m. (On the agenda, HB 195, Study of the Bible and Religion; HB 807, Civic Education; Committee Bill 19-02, Teacher Preparation)

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup