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Florida education news: Vouchers, school security, teacher pay and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
EVE EDELHEIT | Times Maggie Lipke, 10, works on classroom work at Brighton Preparatory School in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Published Mar. 14

VOUCHERS: The Florida House unveils its version of a proposal to create a new private school voucher program for Florida students. It’s more ambitious and expansive than the Senate version. The House Education Committee will take up the measure when it meets at noon. More from Orlando Sentinel.

SECURITY: A Hernando County charter school faces immediate closure if it does not make arrangements to have a full-time armed officer or guard on its campus by the end of the week. • Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri again urges superintendents statewide to adopt a guardian program, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The Marion County School Board will push aggressively to have at least two guards on each school campus by the fall, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. • The Palm Beach County School Board, which is using FHP officers to help secure schools, will appeal an administrative judge’s ruling that it must “assign” guards to charter schools, the Sun-Sentinel reports. More from the Palm Beach Post.

TEACHER PAY: Florida’s national ranking in average teacher pay drops from 45 to 46. • The Lake County school district considers offering financial incentives to keep teachers at its neediest schools, the Daily Commercial reports. • Brevard County teachers reduce their raise request during renewed negotiations, Florida Today reports.

GOING IB: Hillsborough County’s Greco Middle School begins the process to become an International Baccalaureate school. Nearly three quarters of the students zoned for the campus attend magnet schools elsewhere.

INVESTIGATION NOT CLOSED: A Lee County School Board member might have violated state law by releasing information from an employee investigation before it was completed, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

ADMISSION SCANDAL: IMG Academy suspends the official who was involved with a college entry test cheating scandal, adding it had no information showing Mark Riddell’s actions affected any current students. More from Florida Phoenix.

CAMPUS SUICIDE: A Seminole County high school student shoots herself in a remote part of the school campus, WBBH reports.

FREE SPEECH? A legislative proposal that Florida universities survey students to determine their personal views and whether they believe they are being indoctrinated draws a heated debate, Florida Politics reports.

TROUBLED PRIVATE SCHOOL: A Martin County private school that has faced increasing scrutiny over its activities could lose access to state McKay and Tax Credit scholarships, TC Palm reports.

SOFTWARE STRUGGLES: The Manatee County school district has continuing troubles implementing its new computer system, the Bradenton Herald reports.

OVERSIGHT: The Charlotte County School Board wants to be able to remove members of its tax referendum oversight committee at any time, the Charlotte Sun reports.

DRESS CODE: Volusia County high school principals call for a relaxation of the district’s uniform policy, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: A call emerges for an appointed superintendent in Okaloosa County, following the suspension of its elected superintendent, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

SCHOOL THREATS: Two Brevard County teens are arrested on accusations of threatening to shoot up their middle school, Florida Today reports. • A Leon County teen is arrested on allegations of making a threat of violence against a high school, which prompted about 700 students to stay home, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

TODAY: House Education, 12 p.m.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Chanell Newell, a reading teacher at Woodson K-8 School, is a finalist for Hillsborough Teacher of the Year. HCPS  |  HCPS
    The winners will be announced on Jan. 23.
  2. A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  4. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  5. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  6. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  9. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
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