Florida education news: School books, charter schools, taxes and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
A Clockwork Orange, The Bluest Eye and The Awakening are three of several books conservative groups have tried to get removed from Florida public schools as containing pornographic material. State lawmakers have proposed legislation aimed at forcing school districts to bend to the complaints.
A Clockwork Orange, The Bluest Eye and The Awakening are three of several books conservative groups have tried to get removed from Florida public schools as containing pornographic material. State lawmakers have proposed legislation aimed at forcing school districts to bend to the complaints.
Published March 18

BOOK CHALLENGES: The conservative Florida Citizens Alliance continues its drive to have books removed from public schools, by pursuing legislation that would make it still easier to challenge materials without district involvement. The group has promoted such legislation for at least four years, saying some materials violate state obscenity and related laws.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Hillsborough County charter schools seek a piece of the revenue from the school district’s recently approved sales tax for maintenance and construction projects. • A Hernando County charter school avoids closure by meeting a deadline to hire an armed officer to patrol its campus. • A Pasco County charter school abandons its state challenge of a district plan to shut it down.

LEADERSHIP: The Hillsborough County School Board prepares to make a new round of principal appointments for the district’s most struggling schools. • The Okaloosa County superintendent promotes two educators into top district posts whose previous holders were recently removed, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

TIGHT BUDGETS: The Pasco County school district implements freezes on spending, repair work and hiring as it reexamines its financial situation entering the fourth quarter.

TEACHER PAY: Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran tells a Citrus County group that teachers should be paid on average $75,000 a year, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

GUARDIANS: Florida sheriffs receive little oversight of how they spend money allocated for school guard programs, Florida Today reports. • The Citrus County School Board approves a job description for guardians as it moves closer to creating a program, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

CONSTRUCTION FUNDS: University and college leaders worry about legislative restrictions on money for campus capital projects, Florida Politics reports. • Manatee County school construction projects have come in 84 percent over budget in the past three years, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SAVE OUR SCHOOL: Families and staff seek donations to keep open a Duval County private school specializing in children with disabilities, the Florida Times-Union reports.

SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS: Three students receiving Florida Tax Credit Scholarships remain at a Martin County private school that’s been under scrutiny for its questionable activities, TC Palm reports.

TEACHER CERTIFICATION: Florida school social workers are held to the same state testing requirements as classroom teachers, causing some of them to lose their jobs, WFTS reports.

TERM LIMITS: State Sen. Dennis Baxley stands by his push to limit school board members to two consecutive four-year terms, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: A group considers bringing a community school with social services to Manatee County, the Bradenton Herald reports.

ARTS EDUCATION: A St. Johns County School Board member points to one local high school without a drama program to illustrate the importance of arts in school, the St. Augustine Record reports.

CITY LIMITS: The Lake County School Board outlines criteria it would accept to allow Eustis Middle School to be annexed into the city of Eustis, the Daily Commercial reports.

SCHOOL THREATS: A Manatee County teen admits to writing a threat he claimed to have found in a high school restroom, and now faces charges, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BAD ACTS: A Seminole County elementary school teacher is arrested on allegations she made and distributed child pornography, WKMG reports.

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