Florida education news: Armed teachers, revenue sharing, student conduct and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Lauderhill [Times | 2017]
Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Lauderhill [Times | 2017]
Published April 12

ARMED TEACHERS: Democrats in the Florida Senate say they have an agreement with Republicans to hold further conversation about removing a portion of school safety legislation that would allow all teachers to carry weapons in school. "You get legislation that is supposed to be ‘landmark legislation’ and it’s on party lines then it doesn’t look like landmark legislation. Then it looks like something half the state wants,” Sen. Perry Thurston said of the measure, which narrowly passed the Senate Appropriations committee. • More on the debate from Associated Press, News Service of Florida. • A survey shows Orange County teachers want police officers, not school employees, to guard schools, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • New information from the Florida Department of Education shows more incidents of teachers bringing guns to school or threatening to do so, Miami New Times reports.

REVENUE SHARING: The House Ways and Means committee advances a bill that would require school districts to share local-option property tax revenue with charter schools. More from Sun-Sentinel.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Pasco County school district staff adjust their proposal to allow students with unexcused absences to make up missed assignments and tests, before sending it to the School Board.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A proposed new Sarasota County charter school will not open because it cannot find a location, the Herald-Tribune reports.

UNDER INVESTIGATION: The Manatee County school district begins marking employee files as “resigned in lieu of termination” if they leave during an investigation into their conduct, the Bradenton Herald reports.

CAREER PLANNING: A Lake County high school creates a partnership with a local credit union as it works toward establishing a finance career academy, the Daily Commercial reports.

SCHOOL NAMES: The Manatee County school district continues to accept nominations for renaming a school that will merge with another, the Bradenton Herald reports.

ANTI-SEMITISM: The Florida House passes legislation requiring schools and universities to treat anti-Semitism as racial discrimination, the Associated Press reports.

FREE SPEECH: An Ocala rapper faces charges of threatening violence at the University of Florida because of lines in a rap song, raising questions over whether his lyrics are protected free speech, the Miami Herald reports.

DRINKING WATER: A new report gives Florida school districts a failing grade in their efforts to remove lead from the water supply, the Florida Phoenix reports.

TAX MONEY: The Lee County school district announces it received $6.3 million in the first month its new sales tax was in effect, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

CROWDING: About 200 Santa Rosa County students are rezoned into different schools as the district aims to ease crowding, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

HURRICANE AFTERMATH: Bay County superintendent Bill Husfelt says he might have to lay off hundreds of employees if the Legislature does not provide millions of dollars in hurricane relief funding, the Panama City News Herald reports.

TEACHER PROTEST: Barred by law from striking, teachers in St. Johns County and other districts are planning a “walk-in” to protest the state’s education funding priorities, the St. Augustine Record reports.

PUBLIC INPUT: Brevard County superintendent Mark Mullins plans a listening tour to hear what residents think about the school system, Florida Today reports.

BAD ACTS: A Miami-Dade County teen is arrested after trying to perform a wrestling move on his principal, the Miami Herald reports. • Five students at a Duval County high school are arrested after a violent fight that sent one person to the hospital, the Florida Times-Union reports.

TODAY: Take a breather.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup