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Florida education news: Constitutional amendments, teacher contracts, student testing and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
SCOTT KEELER | Times Rep. Jamie Grant, R- Tampa, 3/8/17 FOR FILE
Published Apr. 19

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: The Florida House takes steps toward making it harder for Florida residents to amend the state constitution. Voters used initiatives for some prominent education programs, including class size reduction and voluntary prekindergarten.

TEACHER CONTRACTS: The Pasco County school district releases details about the final agreements it reached with teacher representatives to conclude their lengthy contract negotiations.

TESTING: The St. Johns County school district cancels local final exams because of ‘significant issues’ with the computer administration of the tests, WOKV reports. More from the St. Augustine Record.

MAKING IT: A Pinellas County teen overcomes life obstacles, including living in a drug house and moving into foster care, to become his class valedictorian, WFTS reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A KIPP ‘Hope’ school is targeted to open in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, where one of Florida’s first charter schools once operated, WLRN reports. • KIPP and IDEA, both of which have expansion plans in Florida, win federal grants to help their efforts, Chalkbeat reports.

HIGHER ED SPENDING: The Florida Senate moves closer to the more aggressive House position on changing the rules for state college and university spending, News Service of Florida reports.

VOUCHERS: A Florida Senate committee moves its school voucher expansion program more closely in line with the House version, Florida Phoenix reports.

UNDER INVESTIGATION: A former Leon County principal comes under state investigation relating to an improper relationship with a teacher on staff, Tallahassee Reports reports.

CODE OF CONDUCT: The Charlotte County school district considers adding sexual orientation and transgender status to its anti-discrimination rules, and also including ROTC programs in its weapons ban, the Charlotte Sun reports.

SPELLING WOES: Workers misspell the word ‘school’ in a school zone outside a Miami-Dade County school, WPLG reports.

DISSOLVED: A Martin County private school plagued by scandal and investigations shuts down its corporation, TC Palm reports.

FOR SALE: A recently shuttered Volusia County elementary school could become the town hall for its local community, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

MOLD PREVENTION: The Marion County school district will not turn off air conditioning in unused schools over the summer, to protect against mold infestations, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

NO GROWTH: The Marion County School Board agrees to maintain an impact fee waiver for the ninth straight year, citing flat enrollment and birth rates, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

IN COURT: A former Leon County student wins nearly $100,000 after suing the district over injuries received during a high school pep rally, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

SUPERINTENDENT SUSPENSION: Gov. Ron DeSantis urges the state Senate to act quickly in deciding the fate of suspended Okaloosa County superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

THREATS: Two Highland County teens are arrested on accusations of making a hit list of fellow students at their school, WFLA reports. • A Palm Beach County school is evacuated because of a bomb threat, which was found to be false, WPTV reports.

TODAY: It’s Good Friday. Many schools are closed, and the Legislature is not in session.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    University of Florida student body president Michael Murphy received a resolution for his impeachment Tuesday. Then the state’s Republican Party started an online petition and fundraiser.
  2. Henry "Shake" Washington is running for Hillsborough County School Board for the second time since 2018.
  3. 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
    Officials from both sides say a deal could emerge as early as next week.
  4. A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. Olivia Pruna, a student at Nina Harris Exceptional Student Education Center, practices with the school's drum line last year. The Pinellas County school district is asking parents and others for suggestions on ways to improve exceptional student education in the county. DOUGLAS CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  6. Student activists with the March For Our Lives group, founded after the Feb. 2018 Parkland shooting, hold a banner that promotes their new "peace plan" to prevent gun violence, while demonstrating in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Tallahassee. Emily L. Mahoney | Times
    The 18-year-old student director of March for Our Lives Florida said school shootings are so common they are “not shocking” anymore.
  7. Steven Currall prepares to deliver an address during his investiture as the University of South Florida's seventh president Thursday at the Yuengling Center in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Though he started the job in July, Steve Currall is officially installed as president on his 137th day in office.
  8. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. He revealed a related teacher bonus plan on Nov. 14 in Vero Beach. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new plan would replace the controversial Best and Brightest model that DeSantis had called confusing.
  9. Cotee River Elementary student Darrell Jones waves his American flag during the school's Veterans Day program.
    The School Board is scheduled to vote on the calendar next week.
  10. Pasco eSchool principal JoAnne Glenn is surprised by school district officials who announced she is their 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    A discussion with Pasco County Principal of the Year JoAnne Glenn.
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