1. Gradebook

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. An investiture ceremony is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. inside USF’s Yuengling Center in Tampa. Currall and other USF leaders will speak about the school’s future.
  4. Experts are recommending the flu shot as outbreaks pop up in Hillsborough County schools.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. The Pasco County school district is considering an increase in substitute teacher pay to combat its low fill rate for the jobs.
    District officials say more competitive wages could help fill vacancies, which have been rising.
  6. JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    JoAnne Glenn next will be entered for the statewide honor.
  7. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning briefly blocked a critic from his social media accounts. He has since restored access to the person but says he would rather they have a conversation, “like two grown adults.” [Times (2016)]
    Kurt Browning restored his online nemesis as a Twitter follower and Facebook friend after staffers told him that blocking people was a no-no.
  8. Shawn Tye, left, applies fiberglass to a boat console as Dustin Pirko looks at Marchman Technical Education Center. Hernando’s business development manager says that in creating a technical school an effort would be made not to duplicate Marchman.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. Sen. Travis Hutson presents his Job Growth Grant Fund legislation to the Senate Education Committee on Nov. 12, 2019. The Florida Channel
    The original version would have targeted charter schools only.
  10. A flag supporting President Donald Trump flutters near the University of Florida's Century Tower before an Oct. 10 appearance on campus by Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle. A controversy over the political nature of the event has led to calls for the impeachment of Student Body President Michael C. Murphy, who helped set it up. Courtesy of Chris Day
    A push to oust Student Body President Michael Murphy comes after an email surfaces, suggesting he worked with the Trump campaign to bring a political speech to campus.