1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Reading, recordings, raises and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
OCTAVIO JONES | Times Rafael Mercado, 16, right, helps second-grader Luis Longoria, 7, with his reading at Bailey Elementary School in Dover, Florida on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. IB students from Strawberry High School spend the first hour of every Tuesday morning tutoring struggling readers from Bailey Elementary School.
Published Apr. 23

READING LESSONS: Students at Hillsborough County’s Strawberry Crest High School spend Tuesday mornings at neighboring Bailey Elementary helping second graders learn to read.

MEETING VIDEOS: Pasco County school district officials draft proposed policy to guide the School Board as it prepares to video record and stream its meetings for the first time.

TEACHER DISCIPLINE: A Hernando County kindergarten teacher recorded yelling at students is told to mind her tone of voice in class, amid calls for her removal. • A Sarasota County middle school teacher faces dismissal amid allegations he slammed a student into a wall and then lied about the incident, the Herald-Tribune reports.

VOUCHERS: Florida again takes the lead nationally in pushing to expand school vouchers, Education Week reports.

RAISES: Representatives from the Brevard County school district and teachers union make their cases before a special magistrate in an attempt to overcome differences in negotiations, Florida Today reports.

SUE YOU: Superior Schools Corp. sues Plato Academies after the Pinellas County charter school group terminated the management company’s contract, Florida Politics reports. • The owner of a shuttered St. Lucie County private school is sued for $2 million in unpaid rent, TC Palm reports.

NEW SCHOOLS: A long awaited Destin high school wins charter approval from the Okaloosa County School Board, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

SUSPENDED SUPERINTENDENT: After a legal battle over the governor’s authority, the proposed removal of suspended Okaloosa superintendent Mary Beth Jackson heads to the state Senate for a hearing, the News Service of Florida reports.

HEALTHY KIDS: Students at a Volusia County elementary school will be the first to test out the district’s new project allowing them to chat remotely with a doctor if they’re not feeling well, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

CHARTER CHANGES: A Marion County charter school changes its name more than three years after breaking away from its partner school, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. • The McKeel charter school system in Polk County shuffles administrators, the Ledger reports. • Three new charter schools have applied to open in Lee County, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

TODAY: Senate session, 10 a.m. (On third reading: SB 7070 school security) • House session, 12:30 p.m. • Senate Special Master Prehearing Conference on Suspension of Okaloosa County Schools Superintendent, 1 p.m.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
  2. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    School security and early learning get top billing in the first committee meetings of the looming 2020 session.
  3. This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
    The proposal is short on details, with officials saying they want to work through specifics during negotiations.
  5. Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia holds a back-to-school press conference at Rampello K-8 School, [TIMES files]
    MaryEllen Elia, who led the Hillsborough district from 2005 to 2015, has been an educator since 1970.
  6. Jeff Eakins and MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough's last two superintendents, were hired from inside the school system. So have all others since 1967. [TIMES FILES] Times staff
    Two more public meetings are planned, and the online survey is up until Saturday.
  7. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
    The board’s 2019-20 budget totals $1.39 billion.
  8. The DeLucio family of Trinity toured the Mitchell High School campus and showed the visit on their YouTube channel, which has more than 1 million subscribers. Many parents, students and school officials were not amused. YouTube
    The proposed policy comes up for a vote on Oct. 1.
  9. United School Employees of Pasco president Don Peace denounces the school district's pay raise proposal in a YouTube video sent to all district employees Sept. 9, 2019. United School Employees of Pasco
    The local teachers union already has denounced the idea.
  10. Goodwill's BookWorks preschool literacy program strives to instill a love of reading and helps provide children books.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.