Florida education news: Armed teachers, education spending, vaping and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Students and supporters of March For Our Lives, including Rep. Susan Valdes, former Hillsborough County School Board member, participated in a rally opposing HB 7093 on the Old State Capitol steps on April 3, 2019 at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. HB 7093 proposes arming teachers. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
Students and supporters of March For Our Lives, including Rep. Susan Valdes, former Hillsborough County School Board member, participated in a rally opposing HB 7093 on the Old State Capitol steps on April 3, 2019 at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. HB 7093 proposes arming teachers. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Published April 29

ARMED TEACHERS: A growing number of Florida school districts say they will reject a provision in legislation moving through the Florida Legislature that would allow teachers to participate in the state’s armed guardian program. More from WLRN.

BUDGETS: The state House and Senate appropriations chairmen cut a deal on most of the remaining education spending disagreements between the two chambers, the News Service of Florida reports. The plan calls for $248 more per student in overall funding, and $233 million for teacher bonuses. More from Florida Politics.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A prominent charter school lobbyist urges Polk County School Board members to reconsider their recent rejection of a new charter school application, the Ledger reports. • Plans advance for a new charter high school in Okaloosa County, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

TAXES: A House bill that would require school districts to share local property tax revenue with charter schools does not yet have a clear path through the Senate, the News Service of Florida reports.

ACHIEVEMENT GAP: The Alachua County school district prepares to expand the AVID program into more middle and high schools as a way to improve students’ academic skills, the Gainesville Sun reports. Students already in the program say it has helped them.

AFTER MICHAEL: The Bay County school district secures added state financial support for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, but it won’t be enough to avoid laying off about 100 employees, the Panama City News Herald reports. District students and staff continue to feel post-storm stress, the News-Herald reports.

VAPING: Florida schools get on the front line of educating children about the dangers of vaping, which is growing in use, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

EARLY EDUCATION: Florida’s prekindergarten program reaches large numbers of children but its quality is lacking, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TERM LIMITS: St. Johns County School Board members speak out against a proposal to limit board terms, the St. Augustine Record reports.

REPORT CARDS: The Monroe County school district considers moving to paperless report cards, the Keys Weekly reports.

COURT CHALLENGES: School vouchers appear to be the only controversial issue with a likely Supreme Court challenge ahead to make it through the Florida Legislature, despite hopes for a conservative court to make its mark, GateHouse reports.

HIRING: The Volusia County school district considers changes to its hiring procedures as it confronts a shortage of potential applicants, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

LABOR NEWS: The state Public Employee Relations Commission sides with the faculty union at Florida Polytechnic University in citing the institution with unfair labor practices, the Ledger reports.

TODAY: Senate session, 10 a.m. (On special order: SB 464 prepaid college programs. On 2nd reading: SB 1444 do not hire teacher list) • House session, 10:30 p.m. (On third reading: HB 839 higher education, HB 1127 do not hire teacher list, HB 189 dual enrollment. On special order: HB 190 Bright Futures, SB 7070 vouchers. Several key bills remain on second reading.)

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