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Florida education news: Tax sharing, college scholarships, teacher bonuses and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.

SINE DIE: The conservatives running Florida’s Legislature ran a playbook of vouchers, charter schools and more in 2019, knowing their conservative governor had their back and the new-look Supreme Court likely will uphold their actions. More from Florida Phoenix, Florida Politics.

TAX SHARING: One of the final decisions in the Legislature hinged on taxes, and whether school districts should share local-option property tax revenue with charter schools. In the end, lawmakers said yes, but only to future referenda.

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS: The Legislature also agreed to increase the scores needed to be eligible for a Bright Futures scholarship. The move would likely make it harder for minority students to qualify.

TEACHER BONUSES: Lawmakers listened to teachers who complained about using their ACT and SAT scores as a criterion for awarding bonus pay. But the new rules they adopted might be even worse, teachers say.

‘MYTH’ BUSTERS: Amid strong legislative victories for their initiatives, Florida school choice advocates launch a full-court press to attack the ‘myths’ they say opponents level against their issues.

BUDGETS: The proposed increases to Florida’s education budget could be misleading and confusing, as lawmakers changed components of the formula, Florida Phoenix reports. More from the St. Augustine Record.

UNHAPPY TEACHERS: A Lake County teacher announces he’s quitting the ‘toxic’ profession, Yahoo Lifestyles reports.

TEACHERS WITH GUNS: Some Florida teachers say allowing educators to carry guns in schools is the ‘most dangerous decision ever,’ the Guardian reports. The Lake County school district says it will not have armed teachers, the Daily Commercial reports. Volusia and Flagler counties follow suit, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

TURNAROUNDS: The Hillsborough County school district prepares to expand the role of an outside operator hired to help improve low-performing schools.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Orange County School Board approves a new charter school despite board members’ misgivings about how the state is changing charter laws, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BOARD POLITICS: Lee County School Board members disagree on several issues as they debate the future of superintendent Greg Adkins, the Pine Island Eagle reports.

CAREER EDUCATION: An aviation program at Collier County’s Immokalee High School provides new opportunities for students, the Naples Daily News reports.

VAPING: Growing numbers of Manatee County students are vaping, the Bradenton Herald reports.

SICK SCHOOLS? Experts say parents shouldn’t get too concerned about an Indian River County school’s announcement that their children might have been exposed to MRSA, TC Palm reports.

MENTAL HEALTH: Volusia County schools offer more mental heath services since the Parkland school massacre, but few students avail themselves of the options, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

IN CUSTODY: Polk County schools see an increase in students taken into custody since Parkland, the Ledger reports.

HEALTHY EATING: A food bank visits central Florida schools to encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TESTING: The St. Johns County school district seeks solutions to its testing troubles after its system failed and final exams were canceled, the St. Augustine Record reports.

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