Florida education news: Teachers with guns, Schools of Hope, top teachers and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Atmospheric Science on Wednesday. 
[Florida Governor's Office]
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Atmospheric Science on Wednesday. [Florida Governor's Office]
Published May 9, 2019

TEACHERS WITH GUNS: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs school security legislation that gained most attention for its provision allowing teachers to carry guns in schools as part of the state’s guardian program, if their school boards agree. Six Republican lawmakers voted against the idea, saying their constituents opposed it. A new survey shows Floridians are divided over the concept of teachers with guns. More from CBS.

CHARTER SCHOOLS OF ‘HOPE’: A program allowing state-approved charter school operators to open in communities where traditional schools are low performing gains traction in Hillsborough County, where the School Board approves four applications.

TOP TEACHERS: Hillsborough County teacher of the year Dakeyan Graham is named one of five finalists for the statewide recognition. So, too, is Sarasota County’s teacher of the year, the Herald-Tribune reports.

LEADERSHIP: Three Hernando County assistant principals are promoted to lead their schools. • Several former superintendents and administrators apply to serve as Indian River County’s interim superintendent, TC Palm reports.

SECURITY: The Brevard County city of West Melbourne considers removing resource officers from schools in favor of less expensive guards, Florida Today reports. • A St. Johns County school adds patrols after a student receives a social media threat targeting the campus, the St. Augustine Record reports.

FIGHTING THE ‘ATTACK’: The Florida Education Association plans a summit to discuss how to combat the Legislature’s public education policies, Florida Politics reports.

CODE OF CONDUCT: The Collier County School Board advances updates to its student code of conduct, including tougher disciplinary action for students using tobacco or related products in schools, the Naples Daily News reports. • Vaping is leading to higher rates of detention and suspension in Martin and Indian River county schools, TC Palm reports.

OVERSIGHT: Manatee County school district leaders disagree over the role of an appointed financial oversight committee, the Bradenton Herald reports.

EARLY EDUCATION: State officials propose small changes to the kindergarten readiness assessment, WPTV reports.

BULLYING: A group of Alachua County students tells the School Board that anti-Semitic bullying is on the rise in their schools, the Gainesville Sun reports.

STUDENT SERVICES: A Polk County charter school reviews the validity of its contract with a therapy services provider, the Ledger reports.

NEW SCHOOLS: The Sarasota County School Board approves a new kindergarten building at one of its historic schools, the Herald-Tribune reports. • A Clay County School Board member proposes putting a new K-8 school in a growing part of the county to ease crowding, Clay Today reports.

WHERE’S THE BUS? Nassau County parents will be able to track their children’s school buses with a new phone app, the Nassau County Record reports.

GUNS IN SCHOOL: A Palm Beach County teen is arrested after schoolmates report he had a pellet gun in his backpack, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BAD ACTS: A Duval County school police lieutenant is arrested in Michigan on accusations of sexual misconduct on a teen, the Florida Times-Union reports.

TODAY: Call it a victory lap if you like. Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to appear at private schools in Jacksonville, St. Petersburg and Miami today to give speeches about his “Bold Vision” for Florida education. He’ll be joined by the House and Senate education committee chairs.