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Florida education news: Computer education, superintendent search, salary standoff and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Rachel Howman, foreground, works alongside her classmates in their computer-based biology class at Ridgewood High in 2018. Teacher Stacy Brown conducts the class from Virginia. [JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times]
Published Jun. 18
Updated Jun. 18

COMPUTER EDUCATION: Citing his commitment to jobs and education, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis highlights a $10 million investment into computer science teacher training and retention. It’s believed to be the largest such spending plan by a state. More from Florida Phoenix.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Retired Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart is among the applicants to become interim Volusia County superintendent. The School Board picks her and two others for interviews, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Charlotte County superintendent Steve Dionisio is set to get a raise and a revised contract, the Charlotte Sun reports. • The Broward County School Board will consider a proposal that would allow board members to try to fire their superintendent no more than twice a year, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

TEACHER PAY: Brevard County superintendent Mark Mullins announces a new teacher pay plan after rejecting a proposal from a special magistrate. The teachers union immediately denounces Mullins’ offer, Florida Today reports. • In central Florida, Seminole County teachers near a salary deal including 3 percent raise, while Orange and Lake counties continue to negotiate, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES: A Manatee County charter school has failed to pay into the state pension program, has $15,000 in unpaid water bills and has been running deficits for months, the Herald-Tribune reports. It’s the same school whose principal recently was stripped of his state certification.

DIVERSITY: The Marion County school district makes progress toward its goal of hiring more minority teachers and district-level administrators, but falls short in finding more minority school leaders, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

MUSICAL CHAIRS: Twenty Duval County school principals are recommended for reassignment to different campuses, WJXT reports.

TAX TIMING: Duval County school district and government officials head into the final stretch of their debate over whether and when the district might hold a sales tax referendum, Florida Politics reports. The district has released a school by school list of its proposed projects, the Florida Times-Union reports.

NO PORTABLES ALLOWED: The City of Lake Worth tells a local charter school to get rid of its portable classrooms, which had been allowed temporarily, CBS 12 reports.

FIXING IT: The Palm Beach County school district reduces the number of reported hazardous conditions on campuses as its staff continues to work through its backlog of work orders, the Palm Beach Post reports.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The Charlotte County School Board will consider rules for employee use of medical marijuana, the Charlotte Sun reports.

BAD ACTS: The Florida Commission on Ethics finds the former Levy County director of school transportation abused his position by allegedly sexually harassing a coworker, WCJB reports. Bruce Greenlee, who also was mayor of Bronson at the time, has since resigned both posts, though he denies wrongdoing.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
    Steve Hegarty spent 10 years as Hillsborough schools public information officer before taking the police department post.
  2. Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins, left, looks on while school board chair Tammy Shamburger speaks on newly raised concerns of a undiscovered cemetery for indigent African Americans that may be within the vicinity of King High School in Tampa, Florida on Friday, October 18, 2019.  OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Joanne Glenn, Pasco eSchool principal, addresses the eSchool faculty on opening day of teacher preplanning week in 2018. Pasco eSchool is launching its first online dual-enrollment courses in conjunction with Pasco-Hernando State College in the second semester.  GAIL DIEDERICH | Special to the Times
    Students will have access to two sections of two courses — microapplications and public speaking.
  4. Challenger K-8 School students, from left, Jeremy Gonzalez, 13, Jackson Hoyt, 12, Benjamin Harper, 12, and Gianni Labdar, 12, finish meals consisting of fresh salads, quesadillas and nachos during a lunch service on Oct. 15 at the school in Spring Hill during the county's Fresh from Florida Plate Day event. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Starting a farm-to-school initiative has been more complicated than district officials expected.
  5. The University of South Florida revealed a new plan for the school's consolidation Thursday morning. Unlike the first plan presented in September, it promises a high level of authority to leaders on campuses in St. Petersburg, shown here, and Sarasota. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
    Legislators who were critical of the original plan say a new approach revealed Thursday is more in line with their expectations.
  6. Florida K-12 Chancellor Jacob Oliva presents the state's second draft of academic standards revisions during an Oct. 17, 2017, session at Jefferson High School in Tampa. Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the effort in an executive order to remove the Common Core from Florida schools. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times staff
    ‘Our third draft will look different from our second,’ the chancellor explains.
  7. Meaghan Leto, (center facing street), a speech therapist from Twin Lakes Elementary, protests over pay with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association outside of a School Board meeting.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. 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
    As expected, the union rejected the district’s plan to add work for middle and high school teachers in exchange for more money.
  9. Pinellas County teachers and their allies rallied at major intersections in 2012 to protest legislative proposals. [Jim Damaske, Times]
    Details are still scant, but the House’s tone was one of being fiscally cautious as they evaluate DeSantis’ pitch to raise base teacher pay.
  10. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018) Hernando County School District office, 919 N Broad St., Brooksville
    Hernando County debates the pros and cons of superintendent John Stratton’s recommendation.