1. Gradebook

Florida education news: Superintendent search, banned books, corporal punishment and more

A roundup of education news from around the state.
Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins talks at One Buc Place in August 2018. He will retire when his contract ends a year from now. But the school board must start searching for his replacement. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Jun. 21

PODCAST: Step Up for Students president Doug Tuthill talks vouchers with Tampa Bay Timesreporter Jeff Solochek.

CLEARED: State ethics investigators clear Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes, the Tampa Bay Timesreports.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Hillsborough County School Board decides to enlist a search firm to find superintendent Jeff Eakins’ replacement, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

STRUGGLING SCHOOL: A look from WUFT inside a young teacher’s classroom at Oakcrest Elementary, a Marion County school threatened with shutdown after six years of failing test scores.

TAXES: A community poll shows about 75 percent of Duval County voters support a half-cent sales tax to benefit schools, the Times-Unionreports. More from News4Jax.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT:Nineteen of Florida’s 67 school districts used corporal punishment in 2017/18, the Florida Phoenixreports. The practice continues despite some lawmakers’ push to end it.

NEW NAME:Florida International University renames think tank after billionaire real estate developer Jorge Pérez after he gave the school $1 million, the Miami Heraldreports.

SCHOOL SAFETY: Collier County commissioners agree to fund school security officers for another year, the Naples Daily News reports.

PARENT QUESTIONS: Weeks after a Polk County private school closed when its headmaster was arrested, parents are unable to get students’ records, the Ledger reports.

BOOK BAN: A committee for Marion County public schools has deemed nine books inappropriate for middle school students, but all will remain in high school libraries, the the Star-Banner reports.

BAD ACTS: A teacher in Lake County faces firing after officials say she sprayed water at a nonverbal autistic student in her classroom, the Daily Commercial reports.

MONEY MOVES: The Martin County School Board made another payment on a former newspaper building set to become the district’s training site and public meeting location, TC Palmreports.

RAISES: Charlotte County schools superintendent scored a $13,000 raise this week despite mixed reviews from the community, the Port Charlotte Sunreports.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES: Charlotte County schools officials pick seven legislative priorities for 2020, including mental health, technical education and addressing the teacher shortage, the Port Charlotte Sunreports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
    The board’s 2019-20 budget totals $1.39 billion.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace has 183 more students this school year than last. Middle schools grew in enrollment this year, while elementary schools lost more than 1,200 students.  [Times | 2013]
    The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.
  10. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    Gov. Ron DeSantis also had set a priority of getting more youngsters ready for kindergarten.