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. 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.