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Florida education news: State budget vetoes, vaping and the rush to hire teachers

A roundup of headlines from around the state.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, signed the state's $91.1 billions budget Friday. Some eduction projects hit the chopping block. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Published Jun. 24

BUDGET: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $91.1 billion budget Friday, vetoing a number of school projects. That included both of the major appropriations proposed for Hernando County schools, totaling $2 million, the Tampa Bay Timesreports. The University of South Florida lost out, too, according to the Times. DeSantis also cut $100,000 for upgrades Lake-Sumter State College, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

LUNCH: For the second year since Hurricane Michael, Bay County schools are receiving federal funding to provide free lunch to most students, the News Herald reports.

TURNAROUND: Fourteen of Bay County’s most-struggling schools will share $5 million and submit plans to the state to improve student performance, The Ledger reports.

EXAMS: Volusia County school leaders reconsider scoring methods for end-of-course exams, the News-Journal reports.

BAD LOOK: Palm Beach County School Board members raise concerns about poor upkeep on a school campus, the Palm Beach Post reports.

VAPING: Collier County school officials are calling vaping an “epidemic” as tobacco- and drug-related incidents are on the rise, the Naples Daily News reports.

MEMORIAL: Hundreds gathered Saturday to celebrate the life of Kameela Russell, a well-known testing proctor for a Miami-Dade high school who was murdered recently, the Miami Herald reports.

TAXES: Maintenance problems are everywhere inside Duval County schools, and a sales tax is on the table to address them, the Times-Union reports.

RAISES: Answers on teacher raises are expected this morning at the Brevard County School Board meeting, Florida Today reports.

HISTORIC BUILDING: The former Escambia County School District headquarters in Pensacola could be saved by a developer with plans for apartments, the News Journal reports.

CONSTRUCTION: St. John’s County is set to spend about $7 million on a 68-acre plot of land to build a new new high school, the St. Augustine Record reports.

HIRING: The clock is ticking as the school district in St. John’s County rushes to fill 84 teacher vacancies before the start of school, the St. Augustine Record reports.

SUMMER: Early education program Soar in 4 has expanded to two more Manatee County elementary schools to help kids meet third-grade reading goals, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ICYMI: Friday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Sen. Travis Hutson presents his Job Growth Grant Fund legislation to the Senate Education Committee on Nov. 12, 2019. The Florida Channel
    The original version would have targeted charter schools only.
  2. A flag supporting President Donald Trump flutters near the University of Florida's Century Tower before an Oct. 10 appearance on campus by Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle. A controversy over the political nature of the event has led to calls for the impeachment of Student Body President Michael C. Murphy, who helped set it up. Courtesy of Chris Day
    A push to oust Student Body President Michael Murphy comes after an email surfaces, suggesting he worked with the Trump campaign to bring a political speech to campus.
  3. Odessa Elementary School in Pasco County has grown to 1,126 students in fall 2020. Pasco County school district
    At 1,126 students, Odessa is larger than 10 of the district’s 16 middle schools, too.
  4. Construction workers have prepared the skeleton for what will become the music and art wing of Cypress Creek Middle School in Pasco County. Some Wesley Chapel parents are fighting the rezoning plan that would reassign their children to the school.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. The Pasco County School Board meets in August 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK
    Having won a concession relating to rising juniors, some Wesley Chapel families seek more changes to a proposed reassignment plan.
  6. A school bus travels the early morning streets. One Marion County elementary school will change its start time because some parents say they can't get their kids to school before the first bell.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. Tony Hart wanted to volunteer at his children's school but was stopped by a criminal background screening. Before that, he said he was making a positive impact at Adams Middle School in Tampa. MARLENE SOKOL  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The school district never considered Tony Hart a volunteer. But he was heavily involved, earning praise from the principal.
  8. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. Students from Curlew Creek Elementary in Palm Harbor attend the school's Veterans Day program in 2016. The Pinellas County school system remains open for the holiday. DOUGLAS CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Some campuses in the Tampa Bay area have no classes on the national holiday to honor U.S. military veterans, while others stay open.
  10. Pasco County's 2020 teacher of the year finalists are Jennifer Dixon, Joel Santos Gonzalez and Patty Hanley. Pasco County school district
    The winner will find out with a surprise visit later in the school year.
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