1. Gradebook

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


  1. A view of the student center at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where opposition is mounting over a plan to consolidate USF's three campuses. Some state lawmakers are opposed to parts of it that would concentrate authority over academic decisions in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES  |
    They say the proposal by USF president Steve Currall conflicts with a new Florida law by giving too much authority to the Tampa campus.
  2. Wreckage left behind by Hurricane Michael. News Service of Florida
    Entire school systems are still recovering from long-standing damage and dealing with the disruptive aftermath of the storm.
  3. The National Merit Scholarship program has announced the names of semifinalists for scholarships to be offered in the spring.
    These students are among the top 1 percent of high school seniors in the nation.
  4. Florida schools increasingly are monitoring students' social media for potential threats.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. Sally Harris said she has more to accomplish and is mounting a return campaign for the Hillsborough County School Board. [Times | 2014]
    Three people have filed so far for the seat now held by Lynn Gray.
  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
    If approved, a new policy would take effect in early October.
  7. The Hillsborough County School Board holds a workshop in June 2019. Tampa Bay Times
    The chairwoman looks for ways to keep comments private, while the board asks for more input on key issues like its superintendent search.
  8. Hillsborough County school officer Obed Gerenastands in front of Cahoon Elementary School in Tampa in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. Hernando County Sheriff's deputy Cory Zarcone talks to students during breakfast time in the cafeteria of Brooksville Elementary School in 2018. [Times (2018)]
    Five were arrested last week in a gun-theft incident on school grounds. Schools were locked down twice the week before. School board members want “zero tolerance.”
  10. Saint Leo University hosted a Bahamian comfort food dinner Tuesday night. Nearly 150 of the more than 2,200 students on the Pasco County campus are from the Bahamas. MALIEK WATKINS, THE LIONS’ PRIDE MEDIA GROUP  |  Saint Leo University
    Shaken by the devastation and toll of Hurricane Dorian, the Pasco County university’s students shared traditional dishes from home.