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Florida education news: USF consolidation, school tax proposals and more fallout from vetoes

A roundup of news from around the state.
CHRIS URSO | Times University of South Florida St. Petersburg student Ben Rothering walks on campus Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law allowing the school to become a "branch" campus that retains autonomy over budgets, hiring and curriculum when the USF system consolidates in 2020.
Published Jun. 26

CONSOLIDATION: The best the University of South Florida St. Petersburg can hope for under consolidation — to retain autonomy over budgets, curriculum and hiring — was signed into law Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

VETO: More medical schools were established at other state funded universities recently, so Gov. Ron DeSantis cut $1.7 million in funding toward the one at the University of South Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Another veto leaves Flagler College in St. John’s County about $1 million short in its efforts to improve and protect the Hotel Ponce de Leon, which suffered damage in recent hurricanes, the St. Augustine Record reports.

BANNED BOOKS: St. Lucie County schools continued using books that were found by administrators to have racial and ethnic biases, the TC Palm reports.

FAKE TESTS: In two weeks, Volusia County school officials will release the findings of an investigation into why 336 fake Advanced Placement exams were given to students, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

READING: A literacy tutor in Palm Beach County uses positive affirmations to teach girls to read, the Palm Beach Post reports.

TEACHER PAY: Like his opponent in the race for governor, Gov. Ron DeSantis is looking to pay new teachers more, the Florida Phoenix reports. The Orange County School Board on Tuesday approved a salary package that many teachers oppose, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

SCHOOL TAX: Support for a Duval County school tax fell short Tuesday, with only four of 19 Jacksonville City Council members agreeing to go through with a referendum, the Times-Union reports. More from News4Jax. Clay County school officials are considering a sales tax, too, to fix aging schools and build news ones, News4Jax reports.

BAD ACTS: A private school teacher in Fort Myers will spend 30 months in prison and be required to register has a sex offender after pleading no contest to having sex with a student, the News-Press reports. A Lake County public school teacher was fired Monday for allegedly spraying an autistic student with a water bottle to make him follow instructions, the Daily Commercial reports.

ICYMI: Tuesday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Mittye P. Locke Elementary School in New Port Richey was recommended for closure by the Pasco school district administration. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  2. Pasco County School Board member Alison Crumbley wants her colleagues to take a closer look at making improvements to west-Pasco schools.
    The board plans a workshop before the end of the year.
  3. Hudson High School principal David LaRoche plans to seek election as Pasco County schools superintendent. Courtesy of David LaRoche
    ‘I feel like I have to do this,’ says Dave LaRoche, a 30-year district educator.
  4. Scott Purcell, a senior geophysicist with GeoView, left, and Mike Wightman, president of GeoView use ground penetrating radar technology to scan a portion of King High campus in search for Ridgewood Cemetery in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.  OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. The Florida Supreme Court building in Tallahassee. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    Department of Education attorneys say the lower courts ruled properly in tossing the case.
  6. Pasco County School Buses. Times (2018)
    The School Board also approved a student calendar for 2020-21, with Aug. 10 as the first day of classes.
  7. Enterprise Village in Largo is celebrating 30 years this month. The facility, which provides hands-on education about economics, has served generations of children across the Tampa Bay area. In this photo from Nov. 7, fifth-graders from Safety Harbor Elementary School begin their day at the village. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    More than 400,000 kids in the Tampa Bay region have gone through the program, which offers a hands-on look at the free enterprise system.
  8. Florida dropped one spot to 45th on the National Education Association's annual list of average teacher salaries. [National Education Association]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)
Hernando County School District Headquarters, Brooksville
    The district has also promised to look for ways to bring insurance costs down for 2021 and beyond.
  10. First page of school data report Times staff
    Find your school in these reports.
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