Florida education news: 'Holocaust’ principal is ousted, vouchers and discrimination, diversity and more

A roundup of stories from around the state
An analysis by the Florida Phoenix shows that Florida's predominantly white teaching force does not match the diversity of students in public schools. In this image, first-grade students at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg walked to their new classroom in March after an upgrade at the school. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
An analysis by the Florida Phoenix shows that Florida's predominantly white teaching force does not match the diversity of students in public schools. In this image, first-grade students at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg walked to their new classroom in March after an upgrade at the school. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published July 9

PRINCIPAL OUSTED: After fierce reaction to a Palm Beach Post report last week, Palm Beach County school officials have removed the high school principal who refused to state during an email exchange with a parent that the Holocaust was a historical fact. The story received international attention and prompted an online petition pushing for the removal.

HAVING DOUBTS: Responding to questions from the Tampa Bay Times, a few Tampa Bay area companies that donate to the state’s tax credit scholarship program said they were concerned the money goes to some schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students, columnist William March writes.

DIVERSITY CHECK: Florida’s teaching force, which is nearly 70 percent white, does not match the diversity of the students in public schools, a Florida Phoenix analysis finds.

CHOICE WORDS: Florida has more school choices than any other state and is making progress in education without hurting traditional public schools, Patrick Gibbons, public affairs manager for Step Up for Students argues in a guest column in the Tallahassee Democrat.

ENROLLMENT TREND: An annual report from the Florida Department of Education shows a continuing increase in the number of private schools and private school students in the state, according to redefinED.

MORE ROBOTICS: A new inter-school robotics team in Groveland invites participation from teen students from local public schools, homeschooling and private schools, the second such program in Lake County, the Daily Commercial reports.

ALMOST THERE: Fundraising is almost complete for a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, the educator and philanthropist who launched Bethune-Cookman University, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. The sculpture is to be placed in the U.S. Capitol.

KUDOS: A local initiative that aims to boost the percentage of children reading on grade level by the end of third grade -- the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading -- is recognized by a national group, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

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