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Florida education news: Palm Beach will fire principal in Holocaust controversy, Bethune statue gets closer, lawyers settle FIU bridge cases

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Among the stories in today's education roundup: Six companies have agreed to settle victim lawsuits over last year's pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University in Miami. [Associated Press]
Published Jul. 11

FIRING THE PRINCIPAL: Palm Beach County school superintendent Donald Fennoy says he will move to fire the former Spanish River High principal who has generated a torrent of criticism in recent days over his comments about the Holocaust, the Palm Beach Post reports. “I have lost confidence in his leadership,” the superintendent said.

CHARTER WOES: The Manatee County School District puts the pressure on Lincoln Memorial Academy with six notices in the past week that call attention to the charter school’s financial and leadership problems, the Bradenton Herald reports.

BETHUNE STATUE: Gov. Ron DeSantis has formally asked that the statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune replace the likeness of a Confederate general as a representative of Florida in the U.S. Capitol, according to reports from News Service of Florida and Florida Phoenix. ... Also on Wednesday, a local company, Brown & Brown Inc., donated $25,000 to the statue campaign, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

FIU BRIDGE SETTLEMENT: Six companies have agreed to settle lawsuits over the Florida International University pedestrian bridge that collapsed in 2018, killing six people and injuring eight, the Miami Herald reports.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints Nicole Washington to the Miami Dade College board of trustees after previously rescinding her appointment right after he took office, Florida Phoenix reports.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Forty-one percent of K-12 students attending Florida private schools used a state-sponsored scholarship for tuition, but the number of students who attend without that aid is growing. That’s one of the takeaways from a detailed analysis of private school enrollment by redefinED.

DUVAL TAX PUSH: The Florida Times-Union outlines which local groups support a proposed half-cent sales tax for Duval County schools and which ones do not. A recent poll showed 75 percent support for the tax among registered voters.

SCHOOL SAFETY: In Citrus County, questions over an agreement about armed school employees have delayed the signing of two student-safety contracts between the sheriff’s office and the school district, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

TEST RESULTS: A Florida Today analysis determined the top and bottom five Brevard schools by passing rate in three major subjects, grouped by grade level.

WOZ WEIGHS IN: In a video released Wednesday, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak congratulates the Manatee County School District and one of its Title I schools for adopting a STEM program called Woz Pathways, the Bradenton Herald reports. “Everyone at Woz is looking forward to seeing what your learners design and build this year,” Wozniak said.

OLD SCHOOL: The Cultural Resources Review Board in St. John’s County is considering landmark designation for the century-old Hastings High School, which has been vacant for over a year, the St. Augustine Record reports.

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