Florida education news: Bonuses, student relationships, weapon training and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
DIRK SHADD   |   TimesHillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins welcomes all of the new teachers during the Hillsborough Educator Institute in the auditorium at Chamberlain High School, 9401 N Blvd, in Tampa, on Monday, July 15, 2019. More than 600 newly hired educators are coming from all across the country to teach in the 8th largest school district in the nation.
DIRK SHADD | TimesHillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins welcomes all of the new teachers during the Hillsborough Educator Institute in the auditorium at Chamberlain High School, 9401 N Blvd, in Tampa, on Monday, July 15, 2019. More than 600 newly hired educators are coming from all across the country to teach in the 8th largest school district in the nation.
Published July 16

BONUSES: Still waiting to see if you qualify for a piece of the $15.5 million settlement of a Best and Brightest discrimination lawsuit? Lawyers for the two sides are working out the details, now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has approved two key parts of the agreement.

LOOKING ELSEWHERE: The former principal of Hillsborough County’s Spoto High School resigns from the district amid an ongoing investigation of her work.

RELATIONSHIPS MATTER: Hillsborough County superintendent Jeff Eakins reminds his district’s 600 new teachers that a key to success is getting to know and understand their students.

AP TEST SCANDAL: Two Volusia County school district officials are reprimanded for their part in giving 336 students “placebo” Advanced Placement exams instead of the real things, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

SITE SECURED: A long-planned charter high school in Destin has found a location to operate, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

MIDDLE GROUND: The Collier County school district and the under-fire Mason Classical Academy charter school seek a path to allow the school to remain open by fixing problems uncovered in a recent review, the Naples Daily News reports.

TAXES: Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran suggests Duval County schools might not need a sales tax referendum to pay for renovations and new construction, saying “Taj Mahals” don’t teach children, WJAX reports. More from Florida Politics. • Clay County school district leaders signal a willingness to sue over the Clay County Commission’s refusal to place a tax referendum question on the ballot, Florida Daily reports.

TARGET PRACTICE: Teachers across Florida and the nation begin weapon training in advance of serving as school guardians, TC Palm reports.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis visits a Duval County school to tout her initiative to expand mental health services, the Florida Times-Union reports.

STUDENT LOANS: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court covering central Florida launches a new program to help borrowers struggling to repay student loans, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

ELIA UPDATE: Former Hillsborough County superintendent MaryEllen Elia announces her retirement as New York education commissioner, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

COMING UP: Morgan & Morgan will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. today in Orlando to discuss a new lawsuit by teachers against the state, relating to pay. • The State Board of Education meets Wednesday at Polk State College Turnaround plans for several districts, including Hillsborough, Polk and Duval, are on the agenda.

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