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

A roundup of stories from around the state.
 DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Hillsborough 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 | Times Hillsborough 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 Jul. 16, 2019

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.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Harrison Peters, Chief of Schools in Hillsborough County, is close to landing a job as superintendent in Providence, R.I. [HCPS  |  Handout]
    The Boston Globe says Peters is days from being given a superintendent position.
  2. Gov. Ron DeSantis. [STEVE CANNON  |  AP]
    Florida students will read more classical literature and learn math differently, according to summary documents.
  3. Janessa Horsford, 5, says goodbye to her parents, Julytsa and Nigel Horsford, on her first day of kindergarten at Lake Magdalene Elementary School.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. Miranda Harwood, a fourth-grade math teacher at Brooker Elementary School, is the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year. [Hillsborough County Public Schools]
    The self-described “data queen” uses humor to keep her students engaged.
  5. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    Five girls and one boy will face charges after lunchtime fights disrupted the Pasco County campus, according to the school district.
  6. State Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, presents legislation to create a new chapter of Florida law dedicated to parents' rights when dealing with government and other agencies, during a committee meeting Jan. 23, 2020. [The Florida Channel]
    Parents have been marginalized by bureaucracy, and need to be empowered in law, sponsor Rep. Erin Grall says.
  7. Kurt Browning, left, is seeking a third term as superintendent of Pasco County schools. Addison Davis, right, is negotiating a contract to become Hillsborough County's next superintendent. [Tampa Bay Times (2016, 2020)]
    A Hillsborough search and Pasco election offer insights into the job and its importance.
  8. This time last year, Nicole Kenngatt, holding hands with student Lilly Crandall, was announced as Teacher of the Year. The award for the 2019-20 school year will be given Wednesday in a ceremony at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [JAY NOLAN  |  Special to the Times]
    The winner for 2019-20 will be announced Wednesday during the Pinellas Education Foundation’s annual “Evening of Excellence.”
  9. An empty classroom at Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County. [Skip O'Rourke | Times] [SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Skip O'Rourke]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. State Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Jacksonville Republican, presents his bill to create a "do not hire" list for any school employee who has been terminated, or resigned in lieu of termination, from employment as a result of sexual misconduct with a student. [The Florida Channel]
    The measure would apply to district, charter and private schools.
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