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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. From left, Don Haddad, Peter Licata and Addison Davis, all finalists for the job of Hillsborough County school superintendent, met Thursday with community members at Rampello K-8 School. The School Board will choose among the three on Tuesday. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    Addison Davis, Don Haddad and Peter Licata outline their plans for the first 90 days.
  2. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    A man university police believe was target shooting near campus was not located, the university said.
  3. Former state senator John Legg has not ruled out a run for Pasco County schools superintendent. The district is the nation's largest to elect its chief executive.
    Short answer: Maybe.
  4. But the competition isn’t who many people expected it to be.
  5. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. A point tally ranking the three finalists to be Hillsborough County's next school superintendent shows up on a screen in the School Board meeting room Thursday after a meeting that lasted most of the day. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    The last round of interviews is set for Jan. 21.
  7. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  8. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  9. Cocoa Police Department video shows A.J. Plonsky being taken to a mental health facility under the Florida Baker Act on his first day of middle school, August 10, 2018.  [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
    Never intended to be used on children, the 1970s law in increasingly applied in schools.
  10. Assisted by the Ray and Associates search firm, the Hillsborough County School Board is hiring a new superintendent. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
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