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Florida education news: Start times, school security, board meetings and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
SCOTT KEELER | Times Kashif Haynes rides and sleeps on the 881 Pinellas County school bus during his two hour bus ride from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg after his school day at Tarpon Springs High School.
Published Jul. 23

START TIMES: Despite promises to work toward later high school start times, the Pinellas County school district will give teens only an extra five minutes. Officials blame transportation requirements as limiting their options.

SECURITY: A state grand jury says “numerous” school districts still don’t comply with state safety laws. • Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who heads the state school safety advisory panel, says he’s bothered by the “complacency” of those who haven’t met the mark, WTSP reports. • North Florida school leaders meanwhile raise questions about the “vague” grand jury report, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. More from WTXL. • The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office requests added funding for school security, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

SCHOOL FIRE: McLane Middle School administrators and teachers make new preparations for the return of students amid the damage of a weekend fire.

BOARD MEETINGS: The Pasco County School Board begins video recording its business meetings for the first time.

NEW SCHOOL: A new private Christian elementary school will open in Hernando County.

NEW RULES: The Volusia County school district will begin conducting full background checks on chaperones, WFTV reports. The Volusia School Board also eases its dress code rules for high school students, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

UNSAFE CONDITIONS: An Okaloosa County high school stops using its football stadium because of structural concerns, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. Officials hope to have repairs made in time for home games.

OUTTA THERE: The under-fire leader of a troubled Manatee County charter school, who recently had his state certification revoked, resigns his post amid heavy pressure from state officials, the Herald-Tribune reports. More from the Bradenton Herald.

OVERPAID: Ninety-one Charlotte County teachers must give back extra pay that accidentally appeared in their checks, WINK reports. More from the Charlotte Sun.

LEADERSHIP: The Palm Beach County high school where the past principal was removed after questioning the Holocaust gets a new principal with ties to the school and community, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Whether suspended school leader William Latson will be fired remains undecided, the Palm Beach Post reports.

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: A long-struggling Alachua County elementary school avoided state-mandated restructuring by focusing on individual student needs, the Gainesville Sun reports. • The Lake County community of Leesburg rallies around its local elementary school as it strives to improve its student performance, the Daily Commercial reports.

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES: About 150 Volusia County middle school students who attend Title I schools participate in a summer STEM camp, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Several south Florida teens learn about entrepreneurship at a conference at Miami Dade College, the Miami Herald reports.

SUPERINTENDENT PAY: Florida has some of the nation’s largest school districts, and carries some of the largest superintendent salaries, The Center Square reports.

COMING UP: Florida’s back to school sales tax holiday runs from Aug. 2-6.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Chanell Newell, a reading teacher at Woodson K-8 School, is a finalist for Hillsborough Teacher of the Year. HCPS  |  HCPS
    The winners will be announced on Jan. 23.
  2. A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  4. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  5. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  6. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
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  7. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  9. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
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