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Florida education news: Sports safety, scholarship funding, contract rejection and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins speaks on the death of Middleton High incoming freshman Hezekiah B. Walters at the school district office in Tampa, Florida on Monday, July 29, 2019. On June 11th Walters collapsed during football summer workouts at Middleton High School in Tampa. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins speaks on the death of Middleton High incoming freshman Hezekiah B. Walters at the school district office in Tampa, Florida on Monday, July 29, 2019. On June 11th Walters collapsed during football summer workouts at Middleton High School in Tampa. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
Published Jul. 30, 2019

SUMMER SPORTS: An investigation into the summer football-related death of a rising Hillsborough County high school freshman reveals that Middleton High athletic officials did not have proper paperwork or follow established procedures for conducting their drills. The school’s athletic director and football coach have been removed, and the district has called for funding athletic trainers at all high schools, among other changes.

NOW HIRING: The Pasco County school district seeks a new human resources director.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING: After a slow start, efforts ramp up to collect more contributions for ‘Hope’ scholarships to support bullied students.

MENTAL HEALTH LESSONS: The Citrus County school district prepares to implement new rules requiring five hours of annual mental health instruction to students, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. Officials say it will take time to organize the information for the last-minute state mandate.

NO THANKS: Orange County teachers overwhelmingly reject the school district’s pay and benefits package, the Orlando Sentinel reports. It’s the first time the union formally has turned down a contract offer.

PAY DISPARITIES: It’s not just Florida teachers who are paid less than the national average. It’s school athletic coaches, too, WJXT reports.

TEACHER TESTING: New Florida teachers now have more time to pass their state certification tests, and some educators are calling for more pathways to demonstrate mastery of the material, WJAX reports.

BEST AND BRIGHTEST: The Florida Board of Education holds a brief emergency meeting to adopt a rule describing how ‘content experts’ will be determined for purposes of offering Best and Brightest teacher bonuses, Florida Politics reports.

GETTING READY: Learning Resource Center partners with Polk County schools to help rising first graders prepare for their first day of classes, the Ledger reports.

TECH TRAINING: More than 100 Duval County high school students help refresh the school district’s 80,000 laptop computers for the new year, the Florida Times-Union reports.

PAY PLANS: Brevard County school district officials start drafting ideas for a long-term plan to boost teacher salaries, Florida Today reports.

TAX BATTLE: The Duval County elections supervisor says the time has passed to get a school district sales tax referendum on the November ballot, the Florida Times-Union reports.

SECURITY: The Escambia County school district is hiring security guards for all its elementary schools, WEAR reports.

ELECTION DAY OFF? The Flagler County school district considers closing on election days in order to meet state rules regarding solicitation zones, Flagler Live reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

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