Florida education news: Budgets, growth, content experts and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
[Associated Press | 2016]
[Associated Press | 2016]
Published July 31, 2019

BUDGET SEASON: Florida school districts’ fiscal year began a month ago. On Tuesday, several of them gave initial approval to the spending plans they intend to use. Here are the details for Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Final votes are set for later in the fall. • Other districts also acting included Alachua (Gainesville Sun), Lee (Fort Myers News-Press), Volusia (Daytona Beach News-Journal), Escambia (Pensacola News-Journal)

WHO’S AN EXPERT? The Florida Board of Education sets a definition for which teachers are ‘content experts,’ so schools can offer recruitment bonuses to newly hired educators as part of the revised Best and Brightest program.

FAIR DAY: Hillsborough County School Board members ponder changes to the district’s annual day off to allow students to attend the State Fair, noting past problems and concerns with the activity.

GROWING PAINS: The Pasco County school district is adding new schools and wings to ease crowding in growth areas along the State Road 54 corridor.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Ray and Associates search firm will lead the Hillsborough County school district’s effort to find a new superintendent.

FILLING UP: Hillsborough County’s lowest performing schools are doing a better job of hiring teachers before classes begin than a year ago.

TEACHER SHORTAGE: Central Florida school districts look for ways to rely less on long-term substitutes, WFTV reports.

HOME SCHOOLING: The number of families choosing to educate their children at home is on the rise in Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties, the Charlotte Sun reports.

CONTRACT TALKS: Orange County school district officials warn that any agreement to boost teacher pay and benefits could come at a cost of ‘painful’ cuts in other areas, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Teachers rejected the district’s most recent economic offer.

‘UNSAFE AT SCHOOL’: Some Broward County teachers say they have been attacked at school and don’t feel safe there, WSVN reports.

SECURITY: The Citrus County school district approves its first set of school guardians, as it also completes a contract to place resource officers in 21 schools, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

FINANCIAL PLANNING: The Polk County school district proposes adding a chief business and finance officer to its administrative team, but the $136,000 salary raises some concerns, the Ledger reports.

HOLOCAUST LESSONS: A Florida Atlantic University professor suggests schools’ Holocaust curriculum can expand beyond history classes and into other subjects, WLRN reports.

DEFENDING THE DISTRICT: A veteran Leon County School Board member pushes back against a county commissioner’s criticism of area schools, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

EARLY EDUCATION: Frustration grows over perceived shortfalls in Florida’s voluntary prekindergarten program, WTSP reports.

CLOSING DOWN: The Duval County School Board approves plans to shutter two persistently low-performing schools, WJXT reports.

IN COURT: The former principal of a Bay County charter school sues the school, saying she was sexually harassed by her boss, the Panama City News Herald reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup