Florida education news: Electrical failure, charter schools, testing dates and more

Lee Elementary School in Tampa burned shortly after power returned following Hurricane Irma.
Lee Elementary School in Tampa burned shortly after power returned following Hurricane Irma.
Published Oct. 5, 2017

IT WAS AN ACCIDENT: The fire that burned down historic Lee Elementary School in Tampa was caused by electrical failure, likely compounded by the effects of Hurricane Irma.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL: Pinellas County teachers ratify a contract offer that boosts starting pay to $43,000.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: An appellate court sides with the Indian River County School Board against the state's move to overturn the board's rejection of a charter school application, the News Service of Florida reports.

TESTING: Duval County school district officials warn that proposed changes to state testing standards could drop their district's high school graduation rate, the Florida Times-Union reports. • Miami-Dade County school district leaders ask the state to delay spring testing by a week because of days missed during Hurricane Irma, WLRN reports. Lee County officials have made a similar request, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

TAXES: The Okaloosa County Commission approves placing a school district sales tax referendum on a May special election ballot, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

DON'T DRINK THE WATER: Ten Manatee County schools come under a boil alert, the Bradenton Herald reports.

DUAL ENROLLMENT: A new report shows Florida dual-enrolled high school students outpace their national peers in college completion, the Port St. Joe Star reports.

CONSTRUCTION FUNDS: The Martin County School Board approves borrowing $9.9 million to improve a high school's long overlooked athletic complex, TC Palm reports.

DISMISSED: A Marion County teacher's aide is fired for abandoning her job after her arrest on allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a teen, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

BENEFITS: Sarasota County school employees will see their health insurance premiums rise, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TAKE A KNEE: A handful of Manatee County parents and students protest their district's mandate that all students must stand during the national anthem, the Bradenton Herald reports.