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Florida schools are trying to operate safely. Some teachers, students are struggling.

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Schools need plenty of cleaning and sanitizing supplies on hand during the coronavirus pandemic. The Florida Department of Education has urged districts to tap into their federal CARES Act allocations to cover the costs.
Schools need plenty of cleaning and sanitizing supplies on hand during the coronavirus pandemic. The Florida Department of Education has urged districts to tap into their federal CARES Act allocations to cover the costs. [ CHARLIE NEIBERGALL | AP ]
Published Oct. 23, 2020

Nine weeks into the academic year, Florida schools continue to struggle with COVID-19 issues. Activities are being canceled. Teachers are leaving. Districts are barely finding the time to claim the federal relief money they’re entitled to. Read on for the latest on this issue, and other Florida education news.

The federal government allocated nearly $700 million to Florida school districts for coronavirus response. So far, they’ve claimed about a tenth of it.

Teaching in-person and online students together still is vexing many educators. Alachua County district officials said they’re slowly working through the kinks, the Gainesville Sun reports. The Alachua County Education Association is pushing for hazard pay to compensate for the extra work and stress, WUFT reports.

Some teachers say the risks aren’t worth it. About three dozen Leon County teachers quit or took early retirement in the first months of the new year, with several citing COVID-19 as the reason, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Health comes first. An Okaloosa County high school football team and cheer squad enter their third week of suspended activities, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. • More than half of Volusia County’s high school teams will have the weekend off because of coronavirus cases, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • South Florida school districts are establishing criteria for using rapid tests, so they’re available in the most needed situations, WTSP reports.

While some high school teams get to play, others are seeing their seasons interrupted by coronavirus cases.
While some high school teams get to play, others are seeing their seasons interrupted by coronavirus cases. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

USF makes a pledge for diversity. The university’s St. Petersburg campus aims to increase enrollment, with a particular focus on teens from traditionally underrepresented demographic groups.

Political expression ends at this school’s parking lot entrance. A Volusia County high school senior is suing the district after his school revoked his parking pass because he had an elephant statue promoting Donald Trump in the bed of his truck, WCTV reports.

Manatee County voters approved a property tax increase two years ago to support schools. District officials already are preparing to seek an extension, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Palm Beach County School Board members aren’t thrilled with their superintendent. Donald Fennoy barely escaped a call for a three-month improvement plan during the board’s performance evaluation session, the Palm Beach Post reports. More from the Sun-Sentinel.

Charter school enrollment is up in Florida. Former Collier County School Board member Erika Donalds is working to expand her group’s charter operations, Business Observer reports.

Florida schools are supposed to teach African-American history. Nine of the state’s 67 district received passing marks from the African-American History Task Force, WESH reports.

From the court docket ... A former Florida A&M University top executive filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the school, saying she was fired for talking about recurring deficits in the athletics department, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... Maybe you watched the final debate between Trump and Biden last night. Here’s a little something to make it feel better.

2020 Presidential Debate With 5 Year Olds

The debate we all deserved… 😂 #vote2020

Posted by Smile Squad on Friday, October 9, 2020