A growing number of school districts are completing contract talks with employees, in many cases earlier in the fiscal year than usual. Even as these deals get made, with raises included, room for criticism remains as district and union leaders alike note that state officials tied their hands in collective bargaining with strict rules on how the money gets used. Those requirements left little for several employees who weren’t included in the plan, unless districts could come up with some other revenue sources. Read on for the latest on that and other Florida education news.
Pinellas County school employees are getting raises over 3 percent. The district’s local-option property tax helped cover the cost. • Osceola County teachers reached a tentative pay accord with their district, Positively Osceola reports. Their base salary will rise to $46,100, below the state’s target level.
‘We need teachers.’ The Pinellas County School Board adopted a resolution urging the University of South Florida to reconsider eliminating its undergraduate College of Education programs, while university officials defended the decision. • Education programs around the nation are at risk, Inside Higher Ed reports.
There’s a historic cemetery on the campus of King High in Tampa. District officials said they will take steps to ensure the unmarked graves won’t be forgotten again.
Enjoy a banquet, parade or performance. The Citrus County school district will ease its COVID-19 restrictions to allow for more activities, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.
But wear a mask. A group of Volusia County parents who oppose masks refused to put one on for a School Board meeting, causing a lengthy delay, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Check out the activity below with some video from WKMG. • In Manatee County, residents protested outside their board meeting after being denied entry because of capacity limitations, the Bradenton Herald reports.
Overall case numbers in schools are relatively small. But they’re surging again in some areas, the Palm Beach Post reports. More from the Miami Herald. • St. Lucie County’s new school dashboard indicates little community spread in schools, TC Palm reports.
Coronavirus concerns are driving some teachers away. Central Florida school districts have seen a rise in resignations, WESH reports. • Broward Teachers Union president Anna Fusco was removed from a board meeting after arguing the district wasn’t doing enough to protect employees, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
It’s not just teachers. School nurses are increasingly in short supply, as well, as they retire and resign, WFTS reports.
Worried that e-learning will end for second semester? One Polk County board member urged parents and others to lobby state officials to keep the model in place, WFLA reports.
‘Irresponsible and dangerous.’ That’s how Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, rates Gov. Ron DeSantis' approach to coronavirus in the schools, WTLV reports.
Universities continue to enforce their health rules strictly. A fourth University of Florida fraternity was suspended because of violations, the Gainesville Sun reports.
Take a break. Broward County parents, board members agreed that students should get five days off for Thanksgiving next year, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Civics at work. Bay County schools are using the presidential election as a platform to teach students about the importance of voting and representation, the Panama City News Herald reports.
‘I was wrong.’ The Palm Beach County principal who caused an uproar in questioning the Holocaust issued a video apology, a year after the incident that got him fired, WPEC reports. His job status remains up in the air. More from the Palm Beach Post.
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Before you go ... There’s a new baby rhino at Animal Kingdom. It’s cute. That’s all.