Florida lawmakers return to Tallahassee for education policy talk today. As schools work through issues such as tight budgets, in-person vs. online learning, vaccinations and social distancing, the Senate Education Committee is poised to discuss tax credit scholarships, vouchers and university financial aid. Budgets and CARES Act funding are on the agenda for tomorrow’s House and Senate education appropriations sessions, though. Be sure to watch on The Florida Channel if you have the chance. Meanwhile, on to the news.
Hillsborough County schools face a money problem. District officials say they don’t have enough to go around. They’re talking about reducing the workforce. The new look School Board, elected with strong union support, will talk about spending priorities this morning.
Let’s make a deal. Pasco County teachers and non-instructional employees negotiated an agreement for 3 percent raises. District officials had projected much smaller increases earlier in the year.
Some financial support is on the way. Florida school districts have begun to receive news about how much federal CARES Act money they stand to receive, WTLV reports.
Lawmakers will be talking about budgets. Dealing with reduced revenue and increasing needs will be high on the priority list, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
The threat of school violence was vague and deemed non-credible by law enforcement. That didn’t stop some Pinellas County parents from pulling their kids out of class.
Campus carry is back on the legislative agenda. University students and educators say they don’t want guns in classrooms, WMBB reports.
Decisions, decisions. Santa Rosa County parents are weighing the pros and cons of keeping their children in remote classes vs. sending them back to school, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. • The number of Polk County students returning to schools has increased, as have the number of coronavirus cases, the Ledger reports. • Bay County educators raised concerns that may seniors are at risk of not graduating, with the pandemic making it harder to focus and improve grades, the Panama City News Herald reports.
The choice is tough for teachers, too. Ordered to return to classrooms, about 100 Broward County educators with health conditions retired instead, the Miami Herald reports.
Putnam County schools lost about 4,000 students this year. District officials hope to take advantage by closing five schools, then seeking funding to build nine new ones over the coming decade, WJXT reports.
Districts are trying to keep the coronavirus out of their buildings. The Lee County School Board is looking at alternative rapid testing protocols for students and staff who display symptoms, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • The Palm Beach County School Board plans to discuss whether to push for teachers to have priority for vaccinations, WPTV reports. • The Leon County school district is preparing a vaccination plan for its older employees, WFSU reports.
Expect delays. Alachua County school bus routes might run late for a couple weeks, as an above normal number of drivers are absent because of COVID-19, the Gainesville Sun reports.
From the court docket ... A former Seminole County school principal sued the district, saying it discriminated against her because of her “alcohol dependency” disability, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
From the police blotter ... A Broward County private school security guard was fired and arrested amid accusations he threw a student to the ground, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.
Before you go ... This guy is pretty funny. Does he have your school meetings nailed?