Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. The Education Gradebook

Two Florida school superintendents come under fire

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis addresses members of the School Board at a retreat on April 19. Shown, to his right, are members Jessica Vaughn and Stacy Hahn. In the background is Chief Communications Officer Tanya Arja.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis addresses members of the School Board at a retreat on April 19. Shown, to his right, are members Jessica Vaughn and Stacy Hahn. In the background is Chief Communications Officer Tanya Arja. [ MARLENE SOKOL | Times staff ]
Published Apr. 22
Updated Apr. 22

No one ever said the job of public schools superintendent was easy — especially not in Florida, home to some of the nation’s largest and most complicated education systems. Among appointed district leaders, the average job tenure hovers around three years. And the more controversy a district endures, the more challenges its chief executive faces. We’re seeing it these days in two of the state’s biggest counties. Read on for the latest on this story and other Florida education news.

Hillsborough County superintendent Addison Davis is on the hot seat as he attempts to balance the budget with job cuts. His School Board has called an unusual Friday special meeting to discuss his job performance.

Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie has faced fierce criticism for years. He was arrested for perjury before a grand jury that had been investigating issues following the 2018 Parkland school shooting, the Miami Herald reports. Runcie stated he did nothing wrong. Could he lose his job? Board members wouldn’t immediately commit, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Broward’s lead lawyer also was indicted, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Tallahassee action

Show them the money. A dispute over how to use billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds has stymied lawmakers’ efforts to create a state education budget.

The Legislature continues to discuss how to handle the impacts of the pandemic on schools. One proposal now on the Senate’s special order calendar would shield colleges and universities from the lawsuits students have filed seeking refunds after campuses shut down in-person classes.

Republican lawmakers set a priority of expanding vouchers this year. A late amendment to the House version would make an added 60,000 children eligible, including some whose families earn as much as $100,000 a year, the Orlando Sentinel reports. More from Florida Politics. The Senate has its version of the bill on its special order calendar. The chambers are expected to agree.

The Florida House approved a resolution aimed at establishing school board term limits. The idea isn’t moving in the Senate, the News Service of Florida reports.

Today in Tallahassee ... The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. Bills up for third and final reading include SB 1728 on out-of-state tuition waivers, HB 529 on moments of silence and HB 241 creating a “parents’ bill of rights.” • The House convenes at 10 a.m. Bills up for third and final reading include HB 419 on early learning, HB 7035 on school safety and HB 1159 on teacher preparation programs.

Coronavirus concerns

Heeding student requests, Duval County high schools offered modified proms this spring. Eight canceled the events because of low ticket sales, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Opposition to school mask rules is growing. Angry Santa Rosa County parents were removed from their district school board meeting where the board decided to keep the rules intact, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. • Several Palm Beach County residents demanded an end to their requirement, WPTV reports.

Thanks for visiting. Two New York students violated their coronavirus quarantine to fly to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, exposing everyone around them, the Times Herald-Record reports.

Other school news

New College has a new president. She’s Patricia Okker from the University of Missouri, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Miami-Dade County public schools have demonstrated a poor record of Black student academic achievement. Now a charter school group wants to try its hand serving heavily Black neighborhoods in the county, the Miami Times reports.

How does a gas oven go missing? An audit revealed about $286,000 in missing kitchen equipment from Broward County schools, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Middle schoolers have joined the protest against the St. Johns County school dress code. Officials have asked parents to help control their children’s pushback, the St. Augustine Record reports.

A hoax video announcing ‘National Rape Day’ hit social media. Brevard County parents are urging the school district to teach students it’s not real, Florida Today reports.

It’s not easy being green. The Miami-Dade County school district announced a goal of using entirely “clean energy” by 2030, the Miami Herald reports.

From the police blotter ... A Polk County dad was arrested after his loaded gun was discovered at an elementary school in his kindergartner’s backpack, Bay News Nine reports.

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

Before you go ... Are you ready for another series from the Marvel Universe? Some of us are. Meet MODOK.