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Florida school district gives bonuses to staff the state ignored

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Pinellas County School employees who aren't eligible for a state $1,000 bonus will get one from the school district instead.
Pinellas County School employees who aren't eligible for a state $1,000 bonus will get one from the school district instead. [ JAMES BORCHUCK | James Borchuck ]
Published Jun. 18
Updated Jun. 18

Florida lawmakers and the governor have taken steps over the past two years to boost teacher salaries and give them bonuses. Their actions haven’t benefited all equally. Some school districts have stepped in to support their other employees. Read on for the latest on that story, plus more Florida education news.

The state offered $1,000 bonuses to classroom teachers and principals only. The Pinellas County school district is giving similar amounts to its other faculty and staff who also worked through the pandemic year.

Hot topics

Bullying: A Collier County student is under fire for anti-Semitic social media postings. The school district is looking into whether the material violates its zero tolerance policy, while the community calls for action, the Naples Daily News reports.

Corporal punishment: Officially, Hendry County schools ban paddling. The lawyer for a principal who faces potential discipline for using it says that the district’s practices condone it, WINK reports.

Religion in school: A Polk County pastor announced he would become the chaplain of a local high school football team. District officials quickly rebuked him, saying no such position exists and adult-led prayer is not allowed in public schools, the Ledger reports.

Coronavirus concerns

Summer school is big. More than 20,000 Duval County students are signed up, the Florida Times-Union reports.

A quarter of Florida children ages 12-19 have received the coronavirus vaccination. Schools are trying to make the shots more easily accessible, WUSF reports. • The Duval County school district announced five vaccination clinics at its campuses, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Unmask the children. The Orange County school district took steps toward ending its mask mandate, WKMG reports.

Leadership issues

An Alachua County judge said one local School Board member appeared not to live in her district. Gov. Ron DeSantis removed the board member, paving the way for himself to appoint a successor, Florida Politics reports. More from WUFT, Gainesville Sun.

A Lee County School Board member faced accusations of official misconduct. The Commission on Ethics found no probable cause to investigate, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

It’s reorganization time. Marion County’s superintendent has called for changes at the top, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

Florida State University’s next president has a $700,000-a-year deal with the school. He still must win approval from the state Board of Governors, WCTV reports.

From the court docket ... A federal judge sided with Key West police officers in a case involving the arrest of an 8-year-old student who hit a teacher in 2018, the Florida Keys Weekly reports.

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

Before you go ... Juneteenth Day comes this weekend, and it’s our nation’s newest federal holiday. Don’t know what it is? Here’s an explanation from AL.com to help.