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A charter school about-face in Florida’s third largest district

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Robert Blount, a member of the K.C.C. High School governing board, addresses the Hillsborough County School Board on July 20, 2021, with red-shirted supporters of Woodmont and SouthShore charter schools in the audience.
Robert Blount, a member of the K.C.C. High School governing board, addresses the Hillsborough County School Board on July 20, 2021, with red-shirted supporters of Woodmont and SouthShore charter schools in the audience. [ MARLENE SOKOL | Times staff ]
Published Jul. 21

Leaders of Florida’s third largest school district couldn’t have been more clear. Just a few weeks ago, the Hillsborough County School Board expressed its dissatisfaction with charter schools by overwhelmingly voting to reject the renewal of four charters and denying approval of two others. Lawsuits be darned. Did the board majority mean it? Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.

The State Board of Education gave the Hillsborough board ten days to reverse its action or face financial penalty. The board needed less than two hours at a specially called session to relent.

Finding teachers

It’s tough being a teacher in Florida. The state’s response to the pandemic didn’t do much to attract more people into the profession, WFTX reports.

The Lee County school district is struggling to find certified teachers. It’s focusing on its alternative certification program to fill vacancies, WINK reports.

Schools aren’t alone in this situation. Child-care centers across Florida also are finding themselves short-staffed, WFTS reports.

Hot topics

“Critical race theory”: Florida has banned it in public schools. Many people say they’re against it. But many also don’t know what it is, WESH reports.

School masks: Most Florida school districts, such as Broward County, expect to start the new year with masks voluntary. But that could change if the resurgence of the coronavirus continues, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • A leading infectious disease expert in Sarasota County is advising mask wearing indoors in public places, even if vaccinated, WUSF reports. • Many districts are still assessing the situation and have yet to make decisions, WPLG reports. • Several students at a Brevard County school summer program are quarantining after 11 positive coronavirus cases were reported, Florida Today reports.

School news

The Jefferson County School Board wants to retake control of its district. It made some moves toward escaping state control, the Jefferson County Journal reports.

The St. Johns County school district asked parents for input on dress code rules. The length of shorts and location of rips in jeans proved most divisive, WJXT reports.

Florida is about to announce its 2021-22 state teacher of the year. A past winner has advice for this year’s honoree, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Hands off. A Broward County teacher is fired amid allegations of inappropriate, unwanted hugging of students, WTVJ reports.

Some Bay County school district employees and students received an email filled with racist content. District officials are investigating what they called a “rogue” email, the Panama City News Herald reports.

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

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