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Kids can get vaccinated, but not all Florida schools are helping

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
EMT Mia Romero, with USF’s medical response unit, hands paperwork to Marjorie Cidoine, 43, August Anotine, 42, while Mha’siyah Blake, 12, who is waiting to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, waits for his father Tshambe Blake, 44, of Tampa, to fill out paperwork with EMT Victoria Lopez hold at a back to school health clinic at Middleton High School in Tampa on Saturday, July 31, 2021.
EMT Mia Romero, with USF’s medical response unit, hands paperwork to Marjorie Cidoine, 43, August Anotine, 42, while Mha’siyah Blake, 12, who is waiting to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, waits for his father Tshambe Blake, 44, of Tampa, to fill out paperwork with EMT Victoria Lopez hold at a back to school health clinic at Middleton High School in Tampa on Saturday, July 31, 2021. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Nov. 12

Children ages 5 to 11 years old now are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Some state officials are working hard to ensure they aren’t forced to do so by schools or anyone else. As a result, some interesting decisions are cropping up. Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.

Florida pre-ordered 90,000 child doses of the vaccine from the federal government. That compares to 1 million for Texas. There doesn’t appear to be a shortage, officials said, but Tampa area school districts won’t be participating in distribution of the shots. Clinics will take place throughout the region.

Coronavirus concerns

The Charlotte County school district is offering added COVID-related health insurance benefits to employees. Only those who are vaccinated are eligible, the Charlotte Sun reports.

No more mask requirements. The Polk County School Board voted unanimously to rescind its policy allowing the superintendent or board to mandate face coverings, the Ledger reports. • The number of Duval County students submitting mask opt-out forms has increased since the district eased its rules, the Florida Times-Union reports.

An appellate court won’t fast track parents’ school mask rule challenge to the state Supreme Court. The court didn’t explain its reasoning, the News Service of Florida reports.

The University of Florida faces a class-action lawsuit from students seeking fee refunds for services not provided during the pandemic. Lawyers for the university are trying to get the case dismissed, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Hot topics

Critical race theory: Are Palm Beach County schools teaching CRT? A local lawmaker wants to know, Florida Politics reports.

Book banning: A Flagler County School Board member has asked the district to remove four books from schools, saying constituents have raised concerns about their content, Flagler Live reports. The titles are on a conservative challenge list that is circulating around the nation.

Public comments: The Volusia County School Board is considering a policy to restrict public comment at meetings. The changes would include disallowing discussion of ongoing litigation, statements directed at individual board members, and any profanity or personal attacks, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Teacher pay: The Gadsden County school district has proposed increasing teacher salaries by 18 percent, with a new base of $45,000, WTXL reports.

Other school news

Happy Thanksgiving! Brevard County students learned Wednesday that their holiday break would be extended by two extra days, WKMG reports.

Florida State University might drop five degree programs. They’re cited as having lost enrollment, Florida Politics reports.

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Too much information? The Seminole County school district is looking into removing some details from students’ transcripts, after parents complained that including all standardized test scores puts their children at a disadvantage, WKMG reports.

Remember the north Florida mom and student accused of hacking district computers to fix the homecoming election? They appeared on Good Morning America, where they denied all the allegations.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you go ... Ryan Reynolds was supposed to tout his new movie on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Will Ferrell arrived instead. Best part? Will Ferrell was supposed to be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and guess who took his place. Both interviews were entertaining.

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