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Florida lawmakers seek stability for charter schools

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Woodmont Charter School in Temple Terrace, shown in 2017, is one of the Hillsborough County charter schools that was threatened with closure by the School Board.
Woodmont Charter School in Temple Terrace, shown in 2017, is one of the Hillsborough County charter schools that was threatened with closure by the School Board. [ WILL VRAGOVIC | Times staff ]
Published Dec. 2, 2021

In Florida, charter schools are considered public schools. Families that attend them expect them to provide some stability. When the Hillsborough County school district moved to shutter several over the summer, offering limited warning, red flags went up. Now lawmakers want to offer further protections for the charters and the families. Read on for that story and more Florida education news.

A measure is moving through the Legislature to add guidelines to how charter schools may be renewed or terminated. It received rare bipartisan support in its first House committee stop.

More Tallahassee action

Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for an end to some year-end student tests and a move to progress monitoring. The Senate legislation aiming to enact the governor’s priority doesn’t go as far as he proposed, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Sen. Joe Gruters wants to make school board races partisan affairs. Most elected officials from his home community oppose the measure, the Port Charlotte Sun reports.

State lawmakers took note of a University of Florida professor’s complaint about restrictions on the naming of his social sciences course. They weren’t on his side, the Miami Herald reports.

Today in Tallahassee: The House Post-Secondary Education subcommittee meets at 9 a.m., where it will hear a presentation on higher education affordability. • The Department of Education is holding a rule making workshop on the creation of a disqualified educator list. It begins at 10 a.m. on Microsoft Teams. Click here. • The House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee meets at 11 a.m., when it will take up three appropriations bills and discuss the final FEFP calculation for 2020-21.

Hot topics

School safety: An Okaloosa County school resource officer has found a way to make it easier for students to report unsafe conditions on campus, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

COVID vaccinations: The Alachua County school district is preparing a new set of vaccination clinics focused on providing COVID inoculations to children ages 5-11, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Mask mandates: Leon County superintendent Rocky Hanna said his district dropped out of a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on strict school mask mandates because it was destined to lose, Florida Politics reports. The district will consider other opportunities to defend local control, he added.

COVID reporting: Miami-Dade County parents raised concerns about a lag time in knowing if anyone in their children’s schools has a positive case of COVID-19, WPLG reports.

Other school news

Fire damaged an arts building at Hillsborough County’s Leto High. It did not prevent students from attending.

Florida has its 2022 superintendent of the year. It’s Collier County’s Kamela Patton, the Naples Daily News reports.

The Osceola County school district hired a consultant to help pick an insurance plan. It’s now accusing the consultant of greedy self-interest in the process, Florida Politics reports.

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

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