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Pinellas schools to get new superintendent today

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
From left are Marion County area superintendent Ann Hembrook, Pinellas County associate superintendent Kevin Hendrick and Denver Public Schools deputy superintendent Michael Ramirez. The Pinellas County School Board on April 20, 2022, selected the three as finalists to replace outgoing superintendent Mike Grego.
From left are Marion County area superintendent Ann Hembrook, Pinellas County associate superintendent Kevin Hendrick and Denver Public Schools deputy superintendent Michael Ramirez. The Pinellas County School Board on April 20, 2022, selected the three as finalists to replace outgoing superintendent Mike Grego. [ Marion County Public Schools/Pinellas County Schools/Denver Public Schools ]
Published May 17

The big story: For Pinellas County schools, the next chapter starts today.

A week after meeting its three finalists in person, the School Board is set to select next chief executive during a 10 a.m. meeting.

None of the candidates has led a district before. Each made the case for succeeding Mike Grego, who’s retiring after a decade at the helm, during public interviews and one-on-one sessions with each board member.

Now board members will get the chance to weigh in on whether they prefer the long-time insider or one of the hopefuls from outside the district. Watch live on the district YouTube channel.

Also today, the Hernando County School Board has called a 10 a.m. special meeting to discuss suing the County Commission over its refusal to place a school district tax referendum on the November 2022 ballot as requested. The commission instead put the measure on the 2024 ballot, a step that some contend overreaches what is supposed to be a ministerial act.

And the Pasco County School Board is expected to vote at its 6 p.m. meeting on new school start times that largely do away with the unpopular 10:10 a.m. opening bell. Officials said they are attempting to restore school schedules as much as possible while still confronting a bus driver shortage that led to the change earlier this year.

Hot topics

University president turnover: Moez Limayem, the University of South Florida’s business school dean, will become the seventh president at the University of North Florida.

School board politics: The Brevard County charter review commission killed a proposal to allow for recall of school board members, Florida Today reports.

Gender issues: The Duval County school district is revising its LGBTQ support guide in the aftermath of new state law governing parental notification to a change of services to children, WJCT reports. • Fighting over the law is intensifying in school districts across Florida, and it hasn’t taken effect yet, Politico Florida reports.

Race relations: A Duval County teacher is under investigation amid accusations of making racist and homophobic comments, WTLV reports.

Parent involvement: Martin County superintendent John Millay spoke to a gathering coordinated by Moms for Liberty as they aimed to improve communications as a way to solve problems, TC Palm reports.

School lunches: Some Central Florida school districts say they might increase cafeteria prices to combat inflationary costs of supplies, WESH reports.

Senior pranks: A Bay County high school is placing stickers over sexual phrases that students placed in the school yearbook and weren’t caught during editing, WMBB reports.

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Other school news

Florida has a nurse shortage. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his approval a $125 million budget item to increase nursing education statewide, Florida Politics reports.

Future Farmers of America is a big deal in Citrus County schools. Participants might not be able to keep their animals on campus next year because of insurance concerns, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

Most Bay County school district support employees are paid less than $15 an hour. District and union officials are negotiating how to get everyone up to that minimum level while also trying to avoid wage compression, WJHG reports.

Students arriving at their Osceola County elementary were greeted by an alligator at the door. It was removed without incident, WOFL reports.

Broward County’s new superintendent has a staff shakeup in the works. It would cut academic jobs while bolstering the public information office, the Sun-Sentinel reports. (Subscription only)

Schools continue to seek security improvements. The Okaloosa County school district launched a new mobile panic button application for emergencies, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

A Palm Beach County private school is being evicted from its church home of 30 years. It’s suing to remain on the property, WPTV reports.

From the police blotter ... Law enforcement is investigating offensive graffiti including swastikas found in a Broward County high school restroom, WPLG reports.

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

Before you go ... Kendrick Lamar is trending. A must listen.

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