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DeSantis vetoes several education items before approving Florida budget

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Third grader Alexa Posada, 8, listens to her teacher at Grassy Waters Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 8, 2021.  GREG LOVETT/PALM BEACH POST
Third grader Alexa Posada, 8, listens to her teacher at Grassy Waters Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 8, 2021. GREG LOVETT/PALM BEACH POST [ GREG LOVETT | Palm Beach Post ]
Published Jun. 3

The big story: Gov. Ron DeSantis took up Florida’s largest spending bill in history on Thursday, touting its inclusion of more money for teacher raises, per-student funding and other education-related measures.

At the same time, though, he targeted several school spending items as he announced billions of dollars in vetoes. They included programs aimed at recruiting new teachers to low-income communities and projects throughout the Tampa Bay area.

DeSantis also took the unusual step of striking wording from the Legislature’s budget implementation bill that he questioned. He instructed the Department of Education to ignore language that would have left schools in 12 districts unable to receive a portion of $200 million in recognition funding based on their student test scores.

Lawmakers had sought to penalize those districts because they flouted the state’s emergency mask rules.

Read more about the budget here. Additional reports from Tallahassee Democrat, Politico Florida, Florida Politics.

Other hot topics

Superintendent turnover: The election is two years away. But Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning wanted everyone to know he won’t seek a fourth term.

Security: The Palm Beach County school district is looking into adding a new emergency alert system that gives all employees quick access to panic buttons, WPTV reports. • After years of problems, Broward County schools appear to be getting security right, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Stormy weather: School goes on in South Florida despite threats of the first storm of hurricane season, WFOR reports.

Race relations: Three Duval County families said they plan to sue their school over allegations of racial discrimination against their children, WTLV reports. • A Nassau County high school will get a new principal after the previous leader was criticized for his handling of a race-related incident, WJXT reports.

Student discipline: The Jackson County school district is adjusting its rules on students who bring alcohol to school, WMBB reports. Officials talked about lessening the penalty for a first-time offense, but principals objected.

Coronavirus concerns: Volusia and Flagler county schools ended the academic year with 176% more reported COVID-19 cases as the year before, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Arts education: More than 4,000 Miami-Dade County students participated in a two-year pilot project designed to teach them more about music. Now they can jam, the Miami Herald reports.

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

Before you go ... Did you know the first Friday of June is National Donut Day? The idea started during World War I, when the Salvation Army sent volunteers to bring meals to the troops. Donut Day became established in 1938. Mmmmmm, donuts.

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