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Florida schools, universities grapple with pandemic aftermath

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
A view of Library West at the center of the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.
A view of Library West at the center of the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. [ University of Florida ]
Published Jul. 7

The big story: Schools and universities across Florida have long ago reopened to in-person classes. But disputes over what happened during the height of the pandemic remain.

One issue that has yet to be resolved is students’ complaints that the University of Florida took their money for services that weren’t provided when campus closed down.

They want their money refunded. The school isn’t so keen on that concept.

An appellate court is set to take up the issue later this month. Read the News Service of Florida story.

Coping with the pandemic effects is not just about the money.

Schools in Florida and around the nation have experienced an increase in student misbehavior such as classroom disruptions and fights, Chalkbeat reports. Some observers said challenges arose after students returned to schools after time away because of the pandemic.

Hot topics

School board races: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading a national charge to get more conservatives onto local school boards, Axios reports.

Intellectual freedoms: The DeSantis administration is pushing back against criticisms that Florida law requires state university students to register their political views, Fox News reports. That’s not what the law says.

School supplies: As teachers dig into their pocketbooks to outfit their classrooms for the fall, a Seminole County resident is raising money through an online crowdfunding effort to help the cause, WKMG reports.

Other school news

Saint Leo University has a new president. The previous leader, who took over in 2018, quietly resigned. Reasons are hard to come by.

The University of South Florida is moving ahead with its on-campus football stadium plans. Architects and builders have until Friday to submit formal questions about the project, with proposals due July 22.

Collier County is getting ready to open its first new high school in nearly 20 years. Residents are getting antsy about how the attendance zones will shape up, the Naples Daily News reports.

All Charlotte County students will be able to get free school meals for the coming year. The district qualified for the federal Community Eligibility Program, the Port Charlotte Sun reports.

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

Before you go ... Not everything is always as it first appears.

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