Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. The Education Gradebook

School bus driver shortage hits Florida students, families

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
An unidentified Gulf High School student waves as a bus pulls away from the school during dismissal Friday, April 1, 2022 in New Port Richey. Pasco County Schools has told parents it will be eliminating what it called "unfunded busing" to middle and high school students who live 2 miles or closer and have safe walking conditions available.
An unidentified Gulf High School student waves as a bus pulls away from the school during dismissal Friday, April 1, 2022 in New Port Richey. Pasco County Schools has told parents it will be eliminating what it called "unfunded busing" to middle and high school students who live 2 miles or closer and have safe walking conditions available. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Jul. 28

The top story: School districts across Florida are racing to hire bus drivers in time for the first day of classes in August.

They’re not finding great success.

To cope with the vacancies, officials are attempting to create more efficient routes. In Pasco County, that effort has included eliminating all bus rides for middle and high school students living within two miles of campus.

Hundreds of parents have complained that the change will force their kids to walk along unsafe routes. They’re calling for an alternative, but few options appear likely. Read more here.

Hot topics

Cafeteria prices are on the rise in some Tampa Bay area school districts. [Times file photo]
Cafeteria prices are on the rise in some Tampa Bay area school districts. [Times file photo]

School meals: Several Tampa Bay area school districts are increasing their cafeteria prices in the new academic year, WUSF reports. The move comes after all students had been getting free breakfast and lunch for two years.

School supplies: Several community organizations around Tampa Bay are providing free filled backpacks and medical services for students in the run up to the new school year.

School board politics: The race for one Sarasota County board seat features one of Florida’s most prominent conservative incumbents against a challenger with significant liberal support, the Herald-Tribune reports. • A Polk County School Board candidate faces a Florida Bar investigation over unpaid court filing fees, the Ledger reports. • Ten candidates are in the hunt for three board seats in Seminole County, where political fights have raged over the past year, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Employee pay: Polk County school district teachers and support staff concluded contract negotiations providing raises for all faculty and staff, Lakeland Now reports. • Brevard County teachers reached a tentative agreement on raises and bonuses, WFTV reports.

Teacher shortage: The Duval County school district planned to increase class sizes in response to its trouble hiring enough teachers, WTLV reports. The district also increased substitute teacher pay.

Textbooks: The Collier County School Board unanimously approved the use of several math books that some members of the public claimed included objectionable material such as social-emotional learning, WFTX reports.

Other school news

Martin County students involved in a racist photo asked for their punishment to be overturned. District officials upheld the discipline, TC Palm reports.

Pinellas County’s Midtown Academy opened in 2019 with middling student performance. It boosted its effort to an A state grade this year, WUSF reports.

Orange County is experiencing rapid growth. It’s opening five new schools this August, including three in one booming community, Spectrum 13 reports.

Follow what’s happening in Tampa Bay schools

Follow what’s happening in Tampa Bay schools

Subscribe to our free Gradebook newsletter

We’ll break down the local and state education developments you need to know every Thursday.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

A Lee County School Board member proposed changing the titles of prom king and queen, calling them sexist. The board didn’t act on the idea, WBBH reports.

The Leon County school district received more state money for mental health services. District officials said it still isn’t enough to meet all students’ needs, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

From the court docket ... An appellate court refused to reconsider its decision to allow the release of information from a grand jury on school security, the News Service of Florida reports. • A Florida Christian school has filed suit against the Biden Administration over its policy regarding Title IX as it applies to free school meals, the Washington Times reports. • A judge recommended the suspension of a Hendry County principal’s educator certificate, saying her paddling of a student in 2021 violated state law and school district policy, WBBH reports.

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

Before you go ... Today is National Milk Chocolate Day. Here’s a short video from Science on how it’s made. Yum.

• • •

Sign up for the Gradebook newsletter!

Every Thursday, get the latest updates on what’s happening in Tampa Bay area schools from Times education reporter Jeffrey S. Solochek. Click here to sign up.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge