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Florida districts look at closing, rezoning schools to better use space

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
The Pasco County School Board is set to consider a proposal that would close an under-capacity elementary school and send its students to other nearby campuses.
The Pasco County School Board is set to consider a proposal that would close an under-capacity elementary school and send its students to other nearby campuses. [ JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times ]
Published Oct. 5|Updated Oct. 5

The big story: It’s never an easy move for school districts to redraw attendance zones, shifting hundreds or thousands of children to different schools than the ones they’re used to.

As enrollments shift, and budgets remain tight, several districts are considering the idea as a way to make better use of resources and available space.

The Hillsborough County school district, for example, has hired a consultant to recommend countywide boundary revisions to ease crowding at some schools while filling the under-used ones.

Broward County is considering new attendance maps to deal with crowding in the Parkland area. The proposal drew hundreds of concerned parents and community members to a recent town hall on the topic, Parkland Talk reports.

In Pasco County, officials are taking a more targeted approach. For the second time in four years, they’re proposing to close one of their district’s older, under capacity campuses and shift its students and staff. Read on for the details.

Other school news

School board politics: The candidates for Pasco School Board District 1 don’t agree on much. Still, they’ve kept their relationship friendly. The nasty campaigning is being done by their proxies.

Civics education: As Florida and Texas revamped their civics standards, a national think tank asked educators what the point of the instruction should be. The overwhelming response was critical thinking, Education Week reports.

Hurricane aftermath: Lee County school district officials have made no decisions about when to reopen, with several schools damaged, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • DeSoto County schools could be closed at least another two weeks, WPTV reports. • Sarasota County is “aiming for Monday” to resume classes in north county schools, the Herald-Tribune reports. Others could wait longer. • All Collier County schools should be ready to reopen Thursday, the Naples Daily News reports. • Volusia County schools welcome students back today, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Tax credit scholarships: Florida companies funded more than $500 million in tax credit scholarships during 2021-22, serving more than 85,000 students, reimaginED reports. The program is larger this year.

Administrative overhaul: Broward County School Board members said they were satisfied payouts to three dismissed administrators did not violate any law, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Surprise! A Broward County machining teacher was one of 20 nationally to receive a $50,000 prize for his program from Harbor Freight Tools, WPLG reports.

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

Before you go ... RIP Loretta Lynn. We all know “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Have you heard this one lately?

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