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UF names one finalist for president. It’s a Nebraska politician.

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
FILE - Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Sasse is the sole finalist to become the president of the University of Florida, the school said Thursday, and the GOP senator has indicated that he will take the job. That means he could resign in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
FILE - Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Sasse is the sole finalist to become the president of the University of Florida, the school said Thursday, and the GOP senator has indicated that he will take the job. That means he could resign in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) [ ALEX BRANDON | AP ]
Published Oct. 7|Updated Oct. 7

The big story: University of Florida trustees have been looking for a 13th president for the state’s flagship since Kent Fuchs announced his planned departure.

Though it’s a public school and a public process, much of the work has taken place quietly behind the scenes, in line with a new state law.

On Thursday, the big news broke. The selection committee offered one finalist for the post, and it was their first choice.

Read about the nomination of U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a conservative Nebraska Republican with strong academic credentials. Sasse has had plenty to say about education over the years. Here’s a sampling of his views. Donald Trump reacted to the nomination by saying Florida would regret it. (Sasse voted to convict the impeached Trump the second time around.)

In other university leadership news, the University of South Florida named four finalists for its provost position.

Hot topics

Hurricane aftermath: Hillsborough County students will lose one day off and some early release days as the district adjusts its calendar to make up for closures during Ian. • Collier County students were eager to get back to school after a week away, the Naples Daily News reports. • Charlotte County schools are making plans for an Oct. 24 reopening, the Herald-Tribune reports. • The Sarasota County school district confirmed its plans to phase in school reopenings, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Mental health: Broward County school officials are reminding parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children after students witnessed a classmate take his own life at a high school, WPLG reports. More from the Sun-Sentinel.

Funding: State lawmakers used their Joint Legislative Budget Committee powers to authorize several “local” projects, including for schools, that Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed. DeSantis has not completed the required budget amendment, essentially defunding the projects. More from Florida Politics. • The Miami-Dade County School Board is asking voters to approve a property tax referendum, with revenue going toward teacher and school police salaries, the Miami Herald reports.

English language learning: Seminole County schools are experiencing an increase in students who don’t speak English as their first language, Spectrum 13 reports.

Reading lessons: Former U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson was on hand to open a new reading room at a Palm Beach County elementary school, WPBF reports. Carson’s foundation supports the reading initiative across the nation.

From the police blotter ... A Miami-Dade County father was arrested after his 10-year-old son brought a gun to school, WFLA reports. • A Marion County high school student was arrested on accusations of bringing a loaded gun to school, WKMG reports. • Bay County school and law enforcement officials put an end to a high school’s homecoming bonfire tradition after the fire exploded, the Panama City News Herald reports.

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