Superintendent turnover creates ‘brain drain’ for Florida schools

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Duval County superintendent Diana Greene is among the many Florida school district leaders to depart since November under scrutiny or pressure from the school board.
Duval County superintendent Diana Greene is among the many Florida school district leaders to depart since November under scrutiny or pressure from the school board. [ BOB SELF/FLORIDA TIMES-UNION | The Florida Times-Union ]
Published June 5

The big story: School district superintendents in Florida haven’t had it easy over the past four years.

Their turnover rate has risen rapidly, with at least seven removed since November and others threatened. By the time July 1 arrives, the state’s 67 districts would have gone through 61 new chief executives.

State superintendents association leader Bill Montford calls the situation one of the most serious issues facing public education. “Could you imagine if you had 61 new sheriffs in Florida in the last four years, what kind of impact that would have on law enforcement?” Read more here.

Duval County superintendent Diana Greene left her job as the school year ended, handed a severance package as she faced several investigations, WJXT reports. The School Board now must decide how to replace her, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Hot topics

Board politics: More than 100 speakers expressed their views at a recent Hernando County School Board meeting, where the political divide over public education was on full display. Here’s what seven of them had to say.

Election 2024: A former aide to Republican state Rep. Chris Latvala announced her bid for Pinellas County School Board. Katie Blaxberg said she supports Gov. Ron DeSantis’ education agenda. • Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a progressive member of Congress from Orlando, endorsed a candidate for Orange County School Board, saying he wants to counter conservative efforts to take over boards, Florida Politics reports.

Student behavior: The Florida Department of Education has launched a state-specific youth behavior risk survey, more than a year after abandoning the one done by the Centers for Disease Control, WFTS reports.

Book bans: The Brevard County School Board barred three books of poetry from its shelves for the next eight years, Florida Today reports. • Duval County school district officials are undecided on what to do with books removed from classrooms and libraries because of content, Jacksonville Today reports.

Other school news

Charter Schools USA is taking over Escambia County’s long struggling Warrington Middle. The group’s leader says the campus is in worse shape than any other he’s seen, WEAR reports.

A Flagler County teacher and coach has been dismissed from both positions. A district investigation found several instances of improprieties in his work, Flagler Live reports.

A Volusia County high school is helping students focus on skilled career trades. Northern Tools is supporting the effort, WKMG reports.

From the police blotter ... A TikTokker was arrested on accusations of entering a Miami-Dade County school without permission to interview students, WPLG reports.

From the court docket ... A Brevard County conservative activist who was arrested in a 2021 anti-masking protest at a school board meeting was acquitted of charges that she disrupted a board function, Florida Today reports. • A judge has left open the door for Florida A&M University students to continue their class-action lawsuit against the state, WFSU reports. • An appeals court rejected an effort by Bethune-Cookman University to stop an alumni group from using the school founder’s name, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

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