Florida district rejects $100K pay plan as schools work to hire teachers

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Broward School Board member Allen Zeman had proposed paying Broward teachers, on average, a total compensation of $100,000, but the board voted the measure down Tuesday, July 25, 2023.
Broward School Board member Allen Zeman had proposed paying Broward teachers, on average, a total compensation of $100,000, but the board voted the measure down Tuesday, July 25, 2023. [ ALIE SKOWRONSKI | Miami Herald ]
Published July 26|Updated July 28

The big story: Florida officials have made improving teacher pay an important component of recruiting and retaining teachers during a time when vacancies are up and applications are down.

The Brevard County school district recorded 212 teacher resignations and retirements over the summer, for example. District officials are looking into the reasons behind the departures, Florida Today reports.

The Lake County school district has hired more than 300 new teachers and is seeking about 65 more, WKMG reports.

One Broward County School Board member proposed giving teachers in his district raises of nearly $20,000, to make compensation packages of $100,000, as a way to help them afford the costs of living in south Florida. His colleagues expressed support for the idea.

But they narrowly rejected the proposal, with the board chairperson calling it “too aggressive, too fast and too broad.” Read more from the Miami Herald.

Hot topics

Social media: Florida schools are preparing to implement the state’s new ban on TikTok on district networks, platforms and devices, WCTV reports.

New rules: Alachua County teachers attended training on the implications of new state rules relating to instruction about gender and sex. Several questions went unanswered, the Gainesville Sun reports. • The Marion County School Board is considering updates to its student code of conduct, including a rule allowing self defense on campus, WCJB reports.

Budgets: Bay County School Board officials say a 16% budget increase does not necessarily translate into new programs, as the district will spend much of the added money on growth related expenses, WJHG reports. • Alachua County School Board members said rising costs can eat up added revenue, and called on administrators to present more detailed budget plans, Main Street Daily News reports.

Book challenges: The Leon County School Board unanimously decided to keep the book “I Am Billie Jean King” in elementary schools, following a hearing officer’s recommendation, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. A parent complained that the book discussed the tennis legend’s sexual orientation.

African American history standards: Political advisor William B. Allen of Fernandina Beach is taking a lead role in defending Florida’s new African American history standards, which he helped write. The Florida Times-Union takes a look at Allen’s role. • State Rep. Kim Daniels, a Jacksonville Democrat recently appointed to the commissioner’s African American History Task Force, is distancing herself from some of the newly adopted standards, Florida Politics reports. • Reactions to the standards continue to emerge across the state, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Some political pundits say the dispute could affect Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential ambitions, WFLA reports.

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School leadership

Hillsborough County’s Sumner High has a new principal. Christine Wasylkiw replaces Rob Nelson, who was named a regional superintendent.

Collier County’s new superintendent is sharing her vision. Leslie Ricciardelli talked about her goals, and her views on some of Florida’s hot button education issues, as the school year approaches, WINK reports.

Florida Polytechnic University president Randy Avent is stepping down. The school did not detail its process for finding a successor, News Service of Florida reports. Searches at other universities, most recently Florida Atlantic University, have become embroiled in controversy.

From the police blotter ... A Palm Beach County school principal and four other staff members were arrested on allegations of failing to report sexual assaults against a student, the Palm Beach Post reports. state law requires educators to report suspected abuse, WPTV reports.

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

Before you go ... Amazon Prime is getting ready to air the long awaited second season of Invincible. Before we get there, it’s offering a back story episode of Atom Eve. Here’s the trailer.

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