The big story: It’s budget season for Florida school districts, with boards across the state adopting their tentative millage rates and spending plans.
In many counties, including Pinellas and Pasco, the adoption goes largely unchallenged. Few members of the public speak at hearings or raise questions about how the millions of dollars are to be used.
It went differently in Sarasota this week.
A coalition of conservative and right-wing groups rallied against the budget, which they said supports social-emotional learning and other “woke” expenditures. Board chairperson Bridget Ziegler, a founding member of Moms for Liberty whose husband leads the state Republican Party, voted against the budget, which still faces final consideration later in the fall. Read more from the Herald-Tribune.
African American history standards: Vice President Kamala Harris said she will not debate Gov. Ron DeSantis over what she called the undeniable fact that slavery had no redeeming qualities, Associated Press reports. • An historically Black Catholic fraternal organization is pushing back against DeSantis’ defense of the standards, calling slavery a “non-Christ-like practice,” OSV News reports. • More on the standards dispute from Jacksonville Today.
Diversity, equity and inclusion: Florida State University students sought assurances from school leaders about how state laws abolishing diversity and equity programs would affect them. They walked away from a meeting with the school’s president with few clear answers, Florida Phoenix reports.
Mental health services: The Moms for Liberty group has advocated against offering mental health services in schools, but providing it is written into Florida law, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
School leadership: Florida TaxWatch issued a report identifying principals who made meaningful changes to improve their at-risk schools, Florida Politics reports.
Superintendents: Newly appointed Bay County superintendent Mark McQueen said he intends to seek election to the post in 2024, WMBB reports. • The Flagler County School Board is talking about offering its next superintendent an annual salary up to $200,000, a 48% increase from what the job paid three years ago, Flagler Live reports.
Teacher pay: Brevard County teachers will begin to receive raises from revenue collected as part of a voter-approved property tax referendum, Florida Today reports.
Other school news
A selection committee has recommended three finalists to become New College’s next president. Interim leader Richard Corcoran is one of them.
Orange County students will have to keep their cell phones in backpacks and purses. School Board members decided that allowing phones in pockets creates too much of a distraction, WKMG reports.
A Palm Beach County high school is preparing to open with its principal and four other staff members arrested over failure to report suspected assault. Superintendent Mike Burke has appointed new leadership and said the school will be ready on Day 1, WPTV reports.
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Florida State University has fired a professor over allegations of bias in racial discrimination studies. The termination letter says criminologist Eric Stewart demonstrated “extreme negligence in basic data management,” causing potential damage to the university and its criminal justice college, The College Fix reports.
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Before you go ... Your No. 1 trending video is the trailer for Loki season two. Can you wait until the Oct. 6 launch? And as a side note, is Ke Huy Quan everywhere these days?
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