Florida seeks to cut red tape that binds public schools

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Sen. Corey Simon, R-Tallahassee, urges senators to support HB 1 expanding Florida's school voucher program in March 2003. Simon included a provision aiming to reduce "onerous" regulations on public education as part of the bill.
Sen. Corey Simon, R-Tallahassee, urges senators to support HB 1 expanding Florida's school voucher program in March 2003. Simon included a provision aiming to reduce "onerous" regulations on public education as part of the bill. [ The Florida Channel ]
Published Sept. 15|Updated Sept. 15

The big story: A lot of attention has been paid to Florida’s expanded private school voucher program.

Much less time has gone toward a separate part of the provision added by senators to ease the “onerous” regulatory burden some officials say hinder public schools in their efforts to offer choices to families.

Conversations are taking place now, with a Nov. 1 deadline approaching to make recommendations for deregulating public education. And officials said they want to hear what more Floridians have to say about the how to place all schools on more equal footing under the law. Read more here.

Hot topics

Financial literacy: A group of Pasco County residents have objected to their district’s adoption of a state-approved personal finance textbook, saying its lessons lean too heavily on the Bible. • Growing numbers of students are taking the personal finance course after lawmakers made it a high school graduation requirement, WPTV reports.

LGBTQ+ history month: Palm Beach County school district leaders said they will recognize LGBTQ+ History Month, even as other districts declined to do so amid concerns it violates state law, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Library book challenges: The Indian River County school district announced it is reviewing another 128 titles to determine if they violate state law on sexual content, TC Palm reports.

Race relations: An Alachua County high school has come under fire for permitting a club that focuses on minority males’ academic achievement, the Gainesville Sun reports. Some parents complained about the group, which appeared to have required certain students to attend.

School supplies: The Citrus County Education Foundation’s “teacher store,” which provides free supplies to teachers, has grown from a few shelves to a large former classroom at the school district’s Withlacoochee Technical College, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

Teacher shortages: Sarasota County schools have a lower teacher vacancy rate than the state average, and the district is taking steps to further decrease the number of openings, the Longboat Key Observer reports.

Vouchers: Step Up For Students responded to calls for added details about the students participating in Florida’s expanded voucher program. Among the details, it indicated that 69% of the new recipients already had attended private schools, WMFE reports. More from News Service of Florida.

More school news

The respected president of Broward College abruptly resigned. He acted shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a new majority to the school’s board of trustees, the Miami Herald reports.

Six Volusia County charter schools are scrambling to pay for student transportation services. They’re doing so because the school district stopped providing buses because of a driver shortage, Hometown News Volusia reports.

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Pinellas County’s Lakewood High has launched a three-year artificial intelligence course. More than 80 students have enrolled in the program, which promises preparation for future jobs, WTSP reports.

The St. Johns County School Board is making changes to proposed attendance zone maps. Members said they’re responding to parent complaints as the district attempts to ease school crowing, WJAX reports.

From the police blotter ... Several Pasco County teens are facing charges after a brawl erupted at Zephyrhills High School. The Daily Mail has posted photos and video of the melee.

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

Before you go ... It’s always cool when the big stars share the stage with kids.

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