Advertisement

Affordable housing push has Florida school districts worried

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
 
Pasco County school district and county commission officials are concerned about the potential financial pressures of Florida's Live Local Act to bring affordable housing to communities, as shown in this artist's rendering of workforce housing development proposed for Pasco.
Pasco County school district and county commission officials are concerned about the potential financial pressures of Florida's Live Local Act to bring affordable housing to communities, as shown in this artist's rendering of workforce housing development proposed for Pasco. [ Pasco County ]
Published Feb. 7

The big story: Florida education officials are growing concerned about the Legislature’s effort to make it easier to build affordable housing in the state.

The Live Local Act, a Senate priority initially approved last year, would give developers tax breaks and land development advantages. And particularly in growing areas, the initiative is causing angst among school district leaders.

They fret that the effort would allow housing to rise in commercial and industrial areas where they have no plans for schools to serve the families that move in. Compounding the concern, the measure would decrease tax revenue that might be used to meet those children’s needs.

Pasco County school board members and county commissioners are leading a charge to press for change. Read more here.

Hot topics

Book challenges: The Pasco County school district received its first formal book challenge. It’s on “The Letter Q,” a book of essays offering support to LGBTQ+ youth. • The Brevard County School Board voted to remove the fantasy novel “A Court of Thorn and Roses” from the schools because of sexual content, WKMG reports.

College sports: Florida State University has been preparing a complex private equity deal to support its athletics program. They call it Project Osceola.

Pickup line dispute: A Lake County private Christian school has expelled the children of a parent who regularly drove through the school pickup line with a decal for OnlyFans on her vehicle, WFTV reports.

Sarasota scandal: Demonstrators continued to call for the resignation of Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, WFLA reports.

Superintendents: The principal of Lecanto High filed to run for Citrus County superintendent soon after incumbent Sam Himmel announced her retirement, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. Himmel has backed her assistant superintendent for the post. • A split Alachua County School Board approved a new contract for superintendent Shane Andrew, Main Street Daily News reports. Andrew still must accept the offer.

Teacher pay: Broward County teachers could see raises of 3.96% as part of a tentative contract agreement, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Top teachers: Fourth-grade teacher Caitlin Sullivan was named Monroe County 2024 Teacher of the Year, the Key West Citizen reports.

From the police blotter ... A Manatee County teacher and aide face arrest on accusations of tying up a student during recess, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Tallahassee action

Flag displays: A bill to restrict the types of flags that schools and other government buildings may display stalled in the Senate, Florida Politics reports.

History lessons: Republican state lawmakers want students to learn about “cultural Marxism” as early as kindergarten, Florida Phoenix reports. The proposal to require the teaching of communism sparked animated debate, News Service of Florida reports.

Religion in schools: Florida lawmakers are advancing legislation that would let school districts bring volunteer chaplains into schools to advise students, with parental permission, Associated Press reports.

Session rules: Most Senate and House committees are done meeting after this week, meaning several bills that have yet to be heard are likely dead for the 2024 session, Florida Politics reports.

Today in Tallahassee ... The full Senate will consider appropriations bills, including for education, when it convenes at 9 a.m. • The House Education and Employment Committee will take up six bills when it meets at 10 a.m. • The full House will discuss its appropriations bills when it meets at 2 p.m.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you go ... OK, “The Office” fans, what do you notice in this video?