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Florida schools want cellphones out. Remember when they welcomed phones?

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
 
Angeline Academy of Innovation students Kyandra Valle, Caitlin Sukpanichnant and Giavanna Romero spent an hour trying to convince Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning not to impose further restrictions on cell phone use in middle and high schools for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year.
Angeline Academy of Innovation students Kyandra Valle, Caitlin Sukpanichnant and Giavanna Romero spent an hour trying to convince Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning not to impose further restrictions on cell phone use in middle and high schools for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year. [ JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times ]
Published March 29

The big story: School districts across Florida are devising new cellphone rules for students to follow in the fall.

Many are looking to add restrictions, with some considering complete bans on use from bell to bell, unless teachers give explicit permission.

It wasn’t that long ago that schools welcomed the devices, saying it was time to embrace the reality of current technology. Now that they’ve seen the downside, they’re trying to walk it back. Will kids and families go for that? Read more here.

K-12 topics

Taxes: The Hillsborough County School Board has yet to decide whether to seek a property tax referendum in support of teacher salaries. A community group is urging the board to embrace the idea.

Teacher shortage: Exit interviews reveal the “brutal” truth of why many Florida teachers quit their jobs in 2023, WTSP reports.

School choice: Indian River County school district officials say the appetite is high for adding another magnet school. They’re looking at a classical education model, VeroNews.com reports. • Catholic schools in south Florida are experiencing an enrollment boom, the Miami Herald reports.

Homelessness: Leon County schools have seen an uptick in the number of homeless students, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. The district offers added supports to the students, but stressed it does not provide housing.

Classroom certification: Monroe County students will be able to gain several certifications in technology skills as the district launches an “IT Elite Pathway” that includes 30 elective courses, the Key West Citizen reports.

Charter schools: The Alachua County teachers union is opposing a proposal to convert three schools into charters, Main Street Daily News reports. The group advancing the concept continues to release details about how the change would work, as residents prepare to vote on the idea, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Budgets: The Miami-Dade County school district is feeling a budget squeeze as growing numbers of students take advantage of Florida’s expanded voucher program, Axios reports.

Book challenges: A growing group of Nassau County residents are rising in opposition to the school district’s removal of books from school libraries, the Fernandina Beach News-Leader reports.

Athletics: The Martin County school district will leave its aquatic center open for student use next year, despite concerns about its condition, TC Palm reports.

From the police blotter ... A Lee County high school coach was fired and faces police investigation over allegations of sending nude photos of himself to a minor, WINK reports.

In higher ed

College campuses: The University of Florida won permission to place a graduate student campus in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Today reports.

Dorm life: Some upperclassmen at Florida Atlantic University have concerns about finding housing as the school gives priority for dorm rooms to incoming freshmen, WPBF reports.

Financial aid: Getting scholarships to afford university tuition isn’t always easy for Florida students, Florida Today reports.

Teacher training: Valencia College will offer a new bachelor’s degree program in elementary education to help combat a shortage of teachers in central Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

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

Before you go ... Daryl Hall has been reposting episodes of Live from Daryl’s House. Once you get started, you’ll want to binge the rest.