Florida education news: Evolution vs. creation, four-day weeks, military family needs and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
The Florida Board of Education meets May 22, 2019, at Mort Elementary in Tampa. It is in the midst of a comprehensive review of academic standards. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
The Florida Board of Education meets May 22, 2019, at Mort Elementary in Tampa. It is in the midst of a comprehensive review of academic standards. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published August 9

EVOLUTION LESSONS: Florida Board of Education chairman Andy Tuck faces increasing criticism of his past comments that he does not support teaching evolution as fact. Some people worry that he could influence changes in what schools teach in science classrooms, as the state goes through a comprehensive standards review.

FOUR-DAY WEEKS: Hernando County school district officials explore the idea as a way to save money.

MEET THE TEACHERS: Educators from Hillsborough County’s Tinker K-8 school, which sits on MacDill Air Force Base, hear about the specific situations that military families face.

MAKING MONEY: Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sees strong revenue increases largely from sales in Florida and Texas, Education Week reports.

KEEPING TEACHERS: Orange County school district leaders look for ways to recruit and retain teachers as they struggle to improve their pay, Spectrum News 13 reports. • A group of south Florida teachers discuss their frustrations with the job on WLRN.

NO JOKE: North Florida law enforcement reminds students and parents that threats against schools are felonies, even if they’re not real, WFSU reports. • Bay County school and Sheriff’s Office officials look into how to handle a teen who posted a hateful, racist video on social media, the Panama City News Herald reports.

VIDEO LESSONS: A Broward County middle school teacher uses YouTube video reminders to get her students ready for classes, WSVN reports.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: Florida lawmakers are looking into ways to get more mental health professionals into schools, the News Service of Florida reports.

SECURITY: Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie county school districts add security improvements in advance of students’ return, TC Palm reports.

CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY: Eight Duval County schools receive STEM grants to enhance their career and technical programs, the Florida Times-Union reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: The Marion County School Board decides unanimously it will not hire elected superintendent Heidi Maier as its first appointed superintendent, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Voters approved moving away from an elected school leader to begin in 2020. • Ousted Okaloosa County superintendent Mary Beth Jackson asks for reimbursement for legal fees she spent fighting her removal from office, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

SCHOOL BOARD SELECTION: A Jacksonville City Council member proposes a resolution opposing any move to end the direct election of Duval County School Board members, the Florida Times-Union reports.

HEALTH INSURANCE: Insurance costs will go up for Marion County schools, but not by as much as expected, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. • The Orange County School Board extends its current health insurance plan to teachers while continuing to negotiate new contract terms, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

GETTING THERE: Leon County parents find problems with the school district’s late-released bus route information, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

BAD ACTS: A Clay County teacher loses his teaching certificate over inappropriate crude comments to students, the Florida Times-Union reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup