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Florida education news: Hurricane Dorian, turnaround schools, roofing deals and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
School buses will return to the roads across the Tampa Bay region as classes resume following time off for Hurricane Dorian.
School buses will return to the roads across the Tampa Bay region as classes resume following time off for Hurricane Dorian.
Published Sep. 4, 2019

HURRICANE DORIAN: As the devastating storm finally begins to move, with most of Florida outside its cone, schools around the Tampa Bay area and state begin to reopen for classes. District leaders will begin discussing how to answer the question of whether kids will have to make up the missed time. Many parents and school employees expressed support for the decision to stay closed while Dorian threatened, though a few found reason to complain. To those who questioned the closures, Marion County’s sheriff had a simple response: Stop whining, WKMG reports. More from the Ocala Star-Banner, Sun-Sentinel, Florida Times-Union.

TURNAROUNDS: The Florida Department of Education proposes new rules to give the state more control over the operations of schools working under approved turnaround plans. One change would require a district to get state permission to change principals at a turnaround school.

BID RIGGING: A former Pasco County purchasing director resigns under pressure amid investigations and lawsuits into allegations that she had an intimate relationship with a prominent local roofer and helped him win district work. No criminal charges have been filed.

MORE REQUIRED INSTRUCTION: Two Florida lawmakers revive legislation to require schools teach students about human trafficking, Florida Politics reports.

EXTRA SUPPORT: The Citrus County Education Foundation builds its donor base to offer greater help to local schools, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

RETIREMENT BENEFITS: Having beaten back charges against her, former Okaloosa County superintendent Mary Beth Jackson begins receiving her state retirement benefits, Florida Phoenix reports.

SPEAKING OUT: The Sarasota County school district employee who has accused a top administrator of sexual harassment brings her complaint directly to the School Board, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. From left, Don Haddad, Peter Licata and Addison Davis, all finalists for the job of Hillsborough County school superintendent, met Thursday with community members at Rampello K-8 School. The School Board will choose among the three on Tuesday. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    Addison Davis, Don Haddad and Peter Licata outline their plans for the first 90 days.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    A man university police believe was target shooting near campus was not located, the university said.
  3. Former state senator John Legg has not ruled out a run for Pasco County schools superintendent. The district is the nation's largest to elect its chief executive.
    Short answer: Maybe.
  4. But the competition isn’t who many people expected it to be.
  5. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. A point tally ranking the three finalists to be Hillsborough County's next school superintendent shows up on a screen in the School Board meeting room Thursday after a meeting that lasted most of the day. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    The last round of interviews is set for Jan. 21.
  7. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  8. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  9. Cocoa Police Department video shows A.J. Plonsky being taken to a mental health facility under the Florida Baker Act on his first day of middle school, August 10, 2018.  [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
    Never intended to be used on children, the 1970s law in increasingly applied in schools.
  10. Assisted by the Ray and Associates search firm, the Hillsborough County School Board is hiring a new superintendent. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.