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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.
Published Sep. 4

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

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  2. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  3. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  4. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  6. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  7. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
  9. Florida Senator Tom Lee, R- Thonotosassa. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES
    The Senate Education Committee will tackle some high-profile issues in its final meeting before session.
  10. Jennifer Dixon, Pasco County's 2020 Teacher of the Year, thanks her students for making her job 'the job that I love.' JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Jennifer Dixon ‘lives and breathes teaching,’ her principal says.
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