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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


  1. Goodwill's BookWorks preschool literacy program strives to instill a love of reading and helps provide children books.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  2. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace has 183 more students this school year than last. Middle schools grew in enrollment this year, while elementary schools lost more than 1,200 students.  [Times | 2013]
    The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.
  3. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    Gov. Ron DeSantis also had set a priority of getting more youngsters ready for kindergarten.
  4. Wendell Krinn Technical High School in Pasco County opened in August 2018. The district wants to open an east-side technical high school in 2022. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    The past department head was removed over several performance concerns.
  5. Pinellas Sheriff's trainers line the back of the room as more than 100 school security officers, or "guardians,"  began training.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. Students and community activists marched in Tampa last year after the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The attack killed 17 people and gave rise to Florida’s school guardian law, which this year was changed to allow classroom teachers to be armed. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
    "This is the dumb, backwards stuff that we do here,” one Florida lawmaker said.
  7. Pasco High School's state grade for 2019 remains an "incomplete," with state officials finding not enough students were tested.
    A fourth has its request rejected, leaving it with an “incomplete” mark.
  8. The USF St. Petersburg Campus, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. A view of the student center at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where opposition is mounting over a plan to consolidate USF's three campuses. Some state lawmakers are opposed to parts of it that would concentrate authority over academic decisions in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES  |
    They say the proposal by USF president Steve Currall conflicts with a new Florida law by giving too much authority to the Tampa campus.
  10. Wreckage left behind by Hurricane Michael. News Service of Florida
    Entire school systems are still recovering from long-standing damage and dealing with the disruptive aftermath of the storm.