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Florida education news: Armed guards, school grades and teacher pay

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Pinellas Sheriff's trainers line the back of the room as more than 100 school security officers, or "guardians," began training.
Published Sep. 17

ARMED GUARDS: Florida lawmakers ask the state Department of Education to detail how many classroom teachers have volunteered to participate as armed school guardians. So far, 11 districts allow the practice, but the state has not tracked that aspect of implementation. • A Broward County charter school fights its takeover by the school district over its failure to hire a full-time armed guard, the News Service of Florida reports.

SCHOOL GRADES: School districts receive word on their appeals of individual school state grades. Pasco County has three approved and one rejected.

PAY RATES: Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran is the highest paid statewide official, the News Service of Florida reports.

REQUIRED INSTRUCTION: A Democratic state senator proposes legislation to require schools teach students about cancer awareness, Florida Politics reports.

ON VIDEO: Southwest Florida parents raise questions about who can make video recordings in their schools after learning of a controversy in Pasco County, WZVN reports.

TAX BATTLE: A group of Duval County parents sues the Jacksonville City Council over its refusal to allow the Duval School Board to hold a sales tax referendum in a November special election, the Florida Times-Union reports.

GETTING IN: Orange County high school seniors applying to colleges struggle to get their transcripts as the district changes student data systems, WKMG reports.

IN THE SUNSHINE: The State Attorney’s Office rejects an accusation by the Marion County superintendent that her School Board met in private, violating the state open meetings law, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

TEACHER PAY: Brevard County teachers make new salary demands of the district as they return to the bargaining table, Florida Today reports.

MAKEUP DAYS: Lake County students will not need to make up time missed because of Hurricane Dorian, the Daily Commercial reports.

CLASSROOM CUTS: Marion County School Board members fret that the district is reducing the number of teacher aides in the primary grades, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

BELL SCHEDULES: The Orange County school district offers three options for changing start times to allow high school to begin later daily, and will seek public input, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TODAY: House Education Committee, 10:30 a.m. On the agenda: A review of early education programs.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. The Pinellas School Board recognized James Krull as the district's bus Driver of the Year at its meeting Tuesday. From left are board members Bill Dudley, Eileen Long, Carol Cook, Rene Flowers, Krull, and board members Nicole Carr, Joanne Lentino and Lisa Cane. Pinellas County Schools
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  2. In this image from a telecast by The Florida Channel, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks to a Gainesville crowd that came to discuss revisions to the state's education standards this past week. “We’re going to end up with the world’s best standards,” Corcoran said. The Florida Channel
    The effort, ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis, aims to transform the way students learn in public schools. A “listening session” is set for Tampa’s Jefferson High.
  3. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times  Florida Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr., R- Hialeah; Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, watch the passage of the school voucher bill Tuesday in the Florida House.
    The new program, designed to eliminate waiting lists for tax credit scholarships, is likely to be challenged in court.
  4. A research group has raised concerns that Florida's plan to track student social media usage and collect other data will compromise children's privacy.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. Sigfredo Garcia rubs his eyes as he prepares to hear the closing arguments on Thursday in his trial on charges he killed Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel in 2014. The case went to the jury later in the day, and they will resume deliberations Friday. Tallahassee Democrat
    Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel was killed in 2014. Prosecutors blame his ex-wife, but only the hitman and his girlfriend stand trial.
  6. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Veteran teachers aren’t included. The governor can’t set teacher salaries. And a host of other concerns.
  7. Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is scheduled to lead a listening session on the state's education standards review. CHRIS URSO  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Watch the discussion on the Florida Channel.
  8. 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.
  9. At a bargaining session in late August, Hillsborough Schools Employee Relations Manager Mark West trades contract proposals with officers from the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association. MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff
    The higher starting salary of $40,000 falls short of the $47,500 proposed by the governor.
  10. Pasco County School Board member Colleen Beaudoin [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times] JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    Beaudoin has been an outspoken board member on issues ranging from teaching time to transgender student rights.