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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. 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.