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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.
Pinellas Sheriff's trainers line the back of the room as more than 100 school security officers, or "guardians," began training.
Published Sep. 17, 2019

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. Harrison Peters, Chief of Schools in Hillsborough County, is close to landing a job as superintendent in Providence, R.I. [HCPS  |  Handout]
    The Boston Globe says Peters is days from being given a superintendent position.
  2. Gov. Ron DeSantis. [STEVE CANNON  |  AP]
    Florida students will read more classical literature and learn math differently, according to summary documents.
  3. Janessa Horsford, 5, says goodbye to her parents, Julytsa and Nigel Horsford, on her first day of kindergarten at Lake Magdalene Elementary School.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. Miranda Harwood, a fourth-grade math teacher at Brooker Elementary School, is the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year. [Hillsborough County Public Schools]
    The self-described “data queen” uses humor to keep her students engaged.
  5. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    Five girls and one boy will face charges after lunchtime fights disrupted the Pasco County campus, according to the school district.
  6. State Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, presents legislation to create a new chapter of Florida law dedicated to parents' rights when dealing with government and other agencies, during a committee meeting Jan. 23, 2020. [The Florida Channel]
    Parents have been marginalized by bureaucracy, and need to be empowered in law, sponsor Rep. Erin Grall says.
  7. Kurt Browning, left, is seeking a third term as superintendent of Pasco County schools. Addison Davis, right, is negotiating a contract to become Hillsborough County's next superintendent. [Tampa Bay Times (2016, 2020)]
    A Hillsborough search and Pasco election offer insights into the job and its importance.
  8. This time last year, Nicole Kenngatt, holding hands with student Lilly Crandall, was announced as Teacher of the Year. The award for the 2019-20 school year will be given Wednesday in a ceremony at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [JAY NOLAN  |  Special to the Times]
    The winner for 2019-20 will be announced Wednesday during the Pinellas Education Foundation’s annual “Evening of Excellence.”
  9. An empty classroom at Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County. [Skip O'Rourke | Times] [SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Skip O'Rourke]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. State Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Jacksonville Republican, presents his bill to create a "do not hire" list for any school employee who has been terminated, or resigned in lieu of termination, from employment as a result of sexual misconduct with a student. [The Florida Channel]
    The measure would apply to district, charter and private schools.