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Florida education news: Teacher workload, superintendent search, and active shooter drills

A roundup of stories from around the state.
This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter.
Published Sep. 19

TEACHER PAY: How much extra work are teachers willing to take on for a pay raise? The Pasco County school district will soon find out, as it places a controversial two-year salary plan on the negotiating table. The School Board has included 3 percent raises in its budget.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: Hillsborough County parents and other residents begin to offer their input on what they’d like to see in the district’s next chief executive. Will former leader MaryEllen Elia be a contender? Not likely, as she’s just taken a new consulting job with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

‘SCARED TO DEATH’: Some Florida parents and lawmakers call for a reduction in school active shooter drills, Florida Phoenix reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A Leon County charter school that almost didn’t get approved now has a location and a principal, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

COLLEGE CHANGES: Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran pushes for funding and other changes in the state’s college system as a way to heighten their success, the News Service of Florida reports.

HELPING HAND: A community foundation establishes a new grant to support Duval County teachers, the Florida Times-Union reports.

TAX FUNDS: Added revenue from the Manatee County school district’s new local-option property tax increase will pay for more than teacher raises, the Bradenton Herald reports.

STUDENT ATHLETES: The House PreK-12 Innovation committee talks about health concerns for student athletes, without reaching any conclusions, Florida Politics reports.

SUPERINTENDENT EVALUATION: Palm Beach County superintendent Donald Fennoy gets a ‘highly effective’ rating from his board, putting him in line for a raise, the Palm Beach Post reports.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL: Florida Virtual School, recently taken over by the state, hires new executives with little education experience but strong ties to the Republican party, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

NEW SCHOOLS: Plans for a new K-8 school to serve a growing part of St. Johns County run into siting problems, the St. Augustine Record reports.

ARRESTED: Two Osceola County students are arrested on accusations of plotting to shoot up a middle school, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • Ten Hillsborough County students are arrested after a series of fights at Lennard High School, Fox 13 reports.

TODAY: House PreK-12 Appropriations, 9:30 a.m. On the agenda: Budget priorities. • House Higher Education, 9:30 a.m. On the agenda: Educational reform in the college system.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Student activists with the March For Our Lives group, founded after the Feb. 2018 Parkland shooting, hold a banner that promotes their new "peace plan" to prevent gun violence, while demonstrating in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Tallahassee. Emily L. Mahoney | Times
    The 18-year-old student director of March for Our Lives Florida said school shootings are so common they are “not shocking” anymore.
  2. Steven Currall prepares to deliver an address during his investiture as the University of South Florida's seventh president Thursday at the Yuengling Center in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Though he started the job in July, Steve Currall is officially installed as president on his 137th day in office.
  3. 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. He revealed a related teacher bonus plan on Nov. 14 in Vero Beach. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new plan would replace the controversial Best and Brightest model that DeSantis had called confusing.
  4. Cotee River Elementary student Darrell Jones waves his American flag during the school's Veterans Day program.
    The School Board is scheduled to vote on the calendar next week.
  5. Pasco eSchool principal JoAnne Glenn is surprised by school district officials who announced she is their 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    A discussion with Pasco County Principal of the Year JoAnne Glenn.
  6. An investiture ceremony is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. inside USF’s Yuengling Center in Tampa. Currall and other USF leaders will speak about the school’s future.
  7. Experts are recommending the flu shot as outbreaks pop up in Hillsborough County schools.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. The Pasco County school district is considering an increase in substitute teacher pay to combat its low fill rate for the jobs.
    District officials say more competitive wages could help fill vacancies, which have been rising.
  9. JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    JoAnne Glenn next will be entered for the statewide honor.
  10. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning briefly blocked a critic from his social media accounts. He has since restored access to the person but says he would rather they have a conversation, “like two grown adults.” [Times (2016)]
    Kurt Browning restored his online nemesis as a Twitter follower and Facebook friend after staffers told him that blocking people was a no-no.
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