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Florida education news: Substitute teachers, phones in school zones, and a charter challenge

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Resource management associate Ellen Jones, left, helps Mariah Feagley, 6, to her first-grade classroom on Pasco County's first day of school at Hudson Elementary School. The school must improve student performance or could face a state-imposed restructuring.
Resource management associate Ellen Jones, left, helps Mariah Feagley, 6, to her first-grade classroom on Pasco County's first day of school at Hudson Elementary School. The school must improve student performance or could face a state-imposed restructuring.
Published Sep. 30, 2019|Updated Sep. 30, 2019

STILL LOOKING: A Pasco County school struggles to find certified replacements for four teachers it had to release because of a Florida law requiring educators at turnaround schools to have effective or better scores on a state performance measure. It has used substitute teachers while seeking qualified candidates.

PUT IT DOWN: Florida drivers must put down their cell phones while in school zones beginning Oct. 1, or face penalties.

STUDENT VOICE: A Hernando High School senior is elected by peers to serve as the student representative to the Hernando County School Board.

TEACHER PAY: Florida lawmakers say they will consider including money for increased teacher salaries, rather than bonuses, in their next budget, the News Service of Florida reports. More from WFSU. • St. Johns County teachers negotiate their largest raises in years, the St. Augustine Record reports. • Brevard County teachers prepare to return to the bargaining table to talk pay and benefits, Space Coast Daily reports. • Teachers at some of Sarasota County’s top performing schools are ineligible for ‘Best and Brightest’ bonuses under the latest rule revisions, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SUPERINTENDENT SELECTION: Okaloosa County voters could soon have a say on whether their school district should appoint rather than elect its superintendent, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. • The Volusia County school district gets 36 applicants to be its next superintendent, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. More from the Palm Beach Post.

NEW ARREST RULES: The Orlando Police Department will require approval by the deputy chief of any arrest of a child under 12, after the recent controversial arrest of two 6-year-olds at a local school, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

COURT CHALLENGE: Nine Florida school districts will take their fight against the 2017 law that created a controversial new charter school model to the state Supreme Court, the News Service of Florida reports.

GUNS ON CAMPUS: A Hendry County teacher is arrested for having a gun in her car at school, WFTX reports.

WASTE NOT: The Lee County school district will donate unused cafeteria food to a local food bank, WINK reports.

TERM LIMITS: A fourth Brevard County state lawmaker signs a pledge to support eight-year term limits for school board members, Florida Today reports.

CHARTER REVOCATION: A state administrative judge supports the Manatee County school district’s takeover of a troubled charter school, WTSP reports. More from the Bradenton Herald, Herald-Tribune.

VIOLENT STUDENTS: The Okaloosa County school district explores ways to deal with students with disabilities who batter their teachers, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. Two educators have sought criminal charges against their students.

AUDITS: State auditors overturn their original finding that the Lee County school district had misused impact fee revenue, after district officials protest, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

BAD BLOOD: The Marion County superintendent, subject to two School Board-requested investigations of complaints she created a hostile work environment, instructs her staff not to communicate directly with board members, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

SETTING GOALS: The Highlands County school district makes progress toward some of its academic goals, but falls short in others, the Highlands News-Sun reports.

NOT ON THE AGENDA: Concerns about a former teacher accused of molesting several students do not come up during a Collier County school’s advisory committee meeting, despite many parents’ previously stated demands for information, the Naples Daily News reports.

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