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Florida education news: Medical marijuana, teacher pay and ‘Hope’ scholarships

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, says it's time to end the state's Best and Brightest teacher bonus program.
Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, says it's time to end the state's Best and Brightest teacher bonus program.
Published Oct. 7, 2019

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Several Florida school districts are bucking state law requiring them to adopt a policy for student use of medical marijuana. They say the state mandate does not jibe with federal statute. The Florida Department of Education has given them a deadline to comply, or face penalties.

TEACHER BONUSES: The influential chairman of the Florida Senate Appropriations committee files legislation to kill the ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus system. Sen. Rob Bradley’s bill comes soon after Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to revamp the state’s teacher pay model. Bradley, DeSantis and education commissioner Richard Corcoran are set to appear at an education-related press conference Monday morning in Clay County. DeSantis and Corcoran are then scheduled to appear in Broward and Pinellas counties.

TENSIONS RISE: Marion County School Board members battle with superintendent Heidi Maier’s attorney, whom Maier has named as point person for her administration, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Maier’s term as elected superintendent is nearing its end, and the board has said it does not intend to hire her.

‘HOPE’ SCHOLARSHIPS: Few south Florida families take advantage of a state voucher to allow students who claim they have been bullied to go to private schools, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Broward County officials are collecting school supplies for Bahamian refugees of Hurricane Dorian, who have enrolled in local schools, WPLG reports.

CAREER EDUCATION: Lake County’s Tavares High sees its teaching academy grow as it works to prepare local teens to become educators, the Daily Commercial reports. Lake’s Eustis High launches a construction academy, the Daily Commercial reports.

BUDGET BALANCING: The Volusia County School Board depends on $8 million from reserves to balance its budget, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Officials will look for ways to reduce that amount as the year progresses.

KEEPING TEACHERS: About half of Polk County’s newly hired teachers have leave the district within five years, the Ledger reports.

CONTRACT TALKS: Brevard County teachers celebrate the successful conclusion of collective bargaining for the year after a contentious set of meetings, Florida Today reports.

IMPEACHMENT LESSONS: Some southwest Florida civics teachers look for ways to teach students about the ongoing presidential impeachment inquiry during politically tense times, WBBH reports.

SICK SCHOOL: A Duval County school gets a deep clean after several students go home with stomach ailments, WJXT reports.

SECOND CHANCE: A Palm Beach County school district administrator fired after having an affair with an employee lands a job as a charter school principal, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BAD ACTS: A Manatee County school district systems engineer resigns after being caught sending lewd videos from his office to his lover, the Bradenton Herald reports.

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  2. First Lady Casey DeSantis talks with students during the Hope for Healing a mental and substance abuse initiative held Roland Park K-8 School in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, May 16, 2019. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said state officials worked closely with DeSantis to craft the new rule. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
  3. In this Feb. 14, 2018, photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland after a shooter opened fire on the campus.
  4. Pinellas County School Board member Carol Cook, left, celebrates her reelection to her fifth term in 2016. If ultimately approved, a term limits proposal would force Florida's school board members out after two consecutive terms.
  5. State Rep. Anthony Sabatini fields questions on the House floor on Feb. 19, 2020, about his proposal to ask voters to limit school board member terms.
  6. Chicken and vegetable dumplings with soy sauce were offered to students to test during the 2nd Annual Student Food Connection taste-testing, Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at Pinellas Technical College. Twenty-eight new food items were tested and rated.  Some will be added to next year's school menus.
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  9. The Pinellas County school system is offering driver education camps to hundreds of students like this one over the summer. The program will be held over two sessions at nine high school campuses across the county.
  10. Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis (center) and School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) sign Davis' contract with the Hillsborough County School District after it was unanimously approved by the school board on February 18, 2020.
  11. Incoming Hillsborough School Superintendent Addison Davis (center), School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) and the other board members pose as Davis signs his contract with the district on Tuesday night. The board unanimously approved the contract beforehand.
  12. Jarvis Delon West was arrested on child neglect charges after he didn't report an employee at AMI Kids who slammed a boy to the ground, according to police.
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