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Florida education news: Common Core changes, voucher limits and homecoming dress codes

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Alachua County school superintendent Karen Clarke welcomes the crowd at a "listening session" Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 to discuss changes in the Florida's education standards. A similar session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Jefferson High, 4401 W Cypress St. in Tampa. [The Florida Channel]
Published Oct. 14

STANDARDS REVIEW: Florida is poised to get its fifth set of academic standards since 1996. Education commissioner Richard Corcoran is calling the revisions “historic,” but many educators have quite a different view about what they’ve seen in the drafts so far.

VOUCHERS: State officials celebrate distributing all the available new ‘Family Empowerment’ private school vouchers to 18,000 students.

DRESS CODE: A Polk County teen is turned away from the Tampa Homeschool Homecoming because she wore a jumpsuit rather than a dress.

BIBLE BILL: Rep. Kimberly Daniels refiles legislation to require public high schools teach an elective course on the Bible, Florida Politics reports.

LUNCH LINE: A Palm Beach County businessman pays off the outstanding lunch debt for about 400 students attending schools in the Jupiter area, WPEC reports.

RECOGNITION FUNDS: The number of Treasure Coast schools receiving state A-Plus funds for student performance declines, TC Palm reports.

BONUSES: Osceola County teachers reach an agreement with the school district on how to distribute Best and Brightest bonus money, Positively Osceola reports.

STUDENT COUNT: Marion County’s public school student enrollment reaches a record high, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

SCHOOL SHOTS: Ant-vaxxers derail state efforts to strengthen school vaccination requirements, GateHouse reports.

SCHOOL DAYS: The Broward County school district considers giving students a week off for Thanksgiving next year, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: Sarasota County’s prized school for the gifted soon could have new rules for where students take their core courses, the Herald-Tribune reports.

INTERNET ACCESS: The Duval County school district launches a new program providing needy high school students Wi-fi hotspots to use at home, the Florida Times-Union reports.

LEGAL ADVICE: The Orange County School Board gets a new top lawyer, the West Orange Observer reports.

TEACHER DISCIPLINE: A Manatee County accused of physically abusing and berating her kindergarten students was allowed to keep her job until her retirement, the Bradenton Herald reports.

AUDIT FINDINGS: The Lee County school district needs to provide more answers to the state auditor about questioned spending of $1.2 million, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Former sex workers say there’s value in Florida requiring school lessons on human trafficking, the Herald-Tribune reports.

IN COURT: A former St. Johns County student wins a $35,000 settlement from the school district after suing over her suspension because of a social media post, WJXT reports.


  1. The Florida Supreme Court building in Tallahassee. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    Department of Education attorneys say the lower courts ruled properly in tossing the case.
  2. Pasco County School Buses. Times (2018)
    The School Board also approved a student calendar for 2020-21, with Aug. 10 as the first day of classes.
  3. Enterprise Village in Largo is celebrating 30 years this month. The facility, which provides hands-on education about economics, has served generations of children across the Tampa Bay area. In this photo from Nov. 7, fifth-graders from Safety Harbor Elementary School begin their day at the village. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    More than 400,000 kids in the Tampa Bay region have gone through the program, which offers a hands-on look at the free enterprise system.
  4. Florida dropped one spot to 45th on the National Education Association's annual list of average teacher salaries. [National Education Association]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)
Hernando County School District Headquarters, Brooksville
    The district has also promised to look for ways to bring insurance costs down for 2021 and beyond.
  6. First page of school data report Times staff
    Find your school in these reports.
  7. Colleen Beaudoin is selected Pasco County School Board chairwoman for 2020, and Allen Altman is named vice chairman. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Altman chosen as vice chairman.
  8. Melissa Snively and Steve Cona III are the new chair and vice chair of the Hillsborough County School Board. MARLENE   |  Times staff
    Steve Cona III is vice chair.
  9. Hillsborough County School Board member Karen Perez MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff
    School board member Karen Perez sees student stress in her social work practice.
  10. Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at pre-legislative news conference on Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) STEVE CANNON  |  AP
    He’s got a new voucher proposal, as well.