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Florida education news: Teacher pay raises, HB 7069 lawsuit and Florida’s latest ‘education governor’

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Meaghan Leto, (center facing street), a speech therapist from Twin Lakes Elementary, protests over pay with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association outside of a School Board meeting.
Published Oct. 18

TEACHER PAY: The Florida House begins its discussions on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to put $603 million into teacher salaries, to boost the minimum pay to $47,500. Members say they like the idea, but wonder where the money will come from to cover the cost. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

CONTRACT TALKS: The United School Employees of Pasco rejects the school district’s proposal to have middle and high school teachers teach an extra period each day so that all district workers can get a bigger raise. The union makes a counter economic proposal instead.

CONSOLIDATION: The University of South Florida’s president unveils a new campus consolidation plan that offers more autonomy to the satellite campuses in St. Petersburg and Sarasota.

STORM’S PATH: Santa Rosa and Escambia county schools cancel after-school activities as anticipated Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, the Pensacola News Journal reports. Area school districts will remain open for classes, though, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

‘EDUCATION GOVERNOR’: Some Floridians wondered whether Ron DeSantis even had much of an education agenda as he ran for office. He’s quickly made the issue a signature piece of his tenure, Education Week reports. SCHOOL THREATS: A state appellate court upholds a ruling that a student’s online threats of violence against a school violate Florida law, Law. com reports.

HB 7069 CHALLENGE: Nine Florida school districts ask the state Supreme Court to consider their constitutional challenge to the 2017 law that created new types of charter schools and directed some local tax money to them, the News Service of Florida reports. Read the districts’ brief to the court for more details.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The Lee County school district makes minor adjustments to its medical marijuana usage policy, allowing parents to administer it on campus, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

STANDARDS REVIEW: About 70 people attend a session in Collier County to express their views on proposed new academic standards, the Naples Daily News reports.

READING WITH DOGS: Some Polk County struggling readers get some support from dogs, the Ledger reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: A Manatee County education advocate is inspired to run for School Board after the state Education Practices Commission rejects a settlement for superintendent Cynthia Saunders, who was accused of doctoring graduation rates, the Herald-Tribune reports.

NEXT STEPS: Sarasota County School Board members ponder how to proceed in the wake of a damning investigation report against two of their top district administrators, the Herald-Tribune reports.

IN COURT: Former employees of a Manatee County charter school recently taken over by the school district sue for unpaid wages, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BAD ACTS: A Volusia County teacher is arrested on charges of having sex with a minor student, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. Olivia Pruna, a student at Nina Harris Exceptional Student Education Center, practices with the school's drum line last year. The Pinellas County school district is asking parents and others for suggestions on ways to improve exceptional student education in the county. DOUGLAS CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Experts are recommending the flu shot as outbreaks pop up in Hillsborough County schools.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.