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Florida education news: School cemetery, dual enrollment and fresh Florida produce

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins, left, looks on while school board chair Tammy Shamburger speaks on newly raised concerns of a undiscovered cemetery for indigent African Americans that may be within the vicinity of King High School in Tampa, Florida on Friday, October 18, 2019. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Oct. 21

LONG FORGOTTEN: A cemetery researcher convinces Hillsborough County school district officials to investigate whether a burial ground for indigent African-Americans is on the campus of King High School in Tampa. The community recently learned of a segregation-era cemetery under a nearby housing complex.

COLLEGE CREDIT: Pasco County’s virtual eSchool prepares to offer its first dual enrollment courses, joining a small number of high school online programs to students who cannot get to college campuses.

FRESH FROM FLORIDA: The Hernando Count school district strives to get more locally grown produce into its cafeterias.

CAMPUS CONSOLIDATION: The University of South Florida’s latest revisions to its consolidation plans has garnered more support than its past efforts.

CHAIRMAN’S BILLS: Senate Education committee chairman Manny Diaz refiles legislation to create a database of non-certified school employee disciplinary actions, Florida Politics reports. Diaz also submits bills to prevent people whose charter schools were shut down from opening another, and to create a state-level ‘high performing’ charter school commission to handle school expansion applications, Florida Politics reports.

SECURITY: The Duval County school districts wins a major grant to help add security measures such as surveillance cameras, lighting and fencing to several campuses, the Florida Times-Union reports.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Florida Education Association launches a statewide bus tour to draw attention to its push for improved public education funding, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission recommends that schools no longer be allowed to operate diversion programs as alternatives to arrest for minor offenses, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The Broward County school district, whose program came under fire after the deadly Parkland shooting, plans to fight the proposal. More on the commission’s report from WLRN.

A-PLUS MONEY: St. Johns County schools see an increase in state recognition funds, the St. Augustine Record reports.

CLIMATE STUDY: Six rural Florida school districts receive federal grants to improve school climate and reduce inequities in student discipline and academic performance, the Panama City News Herald reports.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Nine organizations provide services to Tallahassee’s first community school, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

OUSTED: A Brevard County Christian school’s music teacher says she was removed from her job because she is gay, Florida Today reports. The school, which participates in the state’s voucher and tax credit scholarship programs, did not respond to Florida Today’s requests for comment.

SUPERINTENDENT SELECTION: The debate goes on over whether to convert the Duval County school superintendent position to an elected job, Florida Politics reports. • The Escambia County school district plans five forums to let residents offer ideas about what they want to see in their next superintendent, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

TEACHER DISCIPLINE: Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran orders the immediate suspension of a Gadsden County teacher who went to school high on illegal drugs, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

TODAY: Florida Standards Review listening session, 5:30 p.m., Liberty Pines Academy, 10901 Russell Sampson Road, St. Johns


  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.