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Florida education news: Rezoning, LGBTQ issues and a superintendent’s ouster

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Construction workers have prepared the skeleton for what will become the music and art wing of Cypress Creek Middle School in Pasco County. Some Wesley Chapel parents are fighting the rezoning plan that would reassign their children to the school.
Construction workers have prepared the skeleton for what will become the music and art wing of Cypress Creek Middle School in Pasco County. Some Wesley Chapel parents are fighting the rezoning plan that would reassign their children to the school.
Published Nov. 12
Updated Nov. 12

SCHOOL BOUNDARIES: Having won some concessions from their School Board, a group of Pasco County parents seek more changes to a proposed attendance zone boundary change that would reassign about 1,000 children to different schools.

SARASOTA SCANDAL: Embattled Sarasota County superintendent Todd Bowden agrees to step down if the board approves his severance package, the Herald-Tribune reports. Bowden’s support had been slipping in the aftermath of an investigative report criticizing his handling of a sexual harassment complaint against a top administrator, the Herald-Tribune reports.

CULTURE WARS: A north Florida conservative group wants to find ways to have schools do more to “protect our kids from the dangers of the LGBTQ ideology,” the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

REVENUE SHARING: A state lawmaker seeks to require school districts to share revenue from future tax referenda with local charter schools, Florida Politics reports.

VAPING: Manatee and Sarasota county schools increase their programs teaching students about the dangers of vaping, WWSB reports.

PLASTICS: Martin County school district officials discuss the pros and cons of a local plastics ban, and how they might practically enforce one, TC Palm reports.

TODAY: Senate Education, 3:30 p.m.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins, shown at Mort Elementary School in 2016, is retiring effective June 30. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
    Jeff Eakins, the current superintendent, is retiring, effective June 30.
  2. Hillsborough county parents can check the district's website for their child's bus route and their school's bus schedule. Visit sdhc.k12.fl.us, click the link under "Preparing for Back to School," then find the links for "Bus Schedule" and "Bus Availability." For more information, call (813) 982-5500. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
    Our running list of the candidates to replace superintendent Jeff Eakins includes top educators with a wide range of experience.
  3. Tricia McManus, an assistant superintendent for the Hillsborough County School District, rolled out the district's new Achievement Zone plan for struggling schools at a community meeting in 2018. The word "zone" was removed early on. [MARLENE SOKOL | Times]
    Tricia McManus will become a deputy superintendent in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  4. A vigil at Pine Trails Park in Parkland for victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Credit: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. Some schools have already closed for the holidays, but everyone should be off by the end of the day Dec. 20. [Times (2015)]
    Some schools are closing for the holidays this week; others won’t be done for a few days. Then it’s lights out until early January.
  6. This Feb. 19 photo shows a makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting in Parkland. [AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File]
    The grand jury said districts are creating “unnecessary chaos” and have become “experts at data manipulation.”
  7. Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis with Hillsborough Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Sheriff Chad Chronister speaking at Hillsborough High School on Thursday, Dec. 12. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff]
    If students feel supported, educators say, schools will be safer and more productive
  8. Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg, presents his bill on civics education to the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee on Dec. 11, 2019. The legislation received unanimous bipartisan support. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘Democracy is not a spectator sport,’ sponsor Rep. Ben Diamond reminds colleagues.
  9. Haley Manigold, second from left, and Armwood High School classmates Maria Medina and Madison Harvey take a photo with Sen. Tom Lee, who is sponsoring their legislation, and teacher Tony Pirotta.  They presented their bill in the Senate Education Committee on Dec. 9, 2019. [EMILY L. MAHONEY  |  Times Staff]
    Armwood High senior Haley Manigold discusses her effort to convince lawmakers to adopt testing legislation.
  10. Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
    Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, said she thinks Republican leaders want to keep the number under wraps because it points to the controversial program’s “failure.”
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