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Florida education news: School overhauls, a superintendent election, and a charter school’s lawsuit

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Mittye P. Locke Elementary School in New Port Richey was recommended for closure by the Pasco school district administration. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Mittye P. Locke Elementary School in New Port Richey was recommended for closure by the Pasco school district administration. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published Nov. 22, 2019

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Pasco County school district leaders have talked for a year about changes needed to bring several of their academically struggling west-side schools up to par. School Board members who rejected a major overhaul in early 2019 now say they’re ready to revisit the issue. “With additional very serious reflection, I believe that some bold and decisive actions are warranted now,” board member Alison Crumbley said.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: A Pasco County high school principal launches his bid to unseat the sitting district superintendent in the 2020 election. Hudson High leader Dave LaRoche, a 30-year district educator, says he knows it’s risky to take on the boss, but “I’m doing something I believe is the right thing to do.”

CHARTER LAWSUIT: A Collier County charter school that nearly lost its contract over financial and other troubles sues the former board member who the school’s officials say caused many of the problems, WZVN reports.

NEW SCHOOLS: The Walton County school district prepares to open its first STEAM magnet school, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. • St. Lucie County is poised to get a second charter high school, TC Palm reports.

GRADUATION RATES: Students in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program see a slight decline in their graduation rate, Redefined reports.

FAREWELLS: The Osceola County School Board gives chief of staff for teaching Scott Fritz a sendoff as he departs to become Volusia County schools superintendent, Positively Osceola reports.

LOCKED DOWN: Six Palm Beach County schools — one of which was expecting a visit from First Lady Casey DeSantis — go into Code Red lockdowns as police search for a man with a pellet gun nearby, the Sun-Sentinel reports. SECURITY: Manatee County law enforcement will provide extra support to Lakewood Ranch High School after an online threat is posted, the Bradenton Herald reports.

FIRE DAMAGE: Manatee Elementary School in Bradenton suffers smoke and water damage after an early morning electrical fire in one of its buildings, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

HOLIDAY NOTE: With the vast majority of schools and agencies closed for the Thanksgiving week, this daily roundup will go on break, too. We’ll bring you updates as they happen. But as you might notice above, the stories are few as everyone has an eye toward time with family and friends. So the reports won’t be as regular. Enjoy your holiday!