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Florida education news: Teacher pay, school crowding and a special ed investigation

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Third grade teacher Genevieve Beaumier, center, helps Venicia Joanis, 9, left, and Tobias Watkins, 8, with their reading skills at Forest Hill Elementary School in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
Third grade teacher Genevieve Beaumier, center, helps Venicia Joanis, 9, left, and Tobias Watkins, 8, with their reading skills at Forest Hill Elementary School in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Dec. 3, 2019

TEACHER PAY: Florida schools districts stand to receive millions of dollars in added funding to support Gov. Ron DeSantis’ teacher pay proposals. The state has broken down the amount by county, the News Service of Florida reports. Part of the money could come from deleting the current Best and Brightest bonus system. The state Senate Education Committee is slated to hold the first hearing on ending the model next week, the News Service of Florida reports. Of course, the governor does not intend to do away with bonuses completely, as they a different form of the same idea remains in his $900 million plan, WFSU reports.

OVERFLOW: Pasco County’s Odessa Elementary school grows so large that the school district needs to secure added parking and classroom space to hold all the students.

LEADERSHIP: Pasco’s Mittye P. Locke Elementary gets a new principal.

UNDER SCRUTINY: The Sarasota County school district’s special education program comes under state review amid allegations students were improperly placed into programs to avoid using their test scores in accountability ratings, the Herald-Tribune reports.

FUTURE TEACHERS: The Lee County school district gets added funds to support scholarships for students who plan to attend local colleges and return to teaching in the district, WINK reports. The program helps the district combat its teacher shortage, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

MISSED MESSAGE: Turnout is low for four Palm Beach County school district parent town halls on the dangers of vaping, sexting and bullying, WPEC reports.

SECURITY: Students at Duval County’s Terry Parker High School will face added security measures after a schoolmate is arrested on allegations of bringing a loaded gun to campus, the Florida Times-Union reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A new charter middle-high school is poised for approval by the Lake County School Board, the Daily Commercial reports.

OVERDOSE RESPONSE: A Florida lawmaker proposes providing schools with a drug to reverse opioid overdoses among students, whom he says are the most overlooked victims of the national opioid crisis, WLRN reports.

BAD ACTS: A Brevard County high school teacher is arrested on accusations of having sexual contact with a student in school, Florida Today reports. • A Sarasota County student is arrested on allegations of stabbing another student on a school bus, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A photo of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sits on a pedestal at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020  in St. Petersburg. Guests enjoyed music, spoken word, dance and musical performances and concluded with a candle light vigil and song.  [LUIS SANTANA   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  2. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks Tuesday during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP]
    The Democratic presidential candidate said Florida places too much emphasis on school tests.
  3. From left, Don Haddad, Peter Licata and Addison Davis, all finalists for the job of Hillsborough County school superintendent, met Thursday with community members at Rampello K-8 School. The School Board will choose among the three on Tuesday. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    Addison Davis, Don Haddad and Peter Licata outline their plans for the first 90 days.
  4. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    A man university police believe was target shooting near campus was not located, the university said.
  5. Former state senator John Legg has not ruled out a run for Pasco County schools superintendent. The district is the nation's largest to elect its chief executive.
    Short answer: Maybe.
  6. But the competition isn’t who many people expected it to be.
  7. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. A point tally ranking the three finalists to be Hillsborough County's next school superintendent shows up on a screen in the School Board meeting room Thursday after a meeting that lasted most of the day. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    The last round of interviews is set for Jan. 21.
  9. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  10. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
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