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Florida education news: LGBTQ lawsuit, school bells and support for DeSantis’ pay plan

A roundup of stories from around the state.
A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
Published Dec. 6, 2019

ON APPEAL: Three federal appeals judges hear the closely watched case of Drew Adams, the St. Johns County transgender student who has been fighting to use the school restroom of his choice. The two more liberal panel members sounded ready to side with Adams, while the more conservative one had reservations, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The case would affect Florida, Georgia and Alabama, and could go further if it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.

CONTRACT TALKS: Pasco County school-related employees could see raises in early 2020 if they ratify their tentative contract agreement later this month.

CHARTER CHALLENGE: A Collier County charter school sues the school district, seeking to overturn its revocation of the school’s charter, the Naples Daily News reports.

PAY PLAN: The state’s superintendents and school boards associations issue resolutions supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ minimum teacher salary proposal, the News Service of Florida reports.

FRAUD INVESTIGATION: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates allegations of fraud and corruption at a Flagler County elementary school under the leadership of its recently retired principal, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

FREE MEALS: Alachua County students who receive free and reduced price school lunches are in no immediate danger of losing the service, even with proposals to change the federal food stamp program, the Gainesville Sun reports.

SCHOOL BELLS: Many Miami-Dade County students and parents say they oppose a district proposal to have daily classes begin later in the morning, the Miami Herald reports.

TAX ISSUE: After a year of fighting, the Duval County school district hits a slow patch in its effort to place a sales tax referendum before voters, the Florida Times-Union reports.

CONSTRUCTION FUNDS: The Santa Rosa County Commission is poised to consider imposing school impact fees after years of consideration, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

SECURITY: The Coconut Creek police force in Broward County gets a new K-9 officer to help sniff out weapons on school campuses, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Flagler County school resource officers get added protective gear through a grant from Walmart, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

ON HOLD: The Alachua County School Board delays a controversial plan to use Westwood Middle School as a site to house students from other schools that are being renovated, the Gainesville Sun reports.

CLEARED? Palmetto city police deem unfounded an accusation that a Manatee County elementary school principal thrust a disabled student out of a chair and onto the floor, the Herald-Tribune reports. Other investigative reports have yet to be released. The principal had been removed from Palmetto Elementary pending an outcome.

FLU BUG: A St. Johns County high school sends home more than a dozen students complaining of illness, WJXT reports.

BAD ACTS: A Pasco County elementary school music teacher is placed on administrative leave after being arrested on charges of battery against his house cleaner. • Eleven students and one adult are arrested after a fight breaks out at a Volusia County high school, Spectrum 13 reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. State Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Jacksonville Republican, presents his bill to create a "do not hire" list for any school employee who has been terminated, or resigned in lieu of termination, from employment as a result of sexual misconduct with a student. [The Florida Channel]
    The measure would apply to district, charter and private schools.
  2. Students grieve at Pine Trails Park, near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., one month to the day since 17 students and staff were shot dead there, March 14, 2018. [SAUL MARTINEZ  |  New York Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Addison Davis, the superintendent of Clay County District Schools, was chosen Tuesday as the new Hillsborough County school superintendent. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The School Board’s vote is unanimous for Davis, who calls himself “an accelerator.”
  4. In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File) [MIKE STOCKER  |  AP]
    But this year’s bill may provoke fewer fireworks than the bitter debates seen in the past two sessions.
  5. Rep. Anthony Sabatini presents his bill to create school board term limits to the Florida House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee on Jan. 21, 2020. [The Florida Channel]
    The idea would require a three-fifths vote in each chamber before it could appear on the ballot.
  6. Left to Right: Ryan Petty and Andrew Pollack talk about the death of their daughters during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland before a meeting in the Capitol in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times] [Scott Keeler]
    Ryan Petty replaces Andrew Pollack, both Parkland parents. Pollack recently moved to Oregon.
  7. Pat Hall of the League of Women Voters speaks with Addison Davis, a finalist for Hillsborough Schools Superintendent, on Jan. 16 at Rampello K-8 School in Tampa. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff]
    In a last-minute push, members of the League of Women Voters want the School Board to explore Addison Davis’ possible ties to Charter Schools USA.
  8. Michael Maine is the Hernando County School District senior recruiter. [Hernando County School District]
    The district has on average 39 teacher openings.
  9. Carrie Wilson, a counselor at Challenger K-8 school, was named the 2020 teacher of the year for the Hernando County School District. [Hernando County School District]
  10. Children participate in a sorting exercise during activities in a pre-K  class in Tampa.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
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