HOW BIG WILL THE RAISES BE? The Florida House officially entered the state’s teacher salary discussion with a first pass budget exercise aimed at determining how much its members can find to give educator raises. By cutting several programs, it uncovered $462.6 million to potentially go into the allocation. There might be more, officials said, but for now, at least, that’s well below what Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked for. • DeSantis is one of a handful of Republican governors calling for higher pay to teachers, NBC News reports. Some teachers want even more. • Florida might have a bit extra to offer, as state economists see an uptick in their revenue forecast, News Service of Florida reports. • The Citrus County School Board has urged lawmakers not to forget other school employees in all the talk about better pay, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE: After all the bickering, politicking and in-fighting, the Hillsborough County School Board has selected three finalists for its superintendent search. And the internal candidate is not one of them. The board will take a closer look at Clay County superintendent Addison Davis, Palm Beach County regional superintendent Peter Licata and St. Vrain Valley (Colo.) superintendent Don Haddad before making an offer, most likely on Jan. 21.
CHARTER CHOICES: Currently in Florida, a charter school operator needs approval from a local school district to open. Some lawmakers say that’s unfair, allowing the competition to decide if you can do business. So they’ve again proposed creation of alternate charter authorizers beyond the districts. Past attempts to set up such a path haven’t gone so well.
BEST AND BRIGHTEST BURN: Three dozen Palm Beach County guidance counselors got a welcome surprise when state bonuses arrived in their bank accounts just before winter break. Then came the bad news. They weren’t actually eligible under state rules. And they have to give the money back, the Palm Beach Post reports.
STAY COOL: A bill to require Florida high schools to provide more protections to student-athletes training and playing in the heat makes its way through its first House committee stop, the News Service of Florida reports.
SALES TAX BATTLE: The Duval County School Board chairman is more hopeful the district will get a sales tax referendum before voters in 2020 after winning a key legal question, WJXT reports.
COME TOGETHER: Bay County and Panama City officials call a joint news conference to say they plan to join forces to improve schools in the city limits, after a rumor circulates that the city intended to establish a municipal charter school organization, the Panama City News Herald reports.
SECURITY: State lawmakers unveil legislation to require improved training of school guardians, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The measure is part of a larger bill that includes several recommendations from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
REBUILDING IN PARKLAND: New buildings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High should be ready in the fall, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
WET SHOES: The Manatee County school district takes steps to combat regular flooding at Palmetto High School, the Bradenton Herald reports.
SCHOOL LEADERS: A Marion County elementary school gets a new principal as its former leader chooses to focus on high schools instead, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.
TRUE COLORS: The city of Destin’s long awaited charter high school announces its school colors and mascot during a town hall meeting, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.
GRANT FUNDING: The Gulf County school district relies on grants to support several programs, as it continues to pay for repairs needed after Hurricane Michael, the Port St. Joe Star reports.
TODAY: It’s a relatively quiet day, with most scheduled meetings in Tallahassee called off. Need a fix? You still can check out the Revenue Estimating Impact Conference at 9 a.m.