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Florida education news: Term limits, alternative schools and teacher discipline

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Pinellas County School Board member Carol Cook, left, celebrates her reelection to her fifth term in 2016. If ultimately approved, a term limits proposal would force Florida's school board members out after two consecutive terms.
Pinellas County School Board member Carol Cook, left, celebrates her reelection to her fifth term in 2016. If ultimately approved, a term limits proposal would force Florida's school board members out after two consecutive terms.

IS EIGHT ENOUGH? Florida lawmakers have to leave their seats after eight years in office. So why not members of the state’s 67 school boards, right? The Florida House debated whether to place a referendum on board term limits before voters in 2020. Did they get the three-fifths support needed? More from Florida Politics.

CUTTING TIES: A staffer at the AMIKids alternative school in Pinellas County body slammed a 12-year-old student for cutting in the cafeteria line. No one reported anything, even as the child suffered. The school district is now looking for someplace else to educate the children assigned there.

TOO LENIENT: Two Broward County school employees faced suspension for inappropriate activities while on the job. The School Board had something harsher in mind, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SCHOOL SAFETY: The memory of the 2018 school shooting massacre in Parkland still lingers in Tallahassee, where Florida lawmakers continue to look for ways to protect students and staff while on campus. Their latest proposals are moving quickly toward adoption, the News Service of Florida reports.

SAVE OUR SCHOOL: A proposal to end the independence of New College and merge it with Florida State University gets a harsh reaction at New College, the Herald-Tribune reports. “There’s no way that a university 300 miles away can understand what we need,” said Steven Keshishian, president of the New College Student Alliance. More from the Bradenton Herald.

JROTC MATTERS: Florida’s A-F high school rating system already looks at state test results, graduation rates and advanced course performance. Some people want to add student results on a military aptitude exam to the mix, Space Coast Daily reports.

PUT DOWN THAT PHONE: Schools are now hands-free zones, and Orange County deputies are making that perfectly clear to violators, WFTV reports.

TAX TALK: The Marion County School Board says it needs more money to pay for school security upgrades. So why is the board backing off a plan to ask voters to increase the local sales tax to cover the costs? The Ocala Star-Banner reports.

REZONING: About 200 Santa Rosa County students could be reassigned to different schools next year. And that’s just the start of the district’s plan to address major crowding concerns, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. • It’s not just a Santa Rosa issue. The St. Johns County school district is looking at new boundary maps, too, the St. Augustine Record reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Two Indian River County School Board members draw challenges, TC Palm reports.

SHE DID WHAT? A Palm Beach County teacher is suspended for 10 days on accusations she put hand sanitizer in the mouth of a misbehaving student, the Palm Beach Post reports.

THE GUY WITH THE GUN: A man rides his dirt bike past South Dade Senior High on Thursday morning. Parents see the barrel of a rifle sticking out of his book bag. It wasn’t loaded. But no one knew that at the time, the Miami Herald reports.

SOMETHING NICE: Thousands of volunteers are expected to turn out this weekend to beautify Alachua County’s Norton Elementary School, the Gainesville Sun reports. “We hope our actions show these kids that they are seen and that their education is important,” organizer Stephanie Bradley said.

TODAY: The calendar’s pretty open. Have a great day!

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

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