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Jeffrey S. Solochek - Education reporter

Education reporter

I've been an education reporter for more than 25 years, in Illinois, Texas and Florida. Why stick with it? Because I see education as key to our community, whether it's about children learning, teachers and staff working, or residents seeking the best for their tax dollars. Our school systems are critical to our society, and I strive to tell you what's going on there. I've worked at the Tampa Bay Times since 2000, covering statewide education issues as well as the districts in Hernando, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Think I've missed something? Send your ideas my way. I read all my emails.

  1. Yesterday• The Education Gradebook
    Kindergarten students from  Southside Christian Academy look at a Barbie book and pick the character they want to be "when they grow up and be fifteen." The school participated in Florida's Tax Credit Scholarship program, which lawmakers have proposed folding into a taxpayer funded education savings account system. [Times | 2011]
  2. Yesterday• The Education Gradebook
    Members of the Florida Senate fill the chamber toward the end of the 2020 legislative session. One big focus of this year's session will be a proposal by Senate Republicans to greatly expand programs that allow families to attend private schools using public money.
  3. Second graders practice social distancing while lining up for lunch in November at Innovations Preparatory Academy in Wesley Chapel. Schools continue to struggle with the details of the coronavirus.
  4. Jan. 22• The Education Gradebook
    Chardae Duffy was named Hillsborough County's Ida S. Baker Diversity Teacher of the Year during a live-streamed celebration of educators. Several Florida school districts recognized their top teachers at events on Jan. 21. 2020.
  5. Schools across Florida encourage social distancing as a way to keep the coronavirus at bay. Many educators want the rules more strictly enforced, as they wait for a vaccination.
  6. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning defends student information and data sharing between the Pasco County Schools and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office while attending a Pasco School Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. A key U.S. House member has called for an investigation into the process.
  7. The Clearwater Health Department is one of three sites where Pinellas County school employees age 65 and older can make appointments for a coronavirus vaccination over the next week.
  8. The entrance to Hudson High on Jan. 15. Officials are trying to figure out how to make improvements at the Pasco County school, which saw its 2020 graduation rate decline significantly while other area schools reported increases.
  9. OnSite Safe Nurse Joan Diehl prepares COVID-19 vaccinations at the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, one of the vaccination distrubition sites in Hillsborough County, in Plant City on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
  10. Woodmont Charter School in Temple Terrace is one of dozens of charters in Hillsborough County. New School Board members want the district to become a little more questioning of charters going forward.
  11. Representatives for the Pasco County school district and United School Employees of Pasco reach a pay agreement during a Jan. 11, 2021, negotiation session. State officials have lamented that several school districts have yet to distribute raises that lawmakers authorized last spring.
  12. Jan. 13• The Education Gradebook
    The Pasco County school district is renovating Northwest Elementary School in Hudson as part of its effort to improve opportunities in northwest county schools. This is a rendering of how the campus is supposed to look.
  13. Parents, teachers and students from area schools came together in September to protest possible budget cuts for arts programs in Hillsborough County schools. The district is now examining several ways to reduce spending.
  14. Nena Green, left, will become principal of Pasco County's Wiregrass Elementary. She will replace Steve Williams, right, who shifts to an assistant principal role at Pine View Middle.
  15. A classroom in Newsome High, one of three images included in a tweet by Superintendent Addison Davis on Tuesday.
  16. Jan. 12• The Education Gradebook
    Representatives for the Pasco County school district and United School Employees of Pasco discuss raises during a Jan. 11, 2021, negotiation session that most attended virtually.
  17. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news.
  18. Jan. 11• The Education Gradebook
    Students cross Fishhawk Boulevard to Newsome High in Lithia on Thursday, October 22, 2020.
  19. Lakewood Elementary in St. Petersburg will offer one of Pinellas County's new magnet programs in the 2021-22 school year. The Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando districts are accepting choice applications now for next year.
  20. This photo of a Newsome High classroom in October illustrates how difficult it is to maintain social distance in schools. The image was included in a tweet by superintendent Addison Davis. More than 75 COVID-19 cases have been reported at Newsome this year.
  21. Jan. 8• The Education Gradebook
    Students are greeted in schools by visual reminders like this one, in Pinellas County, to stay socially distant in school.
  22. Negotiators for the Pinellas County school district and teachers union practice social distancing while in a collective bargaining session Wednesday. One of the issues on the table: classroom social distancing.
  23. Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. It's been a stunning day as a number of lawmakers and then the mob of protesters tried to overturn America's presidential election, undercut the nation's democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)