Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Florida education news: Teacher pay, tax rates, charter schools and more

TEACHER PAY: In the race for Florida governor, Democrat Andrew Gillum proposes lifting teachers' starting pay to $50,000. The idea gains support from people who see educators as underpaid, but raises serious questions about whether it can happen in the state's political environment. Republicans including candidate Ron DeSantis have focused on improving performance pay plans instead. • More on the differences between the two candidates' education plans from the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

TAX RATES: The Pasco County School Board will consider a resolution urging lawmakers to let school districts maintain their property tax rates for fiscal 2020, rather than having to reduce them again to keep revenue flat.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Many Florida charter schools complain about the structures in place that make it difficult for them to obtain loans for ongoing operations. A Pasco County charter has requested a lengthy contract extension so it can qualify to purchase the property it has leased for more than a decade.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: One Pasco County School Board race remains on the November ballot. It pits a teacher against a parent volunteer.

AFTER THE STORM: The Escambia and Santa Rosa county school districts will reopen a day after Hurricane Michael blew through, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.  Leon County schools remain closed, with some in use as shelters, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

DRESS CODE: The NAACP asks the Florida Department of Education to take action against schools that have banned children because of dreadlocks, braids and other hairstyles, Huffington Post reports. • The Volusia County School Board approves new pants colors in its uniform policy, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? A Manatee County community pushes to rename a new school rising in its midst, the Bradenton Herald reports.

A/C WOES: Palm Beach County schools log in more air conditioning malfunction reports more often than before voters approved a sales tax increase to fix the problems, the Palm Beach Post reports.

DRUG DEBRIS: Several Miami-Dade County schools cope with discarded needles and other refuse left on campuses, the Miami Herald reports.

GROWTH: The Lee County school district receives bids to build its planned new high school, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Clay County school district officials brace for rising enrollment as housing development booms, Clay Today reports.• Charter schools help growing school districts handle crowding concerns, Redefined reports.

GONE PHISHING: A St. Johns County teacher falls victim to a false email offer that appeared to come from his principal, the St. Augustine Record reports. District IT officials are working to prevent similar scams.

OOPS: A Hillsborough County school guard resigns after accidentally pepper spraying students.

BAD ACTS: A Brevard County middle school physical education teacher is arrested on a charge of battery against a student, Florida Today reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup

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Another Moton Elementary principal leaves, less than a year after taking over struggling school

Another Moton Elementary principal leaves, less than a year after taking over struggling school

BROOKSVILLE — Brent Gaustad, the Moton Elementary School principal who was hired in January to turn around a school on the brink of state intervention, will retire next week, the Hernando County School District announced Monday.Gausta...
Updated: 9 hours ago
A Pinellas teaching aide gave a special needs student a wedgie. Now she could lose her job.

A Pinellas teaching aide gave a special needs student a wedgie. Now she could lose her job.

A Pinellas County school employee could be out of a job Tuesday after giving a special needs student at Mount Vernon Elementary School a wedgie in front of his classmates, then refusing to work.According to the school district, Dominiq...
Updated: 10 hours ago
How should you talk to your child about active shooter drills? Pinellas’ online “tool kit” could help

How should you talk to your child about active shooter drills? Pinellas’ online “tool kit” could help

In an attempt to answer some of the ongoing questions surrounding active shooter drills in Pinellas County schools, educators have rolled out a new set of online resources for parents.Along with videos and copies of staff and...
Published: 10/22/18
Florida education department announces school recognition awards

Florida education department announces school recognition awards

The clock is ticking for hundreds of Florida schools to decide how to spend an extra $100 per student they'll receive for their 2017-18 student testing results.Districts learned late Friday which schools qualified for the state's program recognizing ...
Published: 10/22/18
Florida education news: State funding, school rules, threat monitoring and more

Florida education news: State funding, school rules, threat monitoring and more

STATE FUNDING: Rather than adding more money into public education, Republican candidate for Florida governor Ron DeSantis suggests the state and districts instead should root out waste and inefficiency in their budgets. Observers say the s...
Published: 10/22/18
ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 14, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of Oct. 14, 2018

Frustrated with a string of legislative losses, the Florida Education Association — the state’s largest teacher union — selected new leadership for the coming three years. New president Fed Ingram promised to “start winning ag...
Published: 10/20/18
Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

A Northeast High School student who mangled his fingers using a table saw in class in 2016 is suing the Pinellas County School Board for negligence, asking for at least $15,000 in damages.According to a lawsuit filed Oct. 12, Brandon Jacob ...
Published: 10/19/18
State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

Eighty-eight Florida schools will join 630 others in gaining relief from some state education laws as "Schools of Excellence."The recognition, developed by lawmakers in 2017 as part of HB 7069, grants principals greater autonomy in daily operations, ...
Published: 10/19/18
Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

CLIMATE SURVEY: Large majorities of Pinellas County teachers say they feel valued and safe at their schools. District officials plan to break down these and other survey results by school, and use the information to make any needed improvements....
Published: 10/19/18
New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

Pinellas County schools recently wrapped up a new type of survey which asked school-level staff to evaluate aspects about their workplace.The results show about 70 percent of the 3,952 respondents agree that they feel valued by the adm...
Published: 10/18/18