Florida education news: School threats, spending plans, security and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Hillsborough County school officer Obed Gerenastands in front of Cahoon Elementary School in Tampa in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Hillsborough County school officer Obed Gerenastands in front of Cahoon Elementary School in Tampa in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Published September 12

THREATS: As school threats and lockdowns seem to increase in Hernando County schools, with regular messages going out to parents, concerns rise over whether students are safe. • Volusia County parents express frustration that information about school emergencies doesn’t come quickly enough from their district, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

LONG-RANGE VISION: The Florida Council of 100, an influential non-profit group of business and civic leaders, issues its recommendations to improve the state’s education system. Among its ideas: increased teacher pay and expanded prekindergarten programs.

ON LEAVE: State law requires Florida school districts to protect the jobs of teachers who transfer to charter school jobs. Some Pasco County School Board members want to know how long those positions must be guaranteed at a specific location.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Hillsborough County’s School Board chairwoman doubles down on her stance that some public comments should not be aired on the internet.

BUDGETS: The Hernando County School Board adopts its 2019-20 spending plan with a decreased property tax rate. • The Gulf County School Board completes its budget, the Port St. Joe Star reports. • Palm Beach County property owners will see a 14 percent increase in school tax payments, the Palm Beach Post reports. • The Sarasota County School Board narrowly approves its budget, with two members opposed because of changes in the level of reserves, the Herald-Tribune reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Former Hillsborough County School Board member Sally Harris will seek a new term. Harris lost her reelection bid in 2018.

TEACHER PAY: Orange County teacher and district administration representatives prepare to return to contract negotiations, with salaries the top concern, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Teachers rejected the district’s previous offer.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran credited the state’s accountability model with continued strong academic results, the Herald-Tribune reports. In separate remarks, Corcoran explained his reasons for intervening in the struggles of a troubled Manatee County charter school, the Bradenton Herald reports.

MAKEUP DAYS: Collier County students will not have to make up time missed because of Hurricane Dorian, the Naples Daily News reports.

SECURITY: Top Florida Senate leaders say they intend to amend the state’s school guardian law with an eye toward improving the training provided, the News Service of Florida reports. • The Clay County school district’s new police force won’t be in charter schools for at least a month, Clay Today reports.

BEST PRACTICES: Five Florida school districts join forces to share successful ideas for improving instruction, Florida Politics reports.

TAXES: The Clay County School Board officially asks the County Commission to place a tax referendum on the 2020 ballot, Clay Today reports. The commission had refused to hold a special election for the board in 2019.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: Indian River County interim superintendent Susan Moxley won’t say whether she will seek the permanent position, TC Palm reports. • The Monroe County school district begins planning for the departure of superintendent Mark Porter, the Key West Citizen reports.

HOT TIMES: Several Brevard County schools experience air conditioning breakdowns that could take weeks to fix, Florida Today reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

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