Florida roundup: school safety, voucher conspiracies, school district spending & more

Newtown school shooting resonates. In added security and what to say.Tampa Tribune. Palm Beach Post. Tampa Bay Times.

follow the money$1 million for cell phones. The Education Action Group looks at credit card statements in the Palm Beach County school district and finds “enough questionable spending to make an average millionaire blush.”

Trojan horse? Another conspiracy theory about vouchers. StateImpact Florida.

Tony Bennett. His selection is more “same old, same old” and reflective of “institutional arrogance,” editorializes the Ocala Star Banner. Advice from the South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board and Tampa Tribune columnist Steve Otto. Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith names Bennett “winner of the week.”

More PIRLS. The Tampa Bay Times editorial board says good job, I think.

Close it. An administrative law judge recommends shutting down  a struggling charter in Volusia County. Daytona Beach News Press.

Book club. Miami-Dade teachers discuss ed reform in their living rooms. One conclusion: “Change must be local.” Miami Herald.

The help he needed. A reading specialist at Northeast High in Pinellas County helps a talented athlete find success. Tampa Bay Times.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.