Florida roundup: Marco Rubio, tutoring oversight, charter school teachers & more

More Rubio vouchers. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio needs a Florida-style coalition – meaning some Democratic lawmakers who see the value in expanded school choice – to get his plan for federal tax credit scholarships off the ground, writes Adam Emerson at the Choice Words blog. Education Week logs it in.

FL roundup logo snippedMore tutoring oversight. In light of abuses, the state-mandated program – which allows low-income parents to choose and access private tutors – should be scrapped, editorializes the Tampa Bay Times. The Miami Herald editorial board offers a more measured response, calling for better oversight and more regulatory accountability but acknowledging the predicament of low-income parents.

More parent trigger. Florida Times Union. FCIR.

Wall of shame. At Jefferson High in Tampa, teachers keep tabs on embarrassing questions from students with a “Wall of Shame” in the teachers’ lounge. Tampa Bay Times.

School safety. A 14-year-old is arrested for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old at a school for special needs students in Clearwater. Tampa Bay Times.

Charter schools. Teachers need more options, too, says Senate President Don Gaetz, reports StateImpact Florida. A growing number of charters in Palm Beach County increasingly pits independent charters against charter networks, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Magnet schools. Palm Beach district officials hope they can land a federal grant to create and bolster magnets at three underutilized schools. Palm Beach Post.

Dual enrollment. Growing numbers of students are taking the classes, raising concerns about state college costs and high school curriculum. Tampa Bay Times.

Extra extracurriculars. Allowing students from magnet, charter and home school programs to participate, editorializes the Palm Beach Post.

Culture clash. A religious liberties group files a complaint with the Palm Beach school district after a speaker with You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, a youth ministry that some dub anti-gay, is booted off campus after failing to get prior permission. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Superintendents. Interim Superintendent (and former superintendent) John Stewart offers a calm and steady hand, writes Lakeland Ledger editorial page editor Glenn Marston. The Polk board is seeking community input on the desired traits for a new superintendent, the Ledger reports. The Hernando school board is expected to name finalists for superintendent Tuesday, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Administrators. Beginning this month, Duval district administrators will be required to teach civics and financial literacy to students. Florida Times Union.

Special needs students. Broward parents are upset about the imminent closing of two special-needs centers. Miami Herald.

Migrant students. Challenges in Hillsborough. Tampa Bay Times.

Teacher pay. Salaries in Seminole are out being outpaced by most other Central Florida districts. Orlando Sentinel.

Teacher evaluations. Ninety-eight percent of Lee district teachers are rated effective or highly effective. Fort Myers News Press.

School spending. The Hillsborough school district looks into how much money could be generated from placing ads on its web site, reports the Tampa Tribune. The Lee school board considers outsourcing custodial jobs, reports the Naples Daily News.

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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.