Florida roundup: Charter school bill, state colleges, student retention & more

Charter schools. The Senate Education Committee moves closer to agreement on additional charter schools accountability measures, but a divide lingers over facilities funding, reports The Buzz, which includes this quote from Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee: “The time for finger pointing between charter schools and regular public schools is over. We have to have the maturity to sit down and go over the data and discuss it.” A legal timeline is set to determine the fate of an Imagine charter school in Sarasota County that seeks to sever its relationship with the parent company, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

florida roundup logoState colleges. They have a $26.6 billion annual economic impact, according to a new study. Coverage from GradebookStateImpact Florida, TCPalm.com, Lakeland Ledger, The Florida Current.

Parents. Angry parents keep the pressure on the Broward school district over the firing of a popular principal. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Principals. A pending reshuffling in Broward is getting tense. Miami Herald.

School boards. Former Osceola County School Board Chair Cindy Hartig applied for unemployment benefits after her loss at the polls last August. Orlando Sentinel.

School closings. The Miami Herald profiles an autistic child whose life improved at a special needs school now slated for closing.

School spending. The Flagler County Commission clears the way for a referendum to raise property taxes for schools. Daytona Beach News Journal.

School safety. Polk will test bus cameras to catch reckless motorists. Lakeland Ledger.

Teacher evals. The Senate Education Committee unanimously supports a bill that would ensure teachers are measured by the students they teach. Tallahassee Democrat.

Retention. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti wants to revamp the district’s K-2 retention and summer school policies. Florida Times Union.

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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.