Florida schools roundup: District virtual schools, adult ed, charters & more

Virtual school: The Pinellas County School District sees a surge in its in-house virtual school programs, prompting school officials to close the application period a week early. Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoCharter schools: One of Tallahassee’s oldest and most successful charter schools looks to expand, while another that caters to middle school hopes to add an elementary. Tallahassee Democrat. A struggling Palm Beach County charter school agrees to stay closed the entire school year to right its ship and repay about $56,000 in taxpayer funding. Palm Beach Post. Gulf Coast Academy South opens with a waiting list almost as large as its current enrollment. Naples Daily News.

Ed poll: A new education poll looks at standardized testing with just 22 percent of respondents saying the increased use of such tests has helped schools; 36 percent said the testing hurts schools; 41 percent said it made no difference. StateImpact Florida.

Adult ed: Hernando County’s adult technical education programs suffer from low enrollment. Tampa Bay Times.

Common Core: StateImpact Florida asks teachers what they think about the new education standards. Sarasota state Rep. Ray Pilon breaks ranks from local Republicans and opposes the standards. “My vote is going to be get rid of it,” he wrote on Facebook. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Head start: National Head Start officials take away contracts from the Jacksonville Urban League due to findings that included failure to ensure children were safe. Florida Times-Union.

Speaking out: A former Pasco County school administrator accuses Superintendent Kurt Browning of retaliation. Tampa Bay Times.

Pay bumps: Pinellas County Schools and the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association are close to agreeing on pay raises for teachers. Tampa Bay Times.

Bus snafu: Seven Broward County middle school students from Coral Springs ended their first day of school this week in a different city, after their bus driver left them eight miles from home. Sun Sentinel.

Classroom tech: Technology is gaining a bigger foothold in the classroom, just as it is in everyday life. Sun Sentinel.

International study: The Community School of Naples  welcomes 11 new students from China. Fort Myers News-Press.

Free lunch: Pinellas County students in 58 elementary, middle and high schools now receive free lunches through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Community Eligibility Option program. The Tampa Tribune.


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BY Sherri Ackerman

Sherri Ackerman is the former associate editor of redefinED. She is a former correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times and reporter for The Tampa Tribune, writing about everything from cops and courts to social services and education. She grew up in Indiana and moved to Tampa as a teenager, graduating from Brandon High School and, later, from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/news editing. Sherri passed away in March 2016.