Florida schools roundup: Debit cards, ESE crisis, state school grades & more

Debit cards: Only seven of 67 Florida school districts have taken Gov. Scott’s offer of a $250 debit card for school supplies. Why? The cards won’t be distributed until late next month – well after the start of school. The Buzz. More from the News Service of Florida.

florida-roundup-logoHiring: Only days away from the start of school, the Palm Beach County district still needs transportation and safety directors. Palm Beach Post.

ESE crisis: Hillsborough County school officials say they responded to concerns an ESE teacher shared with them months before a special needs student died while in school care. Tampa Bay Times. Columnist Sue Carlton says Hillsborough district leaders ought to be saying something like this: “Something went horribly wrong. We messed up. And we should be looking hard at the bigger picture to keep it from ever happening again.” Tampa Bay Times.

Club control: Lake County School Board members vote to only allow middle school clubs that promote critical thinking, business, athletics and the arts. That upsets some students as they try to form a Gay-Straight Alliance to deter bullying. Orlando Sentinel.

Priorities: Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette set goals for the coming year that include changes to career and technical education, magnet programs and gifted education. Orlando Sentinel.

75th anniversary: The Miami Country Day private school that opened in 1938 celebrates its diamond anniversary. Miami Herald.

School grades: Is Florida’s school grading system too complicated? asks StateImpact Florida.

School spending: Polk County school district starts the new school year with no funds for building repairs or new equipment. The Ledger. Manatee County teachers will get raises this year. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. And they could be as much as $1,750. Bradenton Herald.

Free ride: Polk County high-schoolers might get a free ride on city buses during the school year. The Ledger.

Charter schools: Polk County School Board members review four charter applications. The Ledger.

History lessons: Brevard County School Board members discuss a controversial history textbook and consider inviting the public to help choose school books. Florida Today.

Absentee rates: Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning is on a mission to make sure students attend school every day. Tampa Bay Times.

Mold: Collier County school officials discover mold at two elementary schools. Naples Daily News.

School scramble: Hundreds of families zoned for three F schools in Escambia County must decide by Friday whether to transfer their children to a higher ranked school. Pensacola News-Journal.

Preferred admissions: Pinellas County school administrators consider ending a practice that allows some students automatic acceptance into the much sought-after Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School. The Tampa Tribune.

Teacher evals: The Pinellas County School Board approves new teacher performance reviews that evaluate fewer teachers based on students they haven’t taught. But many still will be evaluated based on subjects they don’t teach. Tampa Bay Times.

Music camp: Tampa Bay area teens try their hand at creating a new song for Bruce Springsteen during the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project. Tampa Bay Times.