Florida schools roundup: Ed summit, safety net, dual enrollment & more

#EdSummitFL: State Sen. Dwight Bullard calls Gov. Scott’s education summit a “missed opportunity.” Meanwhile, other legislative leaders praise the three-day event that ends today. The Buzz. Common Core discussions draw debate from legislators, superintendents and parents. StateImpact Florida. More from Tampa Bay Times.  Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand says he did not call for screening books on homosexuality or socialism during the summit. Miami Herald. He offers more of an explanation to the Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoSafety net: The Board of Education looks at extending the controversial school grade “safety net” another year with a vote scheduled for October. School Zone. More from the Fort Myers News-Press.

Dual enrollment: The Manatee County School Board makes attaining funding for dual enrollment programs a top priority this legislative session following recent changes in law that have cost the district $180,000. Bradenton Herald.

Virtual ed: Hernando County’s eSchool is on pace to double enrollment this school year. Tampa Bay Times. Experts in online education say legislative changes affecting Florida Virtual School are a national trend. Education Week.

School lunch: About 40 Broward County middle and high schools have Star Food Healthy Express vending machines in their cafeterias. Sun Sentinel.

Teacher raises: The Palm Beach County school district offers $2,000 pay increases for its teachers, but the local teachers union wants to negotiate. Palm Beach Post. The Orange County school district and the teachers union reach a stalemate that puts raises on hold. Orlando Sentinel. St. Lucie School Board members name interim Superintendent Genelle Yost as the permanent leader and approve $9.9 million in salary increases. TC Palm.

Conduct: The Florida Department of Education says enough evidence exists to justify sanctions an the ousted Zephyrhills High principal’s state teaching certificate. Tampa Bay Times. A veteran Broward County schools employee is accused of stealing more than $50,000 worth of gasoline from the district’s fuel pumps. Sun Sentinel. The Seminole County School Board fires one employee, accepts the resignation of a second and continues a principal’s unpaid suspension after they mishandled the case of a fourth-grader who brought a gun to school. Orlando Sentinel.

School budgets: The Broward County School Board approves a tentative five-year capital budget of $534 million budget to pay for construction, technology and transportation. Sun Sentinel. A higher property tax will  result in an additional $26 million for the Seminole County school district. Orlando Sentinel.

Turnaround plan: Polk County schools Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy’s plan to improve low-performing schools includes offering bonuses to teachers to stay at a school once its grade increases. The Ledger.

Tutors: Learn to Read volunteers in Duval County are recognized for their service. Florida Times-Union.

Textbook tussle: A parent criticizes the Brevard County School Board’s solution to complaints that a world-history book has a pro-Islamic bias. Florida Today.

Parent help: A new parent liaison for Lee County schools fields about 200 complaints and concerns, so far, from parents on everything from third-grade retention to school assignments. Fort Myers News-Press.

Done deal: Lee County’s acting Superintendent Nancy Graham is officially on the job after school board members agree to drop the national search. Naples Daily News.

Ethics: A deadlocked school board rejects an effort to force high-level employees of the Hillsborough district to file financial disclosure forms similar to those required of elected officials. The Tampa Tribune. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Tops: The FFA chapter at Lincoln Middle School in Manatee County is recognized as one of the five top agricultural science middle school programs in the nation. Bradenton Herald.

Incident reports: Leon County sheriff’s school resource officers say they made a total of 19 more arrests last school year, while the number of reported complaints more than doubled. Tallahassee Democrat.

School buses: Hillsborough County School Board members spend months trying to hash out a plan to buy more buses. Tampa Bay Times.


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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.