Florida schools roundup: Pam Stewart, Rick Scott, teacher raises & more

Education Commissioner: Florida Board of Education leaders appoint interim Commissioner Pam Stewart to the permanent post. The Buzz.  Outgoing board member Kathleen Shanahan blasts department leaders for not giving clear direction on the new Common Core State Standards, and delaying a decision on which exams will replace FCATs. The Buzz. More from the Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, StateImpact Florida, Associated Press, Florida Times-Union.

florida-roundup-logoRick Scott: Two State Board of Education members criticize Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership on education issues, highlighting a rift between Scott and former Gov. Jeb Bush. StateImpact Florida.

Teacher raises: More than four months after Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature approved $480 million in raises for educators, teachers in South Florida have yet to see a dime. Sun Sentinel.

Charter schools: The Board of Education closes a Broward County charter school that received two F grades in a row, leaving parents of 249 children scrambling to find a new school. Sun Sentinel. More than 250 Broward charter school students are roaming the palatial halls of the chandelier-laden Signature Grand – the school’s new home. Sun Sentinel. After years of watching students opt for private or charter schools, the  superintendent of Duval County Public Schools says it’s time to fight and  recapture those children. Florida Times-Union. Sarasota County School Board members criticize some applications for new charter schools, calling them “bizarre” and “disrespectful” and accusing one of plagiarism. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Only months after its elementary school was closed due to poor performance, Imagine Charter School’s middle school  in St. Petersburg may face a similar fate. The Tampa Tribune.

Dual enrollment: The Martin County School Board reluctantly approves the first local dual enrollment agreement with Indian River State College. TC Palm.

School spending: Months after cutting educators and tightening spending in the name of financial stability, the Manatee County School Board approves a final spending plan that calls for more teachers because of enrollment increases. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The district is in the midst of hiring the teachers and moving students into new classrooms after the final count of students came in at 46,008. Bradenton Herald.

Enrollment: For the first time, Hillsborough County schools has 200,000 students. Tampa Bay Times.

Schools chiefs: Broward schools Superintendent Robert Runcie gets the official OK to stay on the job through 2019. Sun Sentinel. Longtime Miami-Dade private school leader retires with her replacement vowing to build on the legacy. Miami Herald. A Pinellas County high school names its gym after the school’s former principal, Lee R. Benjamin. Tampa Bay Times.

Name change: A quest to change the name of a Duval County school gains national attention and provides a short history lesson on the Confederate cavalry commander and early member of the Ku Klux Klan. Orlando Sentinel.

Common Core: State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, will hold a town hall meeting Oct. 2 to discuss the new Common Core academic standards. Palm  Beach Post. Sen. John Legg is asking the public for questions and comments concerning the new standards. StateImpact Florida.

Learning options: Hillsborough County has 90 students enrolled in the district’s Hospital/Homebound Program, serving children who cannot attend regular school because of health issues. The Tampa Tribune.

Conduct: A New York girl sues a Palm Beach County private school, alleging she was sexually assaulted by one of the school’s male students during a field trip. Palm Beach Post. A Hillsborough County teacher says she sexted a 12-year-old student for educational purposes. 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.