Florida schools roundup: Legislation, charter schools, testing and more

florida-roundup-logoSpecial needs. Being the father of a child with “unique abilities” has motivated Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner’s push to create new educational and employment opportunities for people with special needs. Tallahassee Democrat.

Legislation. Testing, school accountability and education funding will be high on the agenda when the Florida Legislature convenes Tuesday. Tampa Bay Times.  Palm Beach Post. (More here). Local funding issues will be on Miami-Dade lawmakers’ radar. Miami Herald. Testing is a must-address issue. But other bills may not be. Tampa Bay Times.

Charter schools. A charter school proposal is expected to draw crowds to an often sparsely attended local education panel in South Florida. Palm Beach Post. The Sun-Sentinel writes another editorial criticizing charter school oversight.

Testing. School districts prepare for state testing this week, and the possibility of parents opting out. Tampa Bay Times. Orlando Sentinel. Miami HeraldFort Myers News-Press. StateImpact. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.  Alachua school district officials encourage teachers to create their own end-of-course exams. Gainesville Sun. Hillsborough’s teacher of the year gears up for testing season. Tampa Tribune.

School boards. Wayne Blanton, the longtime leader of the Florida School Boards Association, draws praise as he serves his last day on the job. Tallahassee Democrat. The Collier County School Board plans to bring in an outside facilitator. WINK News.

Superintendent. Hillsborough’s outgoing superintendent may be in the running for a leadership post in Palm Beach. Extra Credit.

Administration. Parents at a Volusia County school gather petitions to oust the principal. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Duval teachers sound off about their schools and administrators in a district survey. Florida Times-Union.

Teacher evaluation. Florida’s legal battle over merit pay is noted in this Washington Post story on teacher-related lawsuits around the country.

Growth. Bay County schools look to accommodate rebounding enrollment. Panama City News Herald. The Pasco school district buys land to build a new elementary school. Tampa Tribune.

Discipline. A national report flags Florida schools for high suspension rates. Sunshine State News.

Teacher pay. Palm Beach teachers may be in line for a 2 percent raise. Palm Beach Post. Salary talks reach a standstill in Broward. Sun-Sentinel.

Class size. Lawmakers could change the way state class size penalties are calculated. Orlando Sentinel.

Budgets. Manatee schools announce a spending freeze. Bradenton Herald. Hernando schools turn to private donations to meet some funding needs. Tampa Bay Times.

Teacher conduct. A Palm Beach teacher’s classroom discussion touching on Jesus, gentrification and Nazis leads to his removal from the classroom. Palm Beach Post.