Florida schools roundup: More retention appeals, primary elections and more

florida-roundup-logoMore appeals: Seminole and Broward counties are joining the Florida Department of Education and Orange and Hernando counties in appealing a judge’s ruling last week against the state’s policy for retaining third-graders. All say that Leon County Judge Karen Gievers improperly ignored their requests for a change of venue from Tallahassee to local courts. Gievers ruled that the state was wrongly holding back third-graders who do poorly on the state Florida Standards Assessments tests or opt out from taking them. She ordered the state and six districts that were sued to allow students to present a portfolio of work to demonstrate their readiness for fourth grade. Orlando Sentinel.

Primary election results: Here are some of the results from Tuesday’s primary election. From the Tampa Bay TimesPinellas. Hillsborough. Hernando. Miami Herald: Miami-Dade. Orlando Sentinel: Orange, Seminole. Sun-Sentinel: Broward. Palm Beach. Palm Beach Post: Palm Beach. Florida Times-Union: Clay, where Superintendent Charlie Van Sant Jr. is ousted. WJAX: Duval school boardOcala Star Banner: Marion, where Superintendent George Tomyn loses, and school boardPensacola News Journal: Santa Rosa. Escambia. Florida Today: Brevard. Fort Myers News-Press: Lee. Lakeland Ledger: Polk. TCPalm: Martin. St. LucieIndian RiverIndian River school tax. Bradenton Herald: Manatee. Sarasota Herald-Tribune: SarasotaManateeNaples Daily News: Collier. Gainesville Sun: Alachua. Tallahassee Democrat: Superintendent, District 2, District 4. WFSU: Leon school board, superintendentDaytona Beach News-Journal: Volusia. Flagler. Northwest Florida Daily News: Okaloosa superintendent. Panama City News Herald: Bay superintendent. St. Augustine Record: St. Johns. Keynoter: Monroe. Citrus County Chronicle: Citrus. Highlands Today: Highlands school tax.

Closings for weather: Duval and St. Johns counties cancel all after-school activities Thursday, when a tropical system is expected to move through the area. WJXT. Florida Times-Union.

Coalition strengthens: Today, for the first time, the Florida Coalition of School Board Members will discuss policy issue with the more established Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) before the Florida Board of Education. Many members of the FSBA objected to that group joining the lawsuit against the state’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program and branched off in a more conservative direction. Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer the tax credit scholarships. Gradebook.

Plans for tax: An audit committee for the Manatee County School District is making plans to provide spending oversight for the money the district will receive if voters approve a half-cent sales tax increase in November. Bradenton Herald.

Property sale: A company linked to a charter school organization buys a 10.5-acre parcel in Parkland. Parkland School Property LLC, which shares an address with the Academica Charter Schools Facility LLC, paid $5 million for the land. If a charter school is planned, it would be the first for the city. Sun-Sentinel.

School names: The Pasco County School Board is soliciting suggestions from the public to name two new schools that are expected to open in a year. Gradebook.

Religion and schools: Hillsborough school officials dismiss a complaint lodged against an evangelist who prayed with students at a car wash on a Saturday off school property. Tampa Bay Times.

Lightning strikes: Two teachers at the Literacy Leadership Technology Academy in Tampa are hit by lightning Tuesday. Both are hospitalized with injuries that are described as nonlife-threatening. WTSP.

Guns at school: A student is arrested for bringing a gun to North Marion High School in Sparr, the second time in two weeks at the school. Ocala Star Banner.

Opinions on schools: Why don’t school buses have seat belts? Care2. Charter school greed is no worse than public school greed. Chicago Sun-Times. Do you even know what your child’s digital footprints look like? Take it from me. You need to. And if you don’t, you need to start. Sara Paulson, Florida Today. Voters in Hillsborough and Pinellas sent a clear message they are concerned about the direction of their local schools and want improvements. Tampa Bay Times. Five struggling Polk County middle schools deserve a chance to improve. Lakeland Ledger.

Student enrichment: Bianca Hernandez, a senior at St. Brendan High School in Miami, starts a “GO Free” program to lobby school officials to provide private bathrooms for students with inflammatory bowel disease. Miami Herald. Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School students are excited about the new international-themed “six-house system” that promotes learning and competitiveness. Tampa Bay Times.

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BY NextSteps staff