Storm-watching: Many Florida school districts close in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Governor’s office. Associated Press. Romper. Miami Herald. Orlando Sentinel. Sun-Sentinel. Palm Beach Post. Florida Times-Union. Florida Today. Lakeland Ledger. WUSF. WTSP. Daily Commercial. Fort Myers News-Press. Naples Daily News. Gainesville Sun. Ocala Star Banner. Daytona Beach News-Journal. St. Augustine Record. Citrus County Chronicle. Palm Beach County School Superintendent Robert Avossa defends his decision to keep schools open for a half-day Wednesday as scheduled. Palm Beach Post.
Charter school capital: An association of independent charter schools will get an administrative hearing on its challenge to the Florida Board of Education’s rule that low-rated charter schools cannot get state money for construction and maintenance. The Florida Association of Independent Public Schools and two Miami charter schools argue that the rules discriminate against charter schools that serve low-income students. redefinED. Politico Florida. News Service of Florida.
Charter oversight: An internal audit criticizes the U.S. Department of Education’s oversight of charter schools. Twenty-two of the 33 charter schools studied in Florida and five other states had financial and performance risks, conflicts of interest due to close relationships between charter school boards and their management companies, and a lack of accountability on federal funds, according to the audit. Answer Sheet, Washington Post.
Teacher shortages: Parents in Orange County complain that the teacher shortage is having an impact on their children’s educations. The shortage means more substitutes, and many of them move from school-to-school as needed. Parents say that means too many students are getting inconsistent instruction from, in some cases, unqualified substitutes. Orlando Sentinel.
State of the district: In his annual state of education address, Flagler County School Superintendent Jacob Oliva says the district is doing great things, especially considering it ranks just 64th of 67 Florida counties in state funding per student. Palm Coast Observer.
Sexual harassment allegations: Todd Bowden, executive director of career and adult education in the Sarasota County School District, did not sexually harass two women who work for the district, according to an investigation conducted by an outside law firm. Superintendent Lori White ordered the investigation even though there were no formal complaints. Bowden is a finalist to replace White, who is retiring in February. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Leak investigated: Chris Leak, former University of Florida quarterback and first-year football coach at Edgewater High School, is under investigation after an alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl, police say. Leak resigned Monday. The team has lost all five of its games. Orlando Sentinel.
Abduction attempt: Police say a man tries to abduct a 14-year-old girl walking home from Jinks Middle School in Panama City on Monday. Panama City News Herald.
Clown threats: A Palm Beach County student faces discipline for sharing a doctored photo that indicated a clown was on the Dreyfoos School of the Arts campus. “That alone caused the campus to be on edge,” said Schools Police Chief Lawrence Leon. Palm Beach Post.
Opinions on schools: Florida’s tax credit scholarship program benefits more than 1,000 school district employees around Florida who have found that public schools don’t meet their needs. Ron Matus, Lakeland Ledger.
Student enrichment: Four schools in Escambia County are receiving free books through the Reading is Fundamental program. Pensacola News Journal. Students from schools in Brevard and Lee counties participate in the National Walk to School Day. Florida Today. Fort Myers News-Press. Five Polk County schools participate in the first Public Education Partnership Homecoming Parade and Festival. Lakeland Ledger. Chris Cadenhead, musical director of KC and the Sunshine Band, talks to Franklin Academy students about music as a career and the importance of the major scale. Palm Beach Post.