Florida schools roundup: Resegregation, added students, makeup days and more

School resegregation: Florida’s public schools are resegregating, according to a study by the LeRoy Collins Institute. “Student enrollment trends in Florida over the past decades show growing racial isolation for Hispanic and black students on some measures, with signs of continuous segregation on others,” the study says. About 35 percent of black students and 32 percent of Hispanic students attend “intensely segregated” schools, defined as schools with a nonwhite population at 90 percent or higher. About 20 percent of the state’s schools were intensely segregated in the 2014-2015 school year, double the number in the 1994-1995 school year. News Service of Florida. WFSU. WLRN. Politico Florida.

Storm aftermath: Florida schools are bracing for an influx of new students arriving from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria battered the island. Expecting to get the most students are Miami-Dade, Orange and Hillsborough counties, all of which have a substantial number of residents of Puerto Rican descent. Tampa Bay Times. Gradebook. WOFL. NPR. Florida Politics. Several Florida colleges are offering in-state tuition to new students from Puerto Rico. Orlando Sentinel. Miami Herald. Setting up and cleaning up hurricane shelters cost the Duval County School District about $300,000, school officials estimate. They’re asking state legislators for the money. WJXT. Monroe County students are beginning to return to schools in the Florida Keys. WLRN. Miami Herald.

Makeup days: Collier County students will make up four of the days lost to Hurricane Irma by attending school on previously scheduled vacation days. In Manatee County, students also have four days to make up. Two early release days will be converted into full days, two days during the Thanksgiving holiday break will now be full days, and 10 minutes will be added to several other days. Students in Palm Beach and Indian River counties will lose three vacation days, and Broward County students will likely have two vacation days converted into school days. Naples Daily News. Bradenton HeraldSarasota Herald-Tribune. Palm Beach Post. Sun-Sentinel. TCPalm.

High school protests: A 6-year-old Pasco County 1st-grader took a knee during the pledge of allegiance Monday at Wiregrass Elementary School. His teacher instructed him to stand, angering the boy’s mother. “She told him right away, based on what he told me, to stand up and to stop it… That’s not her right,” says Eugenia McDowell. Wednesday, assistant superintendent Kevin Shibley issued a memo that said, in part: “Kneeling or other non-disruptive forms of non-participation should generally be considered as permissible alternatives” to reciting the pledge. WFTSGradebook. Palm Beach County school officials announce that students who kneel during the playing of the national anthem won’t be punished. Palm Beach Post.

H.B. 7069: Palm Beach County School Board members confirm they will file a separate lawsuit against the state’s new education law, H.B. 7069, instead of joining with other districts. Board member Frank Barbieri says joining the 14 other districts would mean ceding control over the suit. Palm Beach will spend $150,000 for a lawyer to sue on the grounds that the law is unconstitutional because it orders districts to give money to charter schools without local oversight. Palm Beach PostSun-Sentinel. Hillsborough County school officials issue a report detailing which schools would gain funding and which would lose under the new state education law. Many of the changes are in federal Title I anti-poverty funding, which for the first time would go directly to schools based on state formulas. In the past, that money went to the district administration, which then decided how it would be spent. Gradebook. State Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, voted against H.B. 7069 but says there are good provisions in the bill that need to be saved. WFSU.

Dual enrollment benefits: Florida students who are dual-enrolled in high school and college complete college at a higher rate than the national average, according to a study from the Community College Research Center. About 88 percent of U.S. students who took college classes while in high school went on to college, and most of those students graduated or continued their education. redefinED.

Budget problems: Two days after passing an $847 million budget, Volusia County School Board members learn declining enrollment could mean losing $4 million in state funding. Enrollment is 514 students below the district’s projection. Last year, the district lost $10 million in state funding because enrollment fell by 1,100. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Transfer criticized: A Tallahassee gay rights group is criticizing the Leon County School District’s transfer of a teacher who wanted her 5th grade students to use gender-neutral pronouns in class. The Capital Equality Democratic Caucus issued a statement that read, in part: “The school district had an opportunity to demonstrate one of their core values – compassion and respect – and failed to do so.” Tallahassee Democrat.

Joint school project: The Pinellas County School District and the YMCA sign an agreement to build a new middle school in St. Petersburg that would include a YMCA facility. Both facilities will be designed by the same firm, and some of the space will be shared. School officials hope to open in 2021, while YMCA officials are shooting for 2020. Gradebook.

School rezoning: Odyssey Middle School in Boynton Beach is closing after this school year, and Palm Beach County school officials are considering a plan that would move its 830 students to five schools in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana. Sun-Sentinel.

Personnel moves: Kathryn Morem is named principal at Del Prado Elementary in Boca Raton, and Deborah McNichols is the new principal at Greenacres Elementary School. Palm Beach Post.

School’s struggles: A Lakeland school for autistic children faces a financial crisis. The Monarch School missed its deadline to apply to the state for McKay scholarship money for its students, and its teachers haven’t gotten a full paycheck since school began in early August. Lakeland Ledger.

Boy chokes to death: Audi Anderson, a 4-year-old special-needs student, chokes to death while eating a meatball at Sherwood Elementary School in Pensacola. School officials would not comment on the incident. WKRG. Pensacola News Journal.

Guns at school: The mother of a Boynton Beach elementary school student is arrested and accused of bringing a loaded handgun to school. Police say Victoria Thomas, 25, pulled the gun on another driver she was arguing with at Galaxy Elementary School. Palm Beach Post.

Opinions on schools: The decision to remove Mx. Chloe Bressack from teaching children only serves to reaffirm the narrow, hateful outlook that the bigots hold, bigots who have only become more vocal in the Big Bend area, and the nation. Jason Payne, Tallahassee Democrat.

Student enrichment: The Escambia County School District is receiving a $1 million grant over five years from the Department of Defense to improve its computer science programs. Pensacola News Journal.