Florida schools roundup: Trump visit, back-to-school tax holiday and more

Trump at Tampa school: President Trump holds a roundtable talk about career and technical education at Tampa Bay Tech later this afternoon, and some current and former students will demonstrate before the visit. “This is not an anti-Trump protest, but an event where people can gather to speak up about what they believe deserves change,” says Parisa Akbarpour, an event organizer and a graduate of Sickles High School. After the roundtable, Trump will hold a rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Tampa Bay Times. WFTS.

Back-to-school tax holiday: Florida’s back-to-school tax holiday is this weekend, starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ending at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Sales taxes will be waived on clothes, shoes and some accessories selling for $60 or less, and most school supplies up to $15. Not included this year are computers and other electronics. The Florida Department of Revenue has a full list what’s tax-free. News Service of FloridaBradenton HeraldWESH. TCPalm. WJXT. WKMG. Pensacola News Journal. WPLG.

Charter shutdown urged: Palm Beach County Superintendent Donald Fennoy is recommending the school board approve the immediate closing of the Eagle Arts Academy charter school. Fennoy says the school’s “fiscal mismanagement and deteriorating financial condition have reached such a critical point that there now exists an immediate and serious danger to the health, safety and welfare of students.” Gregory Blount, executive director of the school, sent a message to parents Monday saying it would be “difficult” to open the school and suggested they put their children in other area charter schools. Palm Beach Post.

Backlash called racist: Members of the Lincoln Memorial Academy charter school board of directors are backing principal Eddie Hundley, who has been criticized lately for giving job recommendations for a teacher who was under investigation for sexual misconduct. Board chairwoman Christine Dawson calls media reports on Hundley’s actions inaccurate and says they “also smack of racism and a tribe mentality.” The statement came a day after Sarasota school board chairwoman Bridget Ziegler called for Hundley to be prosecuted for making “false statements” to a public official. Bradenton Herald. A timeline of who knew what and when in the case of Hundley’s recommendations for teacher Quentin Peterson. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

School security: The first batch of armed guardians for Broward County schools will finish training next week. Fifty-five guardians are needed. Seventeen wrap up training next week, and 30 more will be trained in the fall. Sun-Sentinel. Miami Herald. All Brevard County schools now have a single, secure point of access after the installation of fences, cameras and remote-controlled door locks. Space Coast Daily. Polk County’s first class of 87 armed school guardians is sworn in. Lakeland Ledger. WFLA. WTSP.

District budgets: Jackson County School Board members are considering a small increase in the millage rates, and plan to use the extra money to finish the new Marianna K-8 School, combine Graceville elementary and high schools, and build a K-8 school for the Grand Ridge-Sneads area. WJHG.

Florida’s ranking: Florida is rated 26th among the states and the District of Columbia in a compilation of 25 public educational measures, according to a Wallethub analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has the third-lowest number of incidents of bullying, but ranked 41st in spending and 46th for the lowest median SAT score. PatchWPLG.

Administrative field trip: Pasco County school officials are traveling to Collier County today to see if any of their educational practices can be duplicated. Superintendent Kurt Browning says he’s impressed with Collier’s steady progression from a mid-level district to a top 5 in the state in the past seven years, and thinks some of that district’s initiatives could benefit Pasco. Gradebook.

School board elections: Candidates for the District 1 seat on the Sarasota County School Board present opposing positions on school security and charter schools at a debate. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Personnel moves: Amy Brown is appointed assistant principal at the Victory Ridge Academy charter school in Lake Wales. Daily Ridge. Kimberly Ramia is named the director of development for the nonprofit Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation. She had been events manager at the foundation. Palm Beach Daily News.

Young parent program: The Marion County School District will consider a plan for a public-private partnership in which a day-care provider leasing space from the district would care for children of student parents and train students in early childhood education. Ocala Star-Banner.

Stadium naming rights: Naming rights are sold to two high school football stadiums in Lee County. The health care system Lee Health is paying almost $292,000 to have the stadium at the new Bonita Springs High School carry its name for five years. And an air-conditioning company is paying $32,688 over three years to renamed the football field at Estero High School as FAST AC Field at Jeff Sommer Stadium, which also memorializes the late athletic director. Fort Myers News-Press.

Opinions on schools: Public schools in Florida are under attack, but the enemy is not charter schools. Nor private schools, for that matter. The problem is politicians in Tallahassee who have created an unequal playing field for education, and are constantly scheming to direct education money into corporate hands. John Romano, Tampa Bay Times. President Trump’s drop-in to Tampa today will highlight increasing awareness in Florida that vocational education is something to be embraced, not looked down on in the way some educators have. Joe Henderson, Florida Politics.

Student enrichment: Twelve students from Western High School in Davie win first place in their division of the national Solar Car Challenge, a 1,300-mile cross-country race of 19 invited teams in solar cars students built. Sun-Sentinel. IvonD’liz Chernoff, a recent graduate of Raising Knowledge Academy in Orlando, raised more than $7,000 in donations and $5,000 in food and clothing for Puerto Ricans who survived Hurricane Maria last fall. Chernoff was born in Orlando and is of Puerto Rican descent. redefinED. More than 2,000 people attend the Flagler Back 2 School Jam, where bargains on backpacks, immunizations, haircuts and more were offered. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Backpacks and school supplies are handed out to more than 2,000 Lee County schoolchildren at the 19th Big Backpack Event. Fort Myers News-Press.