Florida schools roundup: Charters, gender-specific, Charlie Crist & more

Sherri Ackerman

Charter schools: The Franklin Academy charter school is opening a second campus next fall in Palm Beach Gardens. Palm Beach Post. The Leon County School district could soon be running a charter school on one of its existing campuses. Tallahassee Democrat. Lee County school officials are seeking $99,793 from Richard Milburn Academy of Florida Inc., which ran three charter high schools until closing for financial reasons. Fort Myers News-Press. florida-roundup-logoWoodmont Charter School, an F-rated elementary and middle school run by Charter Schools USA, is advertising on television for more students – but not mentioning its state grade. Tampa Bay Times. A Pasco charter school approval may hit some snags. Tampa Bay Times.

Gender specific: Hoping to score public funding to create single-gender schools, Duval County’s superintendent gives Rep. Erik Fresen, chairman of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee, a tour of a local middle school with classes that separate boys and girls. Florida Times-Union.

Private schools: Tampa’s Berkeley Prep plans to build a 75,000-square-foot arts and sciences center that will feature classrooms equipped with the latest technology, college-level laboratories and performance studios, as well as an art gallery, study areas, a recital hall and meeting spaces. The Tampa Tribune.

District schools: Pinellas County public schools are closer to securing a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant that Superintendent Michael Grego says would “totally transform the school district.” The Tampa Tribune. A Pinellas County “turnaround” school takes its best shot at academic success. Tampa Bay Times.

Charlie Crist: An opinion on charter-school funding by then-Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist is at odds with a portion of the Democratic base whose help he now needs to become the next governor. Florida Times-Union. 

School choice: Having school choice has improved student performance, writes Helen Aguirre Ferre for the Miami Herald.

Florida Virtual School: Julie Young talks to the Orlando Business Journal about leaving the helm of the nation’s largest public provider of online learning.

School funding: The governor’s budget looks to give $80 million in state funding for construction and maintenance to traditional public schools. Fort Myers News-Press. The Hernando County Education Foundation, a group responsible for providing supplemental funding to teachers and schools across the district, pulls in a record $200,000-plus. Tampa Bay Times.

School safety: When it comes to gun violence in schools, ‘zero tolerance’ may not be such a bad thing, writes Rick Christie for the Palm Beach Post. The mother of a dismissed Collier County high school student says the district’s weapons policy is not fairly enforced. Naples Daily News. A student intervenes during a fight that singled out a gay classmate. Fort Myers News-Press.

Common Core: With the Common Core State Standards now being touted as the prescription for poor student achievement in America’s schools, it is not too soon to say that this prescription won’t help us find the cure, writes the Palm Beach Post.

Sales tax: Brevard-Save Our Students will exclusively raise money and campaign for the passage of the half-cent sales tax, which will be on the November ballot. Florida Today.

Teachers: I frequently wonder why everything is an argument with students in the classroom, writes Terri Friedlander for Florida Today. Hillsborough County struggles to find STEM teachers despite help from a federal grant. The Tampa Tribune.

Overage students: A program that has been successful at graduating students two to three years older than typical seniors has become the target of criticism since it has expanded. Florida Times-Union.

Science: Hundreds of Panhandle middle and high school students participate in the Northwest Florida Regional Science Olympiad. Pensacola News-Journal.

Mentoring: Communities In Schools Jacksonville says its middle-school mentoring program is so successful that it’s time to expand that service to high school students. Florida Times-Union.

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