Florida schools roundup: Elections, special needs, charter schools and more

Travis Pillow

florida-roundup-logoElections. The Washington Examiner reports that Gov. Rick Scott’s support for school choice may help explain his improved performance among black voters. School choice advocates’ involvement in school board races is noted in a Tampa Bay Times article on school boards hoping to reclaim their influence over education policy. Volusia school board members say they plan to set aside ideological differences after a contentious election. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

PLSAs. The first round of parents receive funds in their Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts, which some are calling a “godsend” for their special needs children. Tampa Tribune.

Charter schools. Charter school closures have cost the Palm Beach school district hundreds of thousands of dollars. Palm Beach Post. Lawmakers say they plan to call for changes to state charter school laws. Sun-Sentinel. The state Department of Education reaffirms an administrative law judge’s finding in Florida’s first-ever charter school retaliation case. Miami Herald.

Advocacy. First Cost News reports on Denisha Merriwether’s advocacy for tax credit scholarships. The program is administered by Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog.

Special needs. A student with Asperger syndrome overcomes struggles as the weatherman on his school’s morning news reports. Tampa Bay Times.

Digital learning. Miami-Dade schools turn classrooms all-digital. Miami Herald.

Teachers. Miami-Dade schools reach a contract agreement with the local union that includes pay increases. Miami Herald. Schools struggle with teacher turnover. Florida Today. Pinellas schools look to relieve stress on teachers. Tampa Tribune.

Testing. An Orange County student tried to opt out of standardized tests. Orlando Sentinel. Departing Sarasota teachers complain about testing. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Panhandle school districts join the drumbeat of districts calling for a delay of new accountability measures. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Facilities. Broward schools plan to focus the proceeds of a recent bond referendum on aging school facilities. Sun-Sentinel.

Class size. Polk schools are the latest to use substitute teachers to comply with state class-size rules. Lakeland. Ledger.

Graduation rates. PolitiFact dings Jeb Bush on graduation and dropout statistics.

Security. Orange County schools may soon have their own police force. Orlando Sentinel.

Transparency. The Manatee school district is flooded with public records requests. Bradenton Herald.

Philanthropy. A hotel magnate helps underwrite preschool, college scholarships and other programs in inner-city Orlando. Orlando Sentinel.

Performing arts. Students in a choir at a Collier County high school won’t perform at a church as originally planned. Naples Daily News.

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