Florida schools roundup: Budget vetoes, discipline, fake addresses and more

florida-roundup-logoEducation vetoes: Gov. Rick Scott will not veto $49 million set aside in this year’s state budget for teacher bonuses, as many urged him to do. But he says he will veto several other education-related items, and an overall total of $256 million from the $80 billion-plus budget. Here’s the full list of items Scott says he will veto. Politico Florida. News Service of Florida. Associated PressPalm Beach Post.  Gradebook.

Discipline policies: The Pinellas County School Board votes to ease its discipline policies. The number of days a student can receive in an out-of-school suspension are reduced, and grades can no longer be lowered for makeup schoolwork. Several groups that have been critical of the district’s policies say the changes don’t go far enough. Tampa Bay Times.

Fake addresses: The Broward County School Board is considering policy changes to cut down on the number of people using fake addresses to get into schools. One proposal is to have parents resubmit registration information when a school reaches 102 percent of its permanent capacity and/or is expected to need a boundary change within the next two years. Sun-Sentinel.

School rezonings: The Duval County School Board has questions and skepticism about school rezoning and program changes proposed by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. A vote is scheduled April 5. Florida Times-Union. The Polk County School Board approves rezonings in east Polk for a new school. More than 1,400 students will be affected. Lakeland Ledger.

New school site: A site selection committee votes unanimously to recommend the Imperial Parkway site for a new high school in Bonita Springs. The recommendation goes to the Lee County School Board, which is expected to decide in April. Fort Myers News-Press.

Employees honored: Stephen Anand, a science teacher at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, is named Palm Beach County teacher of the year. Palm Beach Post. Sun-Sentinel. John Spolski, principal at Fort Walton Beach High School, is one of four U.S. finalists for Varsity Brands’ Principal of Principle award. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Fighting heroin: Orange County School Superintendent Barbara Jenkins is suggesting that the county’s Heroin Task Force hire an outside company to perform random drug tests in schools. The task force was initiated to deal with the growing problem. In 2011, there were 11 heroin-related deaths in the area. In 2015 the number was 101. Florida Politics.

LGBT policy: Advocates for an LGBT inclusion policy for the Brevard County School District again present their case to the school board. They say they’re disappointed the school board refused to approve the policy at a recent meeting. One of the audience members who opposed the policy at the recent meeting apologized for some of the language used at that meeting. Florida Today.

Contract negotiations: Tempers flare at a Broward County School Board meeting when the teachers union president, Sharon Glickman, criticizes the board over salary negotiations. Sun-Sentinel. Seminole County teachers ask the school board to grant them raises as part of the ongoing negotiations between the district and the union. The teachers and district are at an impasse. A special magistrate will hear their arguments March 31 and make a recommendation to the board. Orlando Sentinel. The St. Johns County School Board and noninstructional employees reach an agreement on a contract. Florida Times-Union.

District to sue county: The Polk County School Board votes to sue Polk County over a special election date. The county says any vote on a sales tax  must be held at a general election. The current school sales tax expires in 2018, and the school board says the 2016 election is too soon to ask for its extension. The lawsuit requests a judge in the 10th Circuit Court to interpret the rule. Lakeland Ledger.

Shelter approved: The Volusia County School Board approves a deal with the county government to turn the mostly vacant Hurst Elementary School into a homeless shelter with space for 300 children and their parents. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Votes delayed: Votes on a school uniform policy and the relaxation of a pass-to-play rule for athletes are rescheduled due to the absence of a Volusia County School Board member at Tuesday’s meeting. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

New school gets name: Pasco County’s newest school will be called Wiregrass Elementary. Gradebook.

Opinions on schools: Gov. Rick Scott’s list of vetoes is rushed and random. Tampa Bay Times. Teachers find that students show more curiosity after having outdoor classes. Laurie Futterman, Miami Herald.

Student enrichment: Kyla Truong, an 11-year-old fifth-grader at the Pine Crest School, wins the 76th Annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee in Broward County. She advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May in Washington, D.C. Miami Herald. The Florida Department of Education names Lee, Miami-Dade and Indian River to the sixth annual Advanced Placement district honor roll. Fort Myers News-Press. Loften High School students earn an honorable mention in C-SPAN’s national StudentCam Competition. The students produced a documentary, Early Childhood Education: Building the Future. Gainesville Sun. Students at Seabreeze High School produce a video encouraging people to stop using the word “retarded” when referring to people with intellectual disabilities. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

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