Another lawsuit lost: Florida’s teacher union lost another lawsuit. A Leon County Circuit Court judge rejected an argument that a law requiring teacher’s unions to be recertified if dues paying membership drops below 50 percent. The union argued the new law violated collective bargaining and due process rights, but the judge disagreed believing the current teacher shortage allowed the state legislature to treat teacher unions differently than other public sector unions. Tampa Bay Times, Florida Politics.
Achievement school: A Hillsborough County “Achievement” school opens with a “C” grade after years of low student achievement and test scores. The principal remains hopeful that the school can continue to improve. Tampa Bay Times.
Achievement and growth: Parents can’t get a clear picture of what’s going on without knowing how much their children are learning in a year, says Harvard professor. Pensacola News Journal.
Anti-discrimination bill: Sen. Darryl Rouson said he was drafting legislation to prohibit private schools that accept state dollars from discriminating against students because of gender identity, sexual orientation and disability. Orlando Sentinel.
Bike donation: A local nonprofit teams up with art students at South Tech Academy to create, and dedicate, a unique bicycle for Stoneman Douglas. Palm Beach Post.
Charter lease: Pasco County officials ask for an update on Plato Academy’s rental dispute. The Trinity area charter school had fallen more than $300,000 behind on its lease payments. Tampa Bay Times.
One day down: The first day of school is over in Marion County, 179 more days to go. Ocala Star Banner. Duval County public schools finish the first day without a hitch. Florida Times-Union. The first day of school was a hot one and it got even hotter for students at five schools in Brevard County when the schools had air conditioning issues. Florida Today. 196,000 students finished their first day of school in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Post. Volusia County students finish their first day of school. Some elementary school students were excited to have brand new textbooks for the first time. Daytona Beach News Journal. Manatee County students completed their first day of school, here is what they are most excited about. Bradenton Herald. Summer is over and so is the first day of school in Sarasota County. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The first day is done for Switzerland Point Middle School students and first-year principal. St Augustine Record. Citrus County schools open with a smooth start. Citrus County Chronicle.
New school: Students at the recently opened Parrish High School are forging a school culture and creating a new family. Sarasota Herald Tribune. Dixon School of the Arts, a private school in Escambia County, reopens at a new renovated location. Pensacola News Journal.
Enrollment increase: Student enrollment in several Tampa Bay area school districts are expected to increase this year. Tampa Bay Times.
Encouraging others: Members of the University of Florida Alpha Phi Alpha chapter greeted area high school students with sweets and a message to stay in school, graduate and go to college. Gainesville Sun.
There may be consequences: School districts face several new mandates, including requirements on providing students mental health and instruction on the holocaust. Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has proven to be serious about enforcing the mandates.Tampa Bay Times.
School threats: Police in Volusia County arrest one student for making school threats on social media and investigate another. Daytona Beach News Journal. A former Orange County student makes a threat on social media, but principal assures students on first-day there is no credible threat after the police investigate. Orlando Sentinel.
School security: Broward County Sheriff’s office offers to take over policing of area public schools at a cost of $180 million, more than triple the school district’s current security budget. This year’s security budget is already nearly double the previous year. Sun Sentinel. Palm Beach County adds 100 police offers to its school security force, doubling the district’s security budget. Palm Beach Post.
Teacher arrest: An Escambia County middle school teacher was arrested for coccaine position after a routine traffic stop. The school district has suspended her with pay, though the superintendent plans to recommend suspension without pay at the next board meeting. Pensacola News Journal.
Opinion on schools: Brevard County’s inability to raise teacher salaries has been a disappointment. Maggie Skeldon, Florida Today. School choice regulations must strike a balance from top-down accountability and parental choice. Catherine Durkin Robinson, Gainesville Sun. Today 19,000 students across America use “Education Savings Accounts,” allowing their parents the potential to customize their child’s education. The first ESA began in Arizona. It started with a debate among school choice supporters and a voucher defeat at the Supreme Court. Dan Lips, redefinED.