20% of teachers consider quitting: One of every five U.S. teachers said they are unlikely to return to the classroom if schools reopen in the fall, according to a USA TODAY/Ipsos poll. The health risk is a major factor, but not the only one. About 83 percent said they are having a harder time doing their job, and two-thirds said they’ve had to work more than usual because of online instruction and that they hadn’t been properly trained for such a role. USA Today. Education Week.
ACT testing on site: While some Florida schools have backed out as sites for in-person ACT testing June 13, others are still planning to host students taking the exam even though they are closed for summer school. Gulf High School in Pasco County is a test site. Principal Jeff Morgenstein said the school has been scrubbed and disinfected, but will be cleaned again before and after the test. No more than nine students and a proctor will be in any one room, and students will not be allowed to congregate before or after the test. The ACT is alerting parents this week if the center where their children were planning to take the test will be open. Gradebook.
Leveling education spending: With U.S. K-12 schools facing economic disparities that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, a new report is calling for a change in the way they are funded that would distribute local property tax revenues more broadly. The proposal from EdBuild, a nonprofit that supports equity in education funding, is called Clean Slate, and if it were adopted 69 percent of K-12 students and 76 percent of low-income children would receive funding equal to or greater than what they receive now. The average increase would be about $1,000 per student. EdBuild founder and CEO Rebecca Sibilia acknowledged that some communities would resist, but that it was time to separate funding and governance. “I hope this report will take the first step toward really challenging this question of whether or not being able to run your own schools means being able to keep all of the money that you happen to have,” Sibilia said. Education Dive. The 74. NPR. K-12 schools throughout the United States are facing a new academic year with higher costs and a significant drop in funding. “The math simply will not work,” said Andrew Sharp, a spokesman for the San Diego school system. “We cannot ask schools to do more at the same time as their funding is being slashed.” Washington Post. USA Today.
Reopening schools: The Osceola County School District is considering offering parents the choice of sending their children back to schools in the fall or keeping them home and taking classes online. District officials say they plan to follow CDC guidelines when schools reopen, which includes students wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and more. WESH. The Marion County School Board has ordered the creation of a task force that will make plans and contingencies for reopening schools in the fall. Superintendent Heidi Maier and her replacement, Diane Gullett, will be included. Maier’s last day is June 30. Ocala Star-Banner. Duval County School Board members are struggling to figure out how to maintain social distancing in classrooms and on school buses next fall. WJXT. The Citrus County School District is asking parents for advice on what schools should look like when they reopen in the fall. Citrus County Chronicle.
Teacher of year finalists: Three of the five finalists for Florida’s teacher of the year award have been named by the Department of Education. They are: Rob Paschall, a 5th-grade teacher at West Creek Elementary School in Orange County; Kristin Wilson, a science teacher at Florida High School in Leon County; and Krista Stanley, a math teacher at Yearling Middle School in Okeechobee County. The winner, who is typically announced in July, gets a $15,000 prize and becomes a state ambassador for education for a year. Orlando Sentinel. WTXL. Lake Okeechobee News.
More money for colleges: Florida’s Board of Governors is expected to approve the distribution of $265 million in “performance-based funding” to the state’s public universities at today’s meeting. The awards are based on graduation rates, net tuition and fees, the median wages of their alumni and other criteria. The University of Florida would get the largest chunk, $47.7 million. The board will also be considering what guidelines to establish for the reopening of campuses in the fall. Orlando Sentinel. The University of South Florida announced that students will return to campus in August, but after the Thanksgiving break the school will go online for exams before reopening campuses after the holidays in January. Tampa Bay Times. WUSF.
Graduation plans: Seminole County school officials have delayed high school graduation ceremonies by a month as a way to comply with social distancing guidelines. Commencements were set June 12 and 13, but have been pushed to July 17 at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time) for all high schools at their football stadiums except the Crooms Academy, which will hold its ceremony July 18 at 2 p.m. in Seminole High School’s auditorium. WOFL. The Manatee County School District will stage a parade of school buses around the county today to honor high school graduates. Bradenton Herald. WWSB. Citrus County School Board member Sandy Counts said she’s fine after being hospitalized briefly for heat exhaustion during Tuesday’s Lecanto High School graduation. Citrus County Chronicle.
District asks for help: Polk County School Board members have written to Gov. Ron DeSantis urging him to press the Florida Department of Education to file for $13 billion from the federal coronavirus relief bill. The deadline for applying is June 1. The board is also asking the governor to veto a portion of a bill that would require school districts to increase their contributions to the state retirement program by $404.5 million. Lakeland Ledger.
More on the coronavirus: The second of three meetings held Tuesday by the Florida Education Association on reopening schools was closed to the public. Ten different committees, many with public officials, were formed to discuss various aspects of reopening. FEA officials said it was a “fact-finding” meeting and therefore not governed by the state’s open government laws. Florida Phoenix. Leon County school officials said they are re-evaluating their decision to cancel all district-sponsored summer camps, since the governor’s decision to lift restrictions on them. Tallahassee Democrat. The federal government has approved Florida’s request to provide extra food stamp benefits to more than 2 million schoolchildren under the age of 18 through the summer. Orlando Sentinel. WPEC. WTXL. Florida Politics. The city of St. Petersburg and Health St. Pete are collaborating to provide free meals June 1 through Aug. 7 for children under the age of 18. All meals are grab-and-go, and can be picked up at the city’s recreation centers, libraries and more. WFLA. The Bay County School District issues its guidelines for coaches and athletes when workouts begin June 1. Panama City News Herald.
Bonuses approved: Brevard County School Board members have approved $500 bonuses for prekindergarten teachers and teaching assistants, and salary corrections for about 100 veteran teachers whose pay and experience didn’t align in the district’s salary schedule. The board also tentatively approved an increase in school lunches. Elementary students will pay 30 cents more over the next two years, from $1.80 to $2.10, while meals for middle and high school students will increase from $1.90 to $2.50. Florida Today.
Schools will merge: A proposal to merge two elementary schools into a K-8 school has been approved by the Volusia County School Board. The plan to combine Ortona and Osceola elementary schools into a new K-8 school in either Daytona Beach or Ormond Beach will cost about $45 million. Construction is expected to take three years. Daytona Beach News-Journal.
New school: Work is reportedly ahead of schedule for Hillsborough County’s newest and largest high school, Sumner, which opens in the fall. The school in Riverview will hold up to 3,000 students, and will ease overcrowding at nearby East Bay and Lennard high schools. Sumner is the district’s first new high school in more than a decade. WTVT.
Holocaust education: President Trump is expected to sign a bill into law this week that would award federal grants to states to teach students about the Holocaust. Florida is one of 12 states that already require Holocaust history to be taught in schools. The bill was passed by the House in January and the Senate earlier this month. WTSP. Bradenton Herald.
Superintendent’s goals: By 2025, every Indian River County school will be A-rated and 95 percent of all students should graduate high school with college acceleration courses or industry certifications. Those are the Superintendent David Moore’s goals for the district, he told the school board this week. Revising the district’s strategic plan was one of Moore’s projects for his first 90 days on the job. The final draft of the plan will be presented to the board next month. TCPalm.
School board elections: Former St. Petersburg City Council member Karl Nurse has announced his candidacy for the District 7 seat on the Pinellas County School Board. The seat is currently held by Rene Flowers, who is running for the Pinellas County Commission. Nurse joins Caprice Edmond and Sharon D. Jackson in the District 7 race. Catalyst. Tampa Bay Times.
Ex-board member honored: The room where the Bay County School Board holds its meetings is being named after Ginger Littleton, who served on the board from 2006-2019 and is remembered for using her purse to fight off a gunman who threatened board members in 2010. Panama City News Herald.
Personnel moves: Hillsborough school Superintendent Addison Davis has announced another dozen executive appointments, most of them for region superintendent or director positions. Two weeks ago Davis appointed cabinet-level positions. Tampa Bay Times.
Opinions on schools: Some folks, for whatever reason, would rather double down on a mistake than admit error. Let’s create a space for those reconsidering their opposition to education choice. A space where they don’t have to admit they’re wrong. A space where we don’t say, “I told you so.” Catherine Durkin Robinson, redefinED. Why aren’t new subdivisions reserving land for new schools inside the subdivision? Joan H. Carter, Gainesville Sun.
Student enrichment: Thirty high school graduates and nine teachers in Volusia and Flagler counties are honored as Medallions of Excellence winners for their accomplishments in a virtual ceremony this week. Daytona Beach News-Journal.