H.B. 7069: The controversial K-12 education bill H.B. 7069 has been sent to Gov. Rick Scott for consideration. He must make a decision on the bill by June 27, though there are reports that he intends to sign the bill Thursday in Orlando. The bill creates a fund to recruit high-performing charter schools into areas with persistently struggling schools, requires 20 minutes of recess a day for traditional public elementary school students and sets aside more than $200 million to provide bonuses for teachers and principals, among other things. Orlando Sentinel. Gradebook. Gov. Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, were in Miami to make the first of five stops in a “victory tour” of Florida to celebrate the budget agreement. Miami Herald. Tampa Bay Times. Sun Sentinel. Sunshine State News. Hundreds of teachers protest the education bill at Gov. Scott’s rally in Jacksonville Beach. Florida Times-Union. WJCT. WJXT. Supporters and opponents of the education bill continue to pepper Gov. Scott with emails and calls. News Service of Florida. WKMG. WBBH. Florida Politics.
District finances: The Duval County School Board tentatively agrees to tap the district’s reserves to help make up the difference between the money it expected from the state and what it actually will get. The district was expecting an extra $16 million after the budget deal in the special session. But the state told the district that about half of that needs to be set aside for mandates and charter schools. Florida Times-Union. Polk County school officials say the district will struggle to maintain reserves and give raises to teachers and staff under the level of funding the state has approved for education. The district expects to receive $6,983 per student from the state, which is $110 less than it received 10 years ago. Lakeland Ledger. The Manatee County School Board asks its attorney to write a resolution for a special election in March to raise property taxes for schools by 1 mill. The increase would raise about $30 million a year for the district. Bradenton Herald. The Cape Coral Charter School Governing Board tentatively approves a budget for its four schools that gives employees a 2 percent raise but cuts the number of teachers and administrators by 14. Lehigh Acres Citizen.
Audit raps district: The Broward County School District greatly overpaid asphalt contractors for athletic tracks and playgrounds and didn’t get required permits, according to an internal audit. Forty-seven times between 2010 and 2017, the district paid $150 to $300 an hour for workers. In 2016, auditors say, the Palm Beach County School had similar work done and paid $15 to $45 an hour. The Broward district has a history of financial mismanagement in its facilities department, and is about to begin infrastructure updates covered by an $800 million bond approved by voters in 2014. Sun Sentinel. Continue Reading →