Scholarships upheld: An appeals court affirms a lower court ruling that the state’s teachers union and other groups do not have legal standing to challenge the program that uses corporate tax credits to issue scholarships to low-income students. The groups claimed the program diverts fund from public schools, but the court ruled there was no evidence of harm. A further appeal is being considered. Step Up For Students, which administers the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, hosts this blog. Associated Press. redefinED. Politico. Orlando Sentinel. Pensacola News Journal. Tampa Bay Times. News Service of Florida. WFSU. WUSF. Palm Beach Post. Sunshine State News.
Retention lawsuit: A Leon County judge has decided to hold another hearing Monday in the lawsuit against the state’s policy to retain third-graders who do poorly on the Florida Standards Assessments reading test or opt out. A group of parents is suing the state and six school districts, arguing that more factors should be considered if a student doesn’t do well on the test, and that students who are doing well should not need a test score at all. Gradebook.
Sales tax hike: The Osceola County School Board will ask voters on Nov. 8 to approve a half-cent increase in the sales tax to renovate and maintain schools, reduce the number of portable classrooms and upgrade security and technology. The tax would begin in January and is expected to produce about $25 million a year over the next 20 years. Orlando Sentinel.
Teacher bonuses: All Bay County School District employees on the instructional salary schedule are now eligible for bonuses under the state’s Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship program. Before the school board approved the change, employees such as guidance counselors, math coaches and media specialists were not eligible. Panama City News Herald.