Guns, other bills: State Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, files a bill that would permit licensed concealed-carry holders to bring their firearms to elementary and secondary schools. It’s the third bill he’s filed that would expand rights to concealed carry permit holders. Bradenton Herald. WUSF. Dozens of education bills are filed as the Legislature opens. Politico Florida. Florida’s legislative leaders promise record spending for K-12 education and an expansion of education options for people with disabilities. Politico Florida.
Proficiency questions: Bob Schaeffer, the Sanibel Island-based public education director of FairTest, doubts that the Florida Department of Education has any evidence to support its contention that scoring at Level 5 in the state assessment tests means a student is “highly likely to excel in the next grade level.” Gradebook.
Teacher retention: The Lee County School Board is considering a variety of incentives, such as tuition reimbursement and helping teachers pay for their credentials, to stem teacher turnover, especially among minorities. Superintendent Greg Adkins says the district loses about 10 percent of its teachers every year. Fort Myers News-Press.
School nurse shortage: Duval County has fewer than one-third of the school nurses a federal agency says it needs, and the school board has approved a plan for fixing the problem. But any solution will cost millions and will have to wait until the district begins budget talks. Florida Times-Union.
Online curriculum: Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti wants to switch middle schools to online materials, as the district has done with elementary schools. But several school board members are skeptical of the move, citing problems with the elementary curriculum. Florida Times-Union.