Schools of Hope rules: Rules have been proposed to implement the “Schools of Hope” part of the education bill passed in the Legislature earlier this year. The rules define what companies can be “hope operators,” who can then open a charter school within 5 miles of a persistently low-performing public school. The law outlined three criteria for becoming a “hope operators” – that student achievement exceeds district and state averages in the states in which they have schools; that college attendance rates have to exceed 80 percent; and that at least 7 in 10 students at their schools are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch. But the proposed rules would allow the state to choose operators that meet just one of the criteria, at least for the time being. Politico Florida.
Performance pressure: The pressure is on at Hawthorne Middle/High School in Alachua County. When the school got a D grade from the state in the spring, state officials gave school official three choices if the school’s grade isn’t a C or better next spring – close, transition to a charter school, or find an outside provider to run the school. School officials chose to close, which is reflected in the #AllIn slogan plastered on the walls of the school. The school is the heart of this rural community, and residents have rallied around the improvement plan. WUFT.
Tax bill and education: The final version of the federal tax bill retains the $250 deduction teachers can take for spending their own money on supplies for their classrooms, allows 529 college savings plans to be used for up to $10,000 in annual K-12 expenses, including private school tuition, and ends qualified school construction bonds, among other things. It also limits to $10,000 what taxpayers can deduct in either a combination of property and income taxes, or property and sales taxes. Some educators say that could pressure local government officials to lower property taxes, which would potentially lower revenue for schools. Education Week.