Tax initiatives: About a third of Florida residents face increased taxes if voters in seven counties approve initiatives Tuesday to raise money for their school districts. Officials in those districts say the state put them in the position of asking for voter help by underfunding mandates for school security. “The legislative mandates were substantially unfunded,” says Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of the Miami-Dade County School District. “It has put significant fiscal pressure on the district.” Bloomberg. In Miami-Dade, a four-year property tax hike would generate an extra $232 million a year, and 88 percent of the money generated would go for teacher raises. In Palm Beach County, a four-year increase in property taxes would bring in about $150 million more a year, and the district has pledged 50 percent of it to improve teacher pay. Miami Herald. Palm Beach Post.
Post-hurricane schedule: The Bay County School District’s plan to make up the three-plus weeks of class time students lost to Hurricane Michael is approved by the Florida Department of Education. The district’s schools will be 10 to 14 minutes longer every day and schools will be in session on four days that had been set aside as holidays or teacher work days. Already scheduled time off over Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break will not change. Half the district’s schools reopen today, and the district’s goal is to have the rest open by Nov. 13. Panama City News Herald. New bus stop schedules are issued for Bay County students, many of whom may be attending a different school starting today. The district is also handing out reflective items for students who will now be going home in the dark. WMBB. Panama City News Herald. School officials in Calhoun and Jackson counties had to get creative to reopen schools last week. WFSU. Eighty Florida students displaced by the hurricane are attending southeastern Alabama schools. Associated Press. Gov. Rick Scott is asking the Florida Department of Education to send additional funds to districts so schools damaged by the hurricane can be rebuilt to withstand storms. Gradebook.