Teacher bonuses: Broward County’s decision to offer bonuses for highly rated teachers to work in at-risk schools is paying off, school officials say. At 28 low-income county schools, only 2 percent of teaching positions were vacant at the start of the school year. Before the bonuses program started four years ago, 30 percent of the jobs in those at-risk schools were unfilled. And about half of those 28 schools have improved their grade from the state. Sun-Sentinel.
School construction: Problems were reported in the air-conditioning systems at all 82 schools in the Brevard County School District in August, school officials say. Even as temperatures are dropping, there are still hundreds of issues reported each month. The problems are being reported at newer schools as well as the older ones. Florida Today. The Polk County School District has almost $448 million of unfunded new construction projects over the next 10 years, and $74 million in unfunded repair and renovation projects. School officials are hoping voters approve an extension of the half-cent sales tax in 2018. The tax brings in about $40 million a year. Lakeland Ledger. A new high school in Bonita Springs is just one of several projects the Lee County School District has in the works. Fort Myers News-Press.
Testing survey says: Almost 90 percent of students who took the online Florida Standards Assessments tests this year say they had no technical problems. But they still aren’t happy with testing, according to a Florida Education Department survey. Students complain they are tested too much, and many prefer the paper and pencil tests to the computer versions. They also suggested breaks during the testing, refreshments, more comfortable chairs and warmer testing rooms. Orlando Sentinel.
Software deal: The Brevard County School District is considering terminating an $8 million software contract with Harris School Solutions. The software was purchased three years ago to manage the district’s finances, contracts, human resource information, payroll and more. School officials say the software is not fully usable. Florida Today.