Education bill, grading system out of pre-K bill, back-to-school tax holiday, sales tax hike and more
Voucher effects on public schools, pension plans, panic alarm bill delayed, dual enrollment and more
Differences in eligibility for raises, pilot civics test, new standards, choice, top educators and more
In-state tuition fight: State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, is unhappy that newly elected Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has introduced a bill that would prohibit undocumented immigrant students from receiving in-state tuition for college. Latvala, who is the House appropriations chairman, was one of the backers of that measure. “The final chapter hasn’t been played on that,” Latvala vows. Gradebook.
Grade improvements: Only 51 of the 3,333 Florida schools improved their grades from an F to a C or better last year, according to the state Department of Education. Six of those were in Duval County. Officials there credit new principals and teachers, and a focus on the needs of individual students through small-group instruction. Florida Times-Union.
Boost for charters: The wave of school choice election winners should be a boost to the charter school industry, say political analysts. They think Florida lawmakers are likely to reduce school boards’ control over approval of charter schools, give struggling neighborhoods the freedom to form “educational success zones” and bring in for-profit charter companies, and give more tax money for construction to charter schools. Palm Beach Post.
Teacher shortages: Mid-year resignations have left schools in Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties with more teaching vacancies now than when school started. Those districts still have 52 teaching openings, up from 39 in August. TCPalm. More than half of the 200-plus classroom vacancies in Hillsborough County have been filled by redeploying subject coaches, resource teachers and some assistant principals. Only about 80 jobs have yet to be filled. Gradebook.
Appointed superintendent: A drive begins to turn the Leon County school superintendent’s job into an appointed one. Organizers hope to get the initiative on the ballot in 2018. If it passes, the school board would start hiring the superintendent in 2020. Tallahassee Democrat.