Moment of silence, board term limits, minimum arrest age, parental bill of rights, coronavirus and more
A day to remember those killed at Parkland, budgets approved in Senate and House, civics bill and more
Dueling groups in suit: Two groups of Florida’s 1997-1998 Constitution Revision Commission have gotten approval to file supporting briefs for opposite positions on the question of what the commission meant when it put a constitutional amendment on the 1998 ballot requiring the state to provide a high-quality system of public schools. Voters approved that amendment. One group, calling themselves “framers” of the amendment, asked the court to allow it to file a brief in support of those bringing the suit that claims the state is failing in its constitutional duty. Another group got approval last week to file a brief that supports the state’s position, the two previous court rulings against the plaintiffs, Citizens for Strong Schools, and argues that the Supreme Court should not consider the opinions of individual members of the 37-member CRC. News Service of Florida.
Teacher recruiting: The Orange County School District is confronting teacher shortages with an innovative program that puts University of Central Florida graduates with science degrees but no education coursework or training in a veteran teacher’s classroom for a semester to learn how to manage a classroom and make lesson plans. School officials hope the paid apprentice prepares those graduates for success. Adam LaMee, the teacher-in-residence at UCF’s Physics Teacher Preparation Program, calls the program “fantastic” and hopes other districts will copy it. Orlando Sentinel. The Hillsborough County School District now has just a couple-dozen teaching jobs open at its 50 lowest-performing schools, down from 200 a week ago. Tampa Bay Times.
Teacher of the year: Joy Prescott, a 4th-grade math teacher at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School in Glades County, is named Florida teacher of the year. She wins $20,000 and will be the state’s Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education for the next year. The other finalists were Kyle Dencker, a computer science teacher at Timber Creek High School in Orange County; Samantha Neff, a math coach at Idyllwilde Elementary School in Seminole County; Patrick Farley, a 3rd- and 4th-grade gifted teacher at Crystal Lake Elementary School in Martin County; and Molly Winters Diallo, a social science teacher at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Miami-Dade County. Each wins $15,000. Orlando Sentinel. Florida Department of Education.
School security: Only 35 of the 140 applicants for armed guardians jobs in Broward County schools pass the first screening test. The district says it needs to hire at least 80. Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman says based on his experience with his city’s police department, only about five of those 35 candidates will survive further screenings. He says most candidates fail the psychological tests. Sun-Sentinel. Only 24 of the eventual 107 school safety assistants will be in Duval County classrooms when students return to schools Aug. 13 because of hiring and training delays, say district officials. Florida Times-Union. WJXT. Insuring each security guard the Brevard County School District will cost only $150 a year, says Mark Langdorf, director of risk management for the district. District officials say they need 28 guards, so the insurance premium will be $4,200. Florida Today. The Leon County School District’s patchwork of protection for schools will test the state law demand that every school have an armed officer every day. Tallahassee Democrat. Lawrence Leon, the former chief of the Palm Beach County School District’s police department, will keep his $137,732 salary even though his job now is patrolling Jupiter Farms Elementary School. Palm Beach Post. The city of North Miami Beach is partnering with the Miami-Dade County School District to place a resource officer in all schools located in the city. The agreement adds officers at the two elementary schools; the middle and high schools were already covered. WTVJ. Several of the 13 Manatee County charter schools still do not have a plan for school security. Bradenton Herald.