Florida roundup: FCAT money, charter schools, parent trigger & more

School recognition funds. About 1,700 schools will get about $134 million, reports Gradebook. More from SchoolZone, Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, TCPalm.com, Florida Times Union, Naples Daily News.FL roundup logo snipped

Charter schools. Palm Beach Post: “Palm Beach County has pledged to help a nonprofit charter school sell $10.5 million in mostly tax-exempt bonds so it can open a new campus in Juno Beach — a move that has upset County Commissioner Paulette Burdick, who questions whether the county should aid privately run charters that pull students away from the public school district.” More on Cape Coral charter schools asking the Lee County school district for facilities funding from NBC2.

Pre-K. Florida’s pre-K isn’t the reason its students are surging ahead of Nevada’s. Heartland Institute.

Parent trigger. Lakeland Ledger weighs in.

Zero tolerance. Despite changes in the law, thousands of students are still arrested in Florida schools every year for minor infractions. StateImpact Florida.

FCAT. Time again for students to “brace” for the “dreaded” test, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel. This year, teachers and students better prepared for tougher writing standards, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Grad rates. Another report notes Florida’s rate is low but improving. SchoolZone.

GEDs. Tougher test coming. Ocala Star Banner.

Honors classes. For GPAs, Pinellas considers weighting them less than AP, IB and dual enrollment classes. Tampa Bay Times.

Teacher pay. Op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat: “I am not OK with a 2-percent raise. Greedy may I sound, but there is more out there to compensate our increasing demands.”

Rezoning. Broward’s turn. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

School funding. The Volusia and Flagler school districts could lose $4.5 million from sequester cuts. Daytona Beach News Journal.

School breakfast. Okaloosa has one of the lowest participation rates in the state. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Superintendents. New Manatee schools chief Rick Mills will make $183,500 a year. Sarasota Herald Tribune.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.