Florida schools roundup: Dual enrollment, school audits, Rick Scott & more

Teachers unions. The rise of Fedrick Ingram, new president of the the Miami-Dade teachers union. Miami Herald.

florida roundup logoTeacher conduct. Ocala Star Banner: “Teacher suspended for bonk with a banana.”

Dual enrollment. A mandate that school districts pick up the tab for dual enrollment students is putting districts in a tough spot. Fort Myers News Press.

Rick Scott. Gov. Rick Scott must decide on several high-profile education issues, including virtual school funding and the future of state-mandated tutoring for low-income students, reports News Service of Florida. He’s going to veto a proposed tuition hike, reports the Times/Herald.

School atmosphere. A Palm Beach County School District investigation finds an elementary school torn apart by a feud between the principal and a school board member, reports the Palm Beach Post. The Florida Commission on Ethics dismisses two complaints against the board member, including one filed by the principal, the Post also reports.

Bullying. State officials work with the Walton County school district to combat bullying, reports the Northwest Florida Daily News. Pasco Superintendent writes in this op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times that bullying prevention is a moral imperative.

School closings. Citing cost concerns, Manatee plans to close a small high school for struggling students. Bradenton Herald.

School zoning. Extra Credit: Some Palm Beach County  parents zoned out of an elementary school are on a list to maybe get back in.

School spending. Pinellas is cutting up to 115 ESE classroom aide positions, reports Gradebook. After the latest audit turned up several problems, the Polk school district decides to increase the number of schools audited every year, reports the Ledger.

School safety. It’s worth considering whether the sheriff’s office should take over school security from the Palm Beach County school district, reports the Palm Beach Post. The Post also reports that district and law enforcement officials are worried about a slew of recent school bus crashes.

Testing. A few hundred seniors in Treasure Coast school districts are at risk of not graduating because of poor scores on the FCAT. TCPalm.com.

Kiera Wilmot. She talks to Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

PTA. A PTA president at a Pasco school is charged with embezzling the group’s funds. Tampa Bay Times.

Private schools. The Tampa Bay Times lists the valedictorians and salutatorians at Pinellas private high schools.

Magnet schools. Polk plans to boost arts instruction at a Lake Wales middle school. Lakeland Ledger.

Grit. Wracked with cancer, a senior at Dixie Hollins High in Pinellas strives to graduate. Tampa Bay Times.

Students with disabilities. The public school transfer option that comes with F-rated ESE centers isn’t opening up good choices for disabled students. Orlando Sentinel.

Pre-K. Duval plans to add more pre-K classes. Florida Times Union.

STEM. Middle school girls are the focus of a science summit organized by the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. Bradenton Herald.

Class size. Have Manatee’s really been too small? Sarasota Herald Tribune columnist Tom Lyons.

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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.