Florida roundup: charter schools, ed schools, digital devices & more

Charter schools. A circuit judge denies a Pasco charter school’s expansion plan. Tampa Bay Times.

florida roundup logoVirtual schools. A Fort Myers charter tells parents, wrongly, that they must pay $425 if their kids fail to complete Florida Virtual School classes. Associated Press.

Class size amendment. Students down, teachers up. Intercepts.

Ed schools. Florida State College at Jacksonville, one of five state schools rated substandard in NCTQ’s new report, says the group got it wrong. StateImpact Florida.

Science. Florida should adopt science standards from California and/or Washington D.C. (and not the Next Generation Science Standards), says state Board of Education member John Padget. Gradebook.

Tech. Broward says it only has $16 million for $59 million worth of technology needs, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Miami-Dade adopts a $63 million plan to ensure every student has access to a digital device by 2015, reports the Miami Herald.

Teacher conduct. A Hernando teacher is suspended for 10 days without pay for allegedly yelling at a student for several minutes, making disparaging racial remarks and throwing a backpack at his chest, reports the Tampa Bay Times. A Venice charter school principal accused of intimidation and bullying has resigned, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Tutors. Alachua opts to stop giving low-income parents the ability to choose private tutors. Gainesville Sun.

School safety. Two custodians are found dead inside Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. South Florida Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post.

School spending. Orange County voters will be asked next year to extend a half-penny sales tax for school construction and renovation, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Polk looks for ways to boost its fund balance, reports the Lakeland Ledger.

School grades. Northeast Florida superintendents fear a higher rate of poor grades in response to accountability changes. Florida Times Union.

Superintendents. The Nancy Graham era begins in Lee. Naples Daily News.

Reading camp. Panama City News Herald.

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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.