Florida roundup: Special needs students, CAPE Act, school grades & more

Wharton grad: Superintendent Maryellen Elia defends principal who cut short a graduation speech by salutatorian Harold Shaw. Tampa Bay Times.

florida roundup logoSpecial needs: Rodgers Middle School, where a student with Down syndrome drowned last year, no longer will have full-time exceptional student education classes. Tampa Bay Times.

Budget fixes: New Polk County schools Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy looks at ways to reduce $12.7 million shortfall. One way: eliminating a $2.5 million summer reading remediation program. The Ledger.

Funding: Columnist John Romano takes issue with Gov. Scott bragging about Florida, criticizing the state’s level of student funding and practice of steering money to for-profit education companies, among other issues. Tampa Bay Times.

Turnaround plans: When the state education board meets next week, it will review turnaround plans for 58 schools. Gradebook.

School grades: John Padget, the new vice chairman of the state education board, says Florida schools should have prepared for the tougher standards tied to school grades. Gradebook.

Sleeping in: Some Broward County schools will start later in the coming school year and the district works to streamline bus routes and cut transportation costs. Sun Sentinel.

Wi-Fi: The Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency will talk about providing the families of Galaxy Elementary students who qualify for free lunch with home Wi-Fi. Sun Sentinel.

Testing: Pasco school leaders take a look at latest testing scores for instruction ideas. Tampa Bay Times.

Tax hike: Seminole County School Board approves a property-tax increase to pay for building repairs and program improvements. Orlando Sentinel.

Lt. Gov.: Orange County schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins is the leading candidate for Florida’s next lieutenant governor. Orlando Sentinel.

Principal shuffle: Broward County school district’s plan to shuffle low-performing principals has angered parents and teachers. Miami Herald.

Test gains: Florida had some of the largest test gains between 2003 and 2011 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a new analysis finds. StateImpact Florida.

CAPE Act: Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford write about what was “truly the “jobs bill” of the 2013 legislative session and the transformational education act of the decade.” Tampa Bay Times.

Leadership: Superintendent Rick Mills says he has a plan that costs “virtually nothing” to add instructional leadership teams, professional learning communities and school data teams to every district school. Bradenton Herald.

Broken: A district official calls Manatee County schools’ exceptional student education program “broken.” Bradenton Herald.

Plaque flap: School Board member Karen Carpenter wants her name added to a plaque that recognizes other current members. Bradenton Herald.

Robotics: Foster kids take part in the Lego robotics camp at the Science Center of Pinellas. Tampa Tribune.

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BY Sherri Ackerman

Sherri Ackerman is the former associate editor of redefinED. She is a former correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times and reporter for The Tampa Tribune, writing about everything from cops and courts to social services and education. She grew up in Indiana and moved to Tampa as a teenager, graduating from Brandon High School and, later, from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/news editing. Sherri passed away in March 2016.