Florida schools roundup: Florida Virtual, McKay scholarships, charters & more

Charter schools: The Pasco County school board will consider charter applications, including one aimed for low-income elementary students at risk for dropping out. Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoPrivate schools: A Tampa Islamic school simulates the hajj to teach children about the rite. Tampa Bay Times. The McKay Scholarship helps more than 27,000 children with disabilities attend private school. Tallahassee Democrat.

Virtual schools: Florida Virtual School leaders tell lawmakers that a shift in funding has hurt enrollment in the online learning program, especially in rural districts. Florida Current. 

Teacher raises: Only 13 districts have negotiated pay increases with their unions, with the average raise ranging from $1,500 to $2,900. The Buzz. More from the Palm Beach Post and Naples Daily News.

School security: The Broward County school district agrees to spend $555,000 for 12 officers to patrol elementary schools in six cities. Sun Sentinel. Instead of hiring armed security officers all at once for 144 elementary schools, Hillsborough’s latest plan would phase them in over four years. Tampa Bay Times.

Safety net: The State Board of Education will vote again on a “safety net” for school grades that would extend the controversial measure through 2014. Orlando Sentinel.

Outsourcing: The Miami-Dade school district may look to privatize its vast fleet of school buses and transportation employees. Miami Herald. The Polk County School District is looking into outsourcing the management of its substitute teachers. The Ledger.

Board view: Clay County school board members say their superintendent didn’t tell them he was authorizing $2,037 to  reserve a meeting room and amenities for an “American exceptionalism” conference. Florida Times-Union.

Walk to School Day: Thousand of Brevard students, parents and teachers at more than 40 local schools participate in International Walk to School Day. Florida Today.

100 years: Hillsborough’s Brandon High celebrates its 100th anniversary. Tampa Bay Times.

Lunch app: The Pasco County School District debuts an online cafeteria menu, including a smartphone application. Tampa Bay Times.

Conduct: A Sarasota elementary gym teacher quits her job over allegations that she was intoxicated during school. Bradenton Herald.

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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.