Florida schools roundup: Teacher pay, school prayer, co-teaching & more

Teacher pay: A firestorm among teachers forces the Broward school district to back off a proposal that would have cut 3,400 veteran educators out of their state-promised pay hikes. Sun Sentinel. Thousands of Sarasota County school district employees receive raises for the first time in five years. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

florida-roundup-logoSchool spending: Palm Beach County school district’s inspector general recommends the board hire two auditors to help investigate complaints of waste and mismanagement. Palm Beach Post.

Shutdown: Seventeen Head Start sites that serve more than 900 children in Hernando, Sumter and Volusia counties will close their doors if funding cut off by the federal government shutdown isn’t restored. Tampa Bay Times.

School prayer: Pasco County schools Superintendent Kurt Browning faces criticism for a memo reminding school coaches not to lead prayer with their players. Tampa Bay Times. Browning has appropriately re-established the church-and-state line, and House Speaker Will Weatherford has no business trying to move it. Tampa Bay Times.

Charter schools: Miami-Dade charter schools now serve 52,000 students, equal to 15 percent of the county’s public student body. Miami-Herald. Pivot Charter School in Lee County turns operations into a success thanks to a blended learning model. Fort Myers News-Press.

Private schools: Episcopal Day School in Escambia County embraces STEAM, a new program focused on STEM and the arts. Pensacola News-Journal.

Federal intrusion? The federal government is already in our classrooms, by providing billions in education funding and grants. Tampa Bay Times. 

School violence: Parents and students of this Polk County high school say fights and suspensions are common. The Ledger.

Education winners: A Brevard County 14-year-old student wins $25,000 in the national Broadcom MASTERS science competition. Florida Today. A Hillsborough County principal is named 2013 Elementary School Reading Leader of the Year by the Florida Reading Association. Tampa Bay Times.

School punishment: One Sarasota County elementary school makes unruly students run laps, sparking community debate. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Cutting room: “Waiting  For Superman” director Davis Guggenheim films a Hillsborough County middle school for his latest project, but the footage doesn’t make the final cut. The Tampa Tribune. 

Planning ahead: These Pinellas County fifth-graders get a lesson on the value of education from an educator and former Tarpon Springs mayor. The Tampa Tribune.

Co-teaching: Only two elementary schools in Sarasota County use the co-teaching method, a valuable partnership in the classroom. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Bullying: A popular Manatee County cooking teacher who resigned from his job for bullying students can no longer teach in Florida public schools. Sarasota Herald-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.