Florida schools roundup: Charters, cyberbullying, ESE aides & more

Charter schools: A new St. Petersburg charter school under fire for missteps wants to open another school in neighboring Hillsborough County. Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoPay raises: Polk County school district teachers, principals, assistant principals, paraprofessionals and clerical staff will get a raise this year. The Ledger. Lee County school leaders approve a 3.3 percent raise for district support staff. Fort Myers News-Press. Hillsborough teachers will get a 4 percent pay raise. The Tampa Tribune. Pasco County principals get a pay bump. Tampa Bay Times.

Class size: Broward schools face a $1.1 million fine this year for failing to meet state class size caps. Sun Sentinel. A Pasco County school turns to team teaching to comply. Tampa Bay Times.

Strategic plans: Polk County moves forward with a plan to pull the district’s state grade to an A by 2017-18. The Ledger. Duval County school leaders eye a legislative platform that includes dual enrollment and textbook funding. Florida Times-Union. Brevard County school board members vote unanimously to seek a half-cent sales tax in the 2014 election. Florida Today.

ESE aides: The special needs workers soon will get benefits, new titles and for some, a pay boost. Tampa Bay Times.

School zones: Public backlash influences a Broward County school board member to withdraw her boundary change proposals. Sun Sentinel.

Accreditation: Pinellas County school board members vote unanimously to seek accreditation from AdvancED. Tampa Bay Times.

Struggling students: Palm Beach County school officials now will separate academics from consequences to keep troubled students from falling further behind in class work. Palm Beach Post.

Foreign language: Pinellas school officials are looking for ways to keep dual-language immersion programs going in the upper grades. Tampa Bay Times.

Sex ed: Hillsborough school administrators likely won’t pursue grants for sex education. Tampa Bay Times.

Communications: The Lee County school district launches a new system that aims to respond to all parent inquiries or complaints within 24 hours. Naples Daily News.

New post: Mark Rendell is St. Lucie County School District’s new deputy superintendent. TC Palm. Dina Langston will be the new principal of Hillsborough’s McLane Middle School. Tampa Bay Times.

Bullying: Polk County’s sheriff calls for legislation to help bullies and bullying victims — before anything reaches a criminal level. The Ledger.

Healthy learning: Escambia County students participate in “Teaching Gardens,” a two-year program in partnership with the American Heart Association and Gulf Power Co. to promote healthy living habits. Pensacola News-Journal.

Lawsuit: The U.S. District Court in Tampa awards a former Manatee School for the Arts employee $175,000 in back wages and punitive damages. 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.