Florida schools roundup: Charter schools, choice, digital learning & more

Charter schools: The Broward County School Board approves 19 new charter schools, including two Hebrew-language schools and a sports-themed academy. Sun Sentinel. An Immokalee charter school faces closure for mismanagement, including uncertified teachers. Naples Daily News. A state lawmaker has filed a bill that would ban charters from dismissing students for failing the FCAT. Tallahassee/Herald. Pepin Academy, a highly regarded charter school for students with special needs, wins initial approval to open in Pasco County. Tampa Bay Times.

florida-roundup-logoSchool choice: Lee County district officials recommend a plan that would make school choice options easier for parents and principals. Fort Myers News-Press.

Digital learning: Lee County school board members consider a policy that allows students to use their own electronic devices, like e-readers or smart phones, at school. Fort Myers News-Press.

Advanced Placement: Miami-Dade County schools has earned top honors for successfully expanding access to tough, college-level courses while improving passing scores. Miami Herald.

School arrests: The Broward School Board and several law enforcement agencies agree to reduce the number of school arrests for minor offenses. Sun Sentinel. More from the Miami Herald.

Crowding: Orange County school officials may consider a lawsuit to win approval for a new high school to ease crowding. Orlando Sentinel.

School leaders: Fifty-three applicants want to become the new second in command at Indian River County schools, the nation’s 11th-largest public school district. Palm Beach Post.

Data leader: Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego is one of four finalists for the state’s 2013 District Data Leader of the Year award. Tampa Bay Times.

Grad requirements: Florida lawmakers want to clarify their overhaul of the requirements for high school graduation. Tallahassee Democrat.

Name change: A Duval County School Board member formally requests a new name for a high school named for a Confederate soldier. Florida Times-Union.

Smoke free: As early as next school year, Hillsborough County public school employees may no longer be able to take smoke breaks on district property. The Tampa Tribune.

Conduct: A settlement is reached in the case of a reading mentor accused of molesting a St. Lucie County elementary student. TC Palm. A Hernando County teacher is suspended after requiring a fourth-grader to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. Tampa Bay Times. More from Hernando Today.

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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.