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Florida roundup: Special needs, charter schools, ESOL and more

Special needs. Orange County schools used restraints on students with disabilities more than 1,000 times during the past school year, but the district uses them less frequently than the state average. Orlando Sentinel.

florida-roundup-logoCharter schools. The City of West Palm Beach identifies a site for a planned municipal charter school. Palm Beach Post.

Tony Bennett. The former state education chief accepts a $5,000 fine for using state computers for political purposes in Indiana, but an inspector general’s review clears him of any ethics issues in the school grading scandal that led to his resignation in Florida. PoliticoAssociated Press.

Advanced Placement. Alachua County students passed nearly two thirds of their AP exams. Gainesville Sun.

ESOL. Hillsborough County teachers face firing for failing to get training to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages. Tampa Bay Times.

Finance. An aging state accounting system affects the flow of payments to Florida schools. Associated Press. Santa Rosa district officials say their fiscal situation is improving. Pensacola News-Journal. The Walton school district is looking to replace its chief financial officer shortly after finding out it had run down its reserve balance. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Top teachers. Florida is set to name its Teacher of the Year. Lakeland Ledger. Gradebook. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Tax holiday. A tax break for back-to-school items starts Aug. 1. Fort Myers News-Press.

Audits. A district inspector general questions spending by a parent group at a Palm Beach County elementary school. Palm Beach Post.

At-risk students. Hillsborough schools plan to use dedicated teams of social workers and counselors to prevent dropouts. Gradebook.

Nutrition. A lunch program on wheels helps feed needy Pasco students. Tampa Bay Times.

Community service. South Florida students raise funds for their athletic programs by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Sun-Sentinel.

Health. The number of parents citing religious objection to vaccinations for their school-age children is on the rise, an Orlando Sentinel columnist writes.

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BY Travis Pillow

Travis Pillow is Director of Thought Leadership at Step Up For Students and editor of NextSteps. He lives in Sanford, Fla. with his wife and two children. A former Tallahassee statehouse reporter, he most recently worked at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research organization at Arizona State University, where he studied community-led learning innovation and school systems' responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. He can be reached at tpillow (at)