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Florida schools roundup: Matthew, charters, prepaid, tweet regret and more

florida-roundup-logoMatthew’s impact: As Hurricane Matthew works its way up Florida’s east coast, many of the state’s school districts remain closed today. Orlando SentinelTampa Bay Times. WUSF. WFLA. WTSPFort Myers News-Press. Naples Daily News. Bradenton HeraldSarasota Herald-Tribune. Ocala Star Banner. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daily Commercial. WCTV.

Charter schools: Just a week after the U.S. Department of Education announces it will make $245 million available for the expansion of charter schools, an audit raises concerns about ties between some charter school boards and management companies that run their schools. Charter groups acknowledge some of the problems, but point out that some charter organizations show strong outcomes for low-income students. U.S. News & World Report.

Consequences of a tweet: A St. Petersburg high school senior who sent a “joke” tweet now wishes he hadn’t. Luke Boswell inserted a clown photo into a tweet to his friends Monday. It was quickly passed around Northeast High School, spooking students and drawing attention from the police. Boswell was suspended for a day and lost his spot on the homecoming court. “If I could take this back, I would in a heartbeat,” Boswell says. Tampa Bay Times.

Prepaid enrollment: The Florida Prepaid College Board approves college savings plan prices for the 2016-2017 open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 through Feb. 28, 2017. Florida Prepaid College Board.

Hot school days: Hillsborough County students and teachers describe their days in classrooms without air conditioning, as the district struggles to repair aging units at many schools. Tampa Bay Times.

Union unhappy with query: The leader of the Sarasota County teachers union says the sexual harassment investigation against a finalist for the superintendent’s job is significant, and calls the dismissal of the case “fairly disgraceful.” Barry Dubin says the union will pay for a lie detector test for the accusers and the accused, the district’s executive director of career and adult education Todd Bowden. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Teacher’s death: A Jefferson County teacher and coach who was under investigation for an inappropriate relationship with a female student has apparently committed suicide in Georgia. Jermain Walker, 43, taught English and coached football and baseball at Jefferson Middle High School. Tallahassee Democrat.

More clown threats: Southwest Florida school officials inform parents of the latest “creepy clown” hoax threat against schools. Sheriff’s deputies are still investigating. Fort Myers News-Press.

Opinions on schools: It’s disturbing how many young children in America do not attend school enough days to receive an adequate education. Without that essential ingredient, children have a far dimmer chance of leading a productive adult life. Kathy Silverberg, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Student enrichment: Eighty-two Hillsborough County students are named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Tampa Bay Times. The Men of Vision program brings its message of respect for parents, women, teachers, school staff, law enforcement and peers to McLane Middle School in Brandon. Tampa Bay Times. Two years after an abnormal heart defect sidelined Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School football player Michael Burch, he’ll return to the field Saturday. Bradenton Herald. Braden River Elementary School students get a refresher course on “stop, drop and roll” and other fire safety tips. Bradenton Herald.

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BY NextSteps staff