Florida schools roundup: Guns at schools, staffing, enrollment and more

Guns at schools: The Lee County School Board postpones a discussion about allowing licensed gun owners to keep firearms locked in their cars at schools. All firearms are currently banned from school property, but board member Steven Teuber is proposing the change in policy. Fort Myers News-Press.

School staffing: Lake County School Superintendent Diane Kornegay says the district’s schools have 65 more teachers than they need, and it’s costing the district $4.5 million. She will reassess the situation after Labor Day, when school enrollment starts to stabilize. Some teachers will be shifted to meet class-size requirements, but district spokeswoman Sherri Owens says layoffs have not been discussed. Daily Commercial.

School enrollment: Enrollment in Palm Beach County charter schools has dropped for the first time in a decade. Charter schools have an enrollment of 19,803, down 939 from last year. Charters still make up more than 10 percent of the district’s 193,973 students. Palm Beach Post.

Call for choice: Leon County School Board member Rosanne Wood is calling for an expansion of school choice in the district. She wants school officials to set up a task force on magnet schools and choice. Wood writes on her website: “Americans love choice; walk through the cereal or toothpaste isle at any store if you’re not convinced. All parents want the very best for their children. Many are willing to make sacrifices of money and convenience to enroll their child in what they perceive as the best available school.” redefinED.

School transformation: Pasco County’s Ridgewood High School, which has received consecutive D grades from the state, could be transformed next year into a magnet school for career and technical programs. “We want to do something different,” says Superintendent Kurt Browning. No decision will be made until the district does further research and gets community input. Gradebook.

Dreamers decision: Sources say President Donald Trump will kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but will probably let program’s recipients stay in the United States until their work permits run out. The decision could come as early as today. School officials around the country have appealed to the president to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to stay. Tribune News Service.

Stewart’s pay: Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is the second-highest paid state superintendent in the United States, according to a salary review by Education Week. She makes $276,000 a year, trailing only Mississippi’s Carey Wright at $300,000. Education Week. Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

Notable deaths: Phyllis Schiffer-Simon, longtime director of the Broward County School District’s educational TV station, has died of cancer at age 64. Sun-Sentinel.

School officers’ problems: A Pinellas County school police officer who was fired for berating an autistic student at Osceola High School files an appeal to get his job back. Ural Darling was caught on tape taunting a 13-year-old student who communicates at a kindergarten level. Gradebook. Vonley Williams, a police officer assigned to Atlantic West Elementary School in Margate, is suspended for a month for carrying a misbehaving 4th-grader over his shoulder. Sun-Sentinel. WSVN.

Ex-sub convicted: A former Marion County substitute teacher is convicted of four counts of misdemeanor battery related to groping allegations of girls in his classes at Lake Weir High School. Timothy Cooke, 59, was sentenced to 60 days in jail and a year of probation. Ocala Star-Banner.

Hit-and-run arrest: A man is arrested and accused of hitting a 12-year-old boy bicycling to school in Palm Bay, then driving away. Christopher Harris told police he left the scene because the boy who was riding to Discovery Elementary School “looked like he was fine.” Florida Today.

Coach accused: The softball coach at Fort White High School in Columbia County is accused of watching his players undress. Parents say they have complained about Chad Padgett’s action to school officials, but have been told the accusations could not be substantiated. WJAX.

Student enrichment: Seventeen students from Clearwater Academy International are heading to Houston with three school staffers to help with hurricane relief efforts. WFLA. Jason Ledon, a 16-year-old student at the Miami Lakes Educational Center, is the youngest of 3,154 SolidWorks certified experts in the world. SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided drafting program. Miami Herald. Exceptional education students at King High School in Tampa open Brewing Buddies, a coffee shop in the school. It’s part of a training program to prepare intellectually disabled students for employment after they finish school. Tampa Bay Times. National Geographic explorer Luke Dollar tells Collier County 4th-graders about a cat-like animal he has been tracking in Madagascar. Naples Daily News. Sarasota Booker High School is one of the top 80 U.S. high schools for the arts, according to a rating by Niche.com. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

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BY NextSteps staff