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Graduation requirements, Stewart up for job, Harvard admission canceled and more

Graduation requirements: Gov. Ron DeSantis says he will sign a bill that would change graduation requirements to allow students to substitute a computer science credit for the math and science credits now required, and also allow “adjunct” teachers for K-12 schools. Students who don’t use a computer science course to satisfy the algebra 1 requirement may also take two years to complete the math course, and receive two credits for it. The bill would also set aside $10 million to recruit, train and retain computer science teachers. Florida Phoenix. Gradebook. WUSF.

Stewart up for job: Pam Stewart, who was Florida’s education commissioner for five years before resigning in January, is one of three finalists for the job as interim superintendent for the Volusia County School District. Stewart, retired Volusia deputy superintendent Timothy Huth and retired St. Johns County curriculum director Tim Egnor will be interviewed today to replace the fired Tom Russell for up to a year while the school board searches for a permanent replacement. The board is expected to make its decision today. Russell’s last day is June 27. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Gradebook.

Harvard admission rescinded: Harvard University has withdrawn the acceptance for a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting. Kyle Kashuv, 18, was told by Harvard he isn’t welcome after the discovery of racist posts he shared with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School classmates two years ago. Kashuv, who became a gun rights activist after the massacre, has apologized for the posts. “Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” Kashuv tweeted. Sun Sentinel. Associated Press. Huffington Post. Florida Politics. Vox.

Charter behind in payments: A troubled Manatee County charter school is delinquent in making payments into the state pension program and is about to have its water service shut off, according to records. Lincoln Memorial Academy of Palmetto is at least two months behind payments to the Florida Retirement System for its teachers, has been running a budget deficit for months and was ordered to submit a financial recovery plan to the state by June 28. And principal Eddie Hundley had his educator’s certificate revoked for five years after he gave job recommendations for a teacher who was under investigation for sexual misconduct. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Contract negotiations: The Brevard County teachers union has rejected Superintendent Mark Mullins’ proposal of an average 2.3 percent pay raise for teachers. That’s up from the district’s earlier 1.6 percent offer, but remains far short of what teachers want. Mullins’ offer was a raise of $1,100 and a bonus of $650 for teachers rated as highly effective, with similarly rated special education teachers getting an extra $835 supplement. Effective teachers would receive a raise of $825 plus the $650 bonus. The two sides have been at an impasse for six months, and the school board will decide the issue June 24. Florida Today. Seminole County teachers and other workers will get a 3 percent raise this year and 1.25 percent next year under a contract agreement reached with the district. Negotiations continue in Orange and Lake counties. Orlando Sentinel.

Sales tax initiative: The Duval County School District’s wish to put a half-cent sales tax hike before voters Nov. 5 faces two tests today from the Jacksonville City Council’s finance and rules committees. The full city council is expected to consider the committee decisions and vote on the ballot timing June 25. Several council members have said that if an election is held at all, they’d prefer it in November 2020 because of the high costs and the expected low turnout of a special election. Florida Times-Union. Florida Politics. Here’s a look at the Duval district’s plan to replace and repair schools. Florida Times-Union.

Fewer safety hazards: The number of serious safety hazards at Palm Beach County schools has dropped from 169 in 2015 to 76 this year, according to the district’s annual  safety inspection. The total number of violations has also dropped from more than 6,000 a decade ago to 1,322 this year. School officials credit an emphasis made on reducing violations a decade ago and the addition of money from a 2016 increase in the sales tax to repair government facilities. Palm Beach Post.

Medical marijuana: A draft policy regulating the use of medical marijuana at schools by employees is being considered today by the Charlotte County School Board. The proposal would require employees to notify their supervisor and show their permission from the state so that the district can make the appropriate accommodations, though it does not say what those would be. Charlotte Sun.

District diversity: Marion County school officials say they are making progress on boosting the number of minority teachers and administrators, but concede there is room for improvement. The district had 71 more minority teachers in the 2018-2019 school year than it did in 2014-2015, and the number of minority district administrators doubled from 9 to 18. But there’s been no change at the principal and assistant principal levels. Just over 25 percent of the district’s principals are nonwhite, while 51 percent of students are. Ocala Star-Banner.

Superintendent’s raise: Charlotte County Superintendent Steve Dionisio is expected to get a raise from the school board of more than $13,000 a year. If approved today, Dionisio’s annual salary would increase to $164,500. Charlotte Sun.

Charter school’s portables: A Lake Worth Beach charter school has been ordered by the city to remove its portable classrooms by July 8. City officials say they gave the Academy for Positive Learning permission for portables in 2013, with the understanding that they would be removed by 2018. School officials are asking the portables be allowed for one more year. WPEC.

Personnel moves: Duval County school officials are asking the school board approve the reassignment of 20 principals to new schools. WJXT.

School official’s boasts: More details emerge in the sexual harassment allegations made against Sarasota County School District chief operating officer Jeff Maultsby. According to a complaint made by former administrative assistant Cheraina Bonner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Maultsby bragged about his sexual activities, saying he was “a beast in bed,” and made suggestive comments to her. Bonner complained to Superintendent Todd Bowden and school board chair Caroline Zucker, but says nothing was done and six weeks later she was transferred. Maultsby is still on the job. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Ex-school official’s ethics: The former director of transportation for the Levy County School District abused his position when he sexually harassed a coworker last year, the Florida Commission of Ethics has ruled. Bruce Greenlee told the commission he misread the coworker’s signals. He resigned a year ago. WCJB.

School board sued: The mother of a Port Charlotte Middle School student is suing the Charlotte County School Board for negligence, saying her 13-year-old child was badly beaten while waiting for a bus at school last October. Charlotte Sun.

Abduction attempt? Pasco County deputies say a man tried to lure an Academy at the Lakes student into his car Monday morning. The girl ran into the school to report it, and deputies are asking for the public’s help in finding the man. WFLA.

Opinions on schools: Whether by design or accident, the Citrus County sheriff is blocking the school district from its statutorily mandated duties to initiate measures to protect its schools. Citrus County Chronicle.

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BY NextSteps staff