Recruitment hurdles, leadership changes, sales tax holiday upcoming and more

Around the state: The Florida Board of Education is expected to meet on new rules, leadership changes are afoot in Hillsborough, teacher recruitment is facing hurdles statewide and the sales tax holiday is around the corner. Here are details about those stories and other developments from the state’s districts, private schools and colleges and universities:

Broward: A discussion on whether to significantly increase pay for Broward county teachers and principals has been postponed for another week due to concerns the proposal feels rushed. School Board member Allen Zeman unveiled the proposal at a Tuesday meeting to raise average total compensation for teachers to $100,000 by 2025, up from an average of $78,000 today. That amount includes base salary, retirement benefits and health care. Total compensation for principals and assistant principals would increase to an average of $150,000, up from about $137,000, according to Zeman. “We need to make sure that we compensate our most valuable resource in a way that is a reflection of the respect that they’re held in Broward County,” Zeman said. WLRN.

Hillsborough: Superintendent Van Ayres announced a round of district leadership changes this week that will affect everything from personnel to family engagement as the new school year approaches. Ayres replaced Addison Davis this month. Davis took a job at a consulting firm. “As we prepare for our students to return, now is the time to come together, refocus on our collective goals, and implement strategies to move forward purposefully,” Ayres wrote in an email to staff. Tampa Bay Times.

Pinellas: One career path that has become less popular over the past few decades as college freshmen prepare to start school this fall semester and decide on a major to pursue: education. The fact isn’t surprising to some. “We have the fourth largest economy in America. We’re 48th in teacher pay,” said Lee Bryant, president of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association. Between new legislation and low wages statewide, some say it will be tougher for the state to recruit new teachers. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that while enrollment in college has gone up over several decades, choosing to graduate with a degree in education has dropped. WTSP.

Bay: A church held its back-to-school block party at Daffin Park in Panama City. About 250 students of all ages lined up choosing backpack-filled supplies to get ready for the first day of classes. “I can’t really describe it but it’s just and amazing feeling to know that we’re able to help and give back to the community because we need this with and I know a lot of students with prices going up parents need the help too,” Event Organizer Charita Collier said. WJHG.

Sales tax holiday: Florida’s annual Back-to-School “sales tax holiday” is set to provide an extended period of tax-free shopping this year. The sales tax holiday runs from July 24 until Aug. 6 to provide a chance for families to prepare for the upcoming school year and save money on essential purchases. During the tax holiday, Florida will waive the 7.02% sales tax as well as any local option taxes on various back to school items that include everything from footwear to personal computers. WSVN.

Board of Education meeting: New rules regarding gender identity and internet use in schools are expected to be approved by state officials meeting in Orlando on Wednesday. The Florida Board of Education will implement several laws approved by state legislators this year. WESH.

University and college news: The school board of Alachua county will proceed with a slightly reduced payment to Santa Fe College in the agreement that allows Alachua students to take Santa Fe classes through dual enrollment. Board members expressed concern about overpaying Santa Fe, but prioritized the resources that students receive. The board’s chosen reduction only chops the school district’s current payment to Santa Fe by 10%, retaining most services already included in the agreement and saving the district about $150,000. Main Street Daily News. 

Opinions on schools: The Ron DeSantis administration is obsessed with targeting the LBGTQ community in Florida dishonestly, irrationally and repetitively across multiple venues. The latest salvos will be fired when the state Board of Education takes up a group of proposals that would drag Florida educators down the path of persecution. Orlando Sentinel, editorial board. Without affordable child care, graduating from college can be nearly impossible. Nicole Lynn Lewis, the 74th.

Avatar photo

BY Camille Knox