Florida education news: School security, shortages, suspension and more

US, January 15, 2019: SECURITY: Some of Florida’s school districts had a difficult time meeting the state requirement to place an armed guard on every campus. Others had troubles with the people they hired. • District spending of state funds for guardian programs has ranged from $500 stipends to clothing and equipment.  • St. Lucie County officials review all the new safety measures put in place in the past year, TC Palm reports. • Sarasota County students learn how to identify warning signs in fellow students, from Sandy Hook Promise, the Herald-Tribune reports according to reports published in tampabay.com

TEACHER SHORTAGE: General science teachers remain Florida’s most critical need.

CONSTRUCTION FUNDS: A state lawmaker proposes increasing the cap on school district capital outlay property tax rates back up to $2 per $1,000 of assessed value. • Hillsborough County schools begin maintenance and improvement projects to be paid for by the district’s new sales tax.

CONSOLIDATION: University of South Florida officials work out final details to consolidate the school’s campuses into one entity.

SUSPENSIONS: Gov. Ron DeSantis suspends Okaloosa County schools superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, the Northwest Florida Daily Newsreports. • DeSantis is exploring whether he can suspend Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie, who is not an elected official, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

MONEY WOES: A St. Johns County charter school faces possible closure because of its declining cash balance and rising debt, the St. Augustine Record reports.

LEADERSHIP: A recently reelected Manatee County School Board member says he wants to become USF president, the Herald-Tribunereports. More from Bradenton Herald.

CELL PHONES ON CAMPUS: Some Sarasota County School Board members want to consider banning cell phones during the school day, the Herald-Tribune reports.

EXTRA HELP: St. Johns County high schools implement new approaches to ensure students get their work done and find tutoring helpthey need, the St. Augustine Record reports.

AP TRACK: Two Lake County high schools will add pre-Advanced Placement courses to their offerings, to create an AP track for incoming students, the Daily Commercial reports.

FINANCIAL AID: Florida will spend nearly $500 million on merit-based aid for university students, the News Service of Florida reports.

TURNAROUNDS: Marion County School Board members seek an update on  a private company’s efforts to improve a persistently low performing elementary school, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

EXPANSION PLANS: St. Petersburg-based Academy Prep, a private school serving low-income students, will open a new campus in Lakeland, the Ledger reports.

HEALTH CARE SERVICES: The Volusia County school district’s partnership with Advent Health begins to shape up after a rocky start, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

ADDED PAY: Some Manatee County residents are displeased with the school district’s pay raises to several administrators, the Bradenton Herald reports.

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