Florida Department of Public Education in front of voters during primary elections
The big story: Floridians have been hearing for months how important their local school board elections are this fall in defining the future course of public education.
Today is the day they find out which direction schools could go.
After days of early and mail-in voting, the primary election ends when polls close at 7 p.m. and counts start rolling in. Voters across the state will know whether candidates backing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ agenda — many of whom benefited from DeSantis campaign financial support — gained seats, or whether those supporting a more traditional view of public schools take the lead. daytime.
DeSantis hung out in the days leading up to the election for some of his favorite prospects, the Miami Herald reports. More from the Herald-Tribune.
Some observers worry that the partisan tone of nonpartisan races could shift school boards’ attention to politics at the expense of children, reports Florida Phoenix. No more NPRs.
Plank races are not the only ones to be considered. Several school districts, including Hillsborough and Pasco counties, have asked voters to approve sales or property tax referendums to bolster their bottom lines.
Marketing these initiatives can be difficult for district officials, who are not expected to use their taxpayer-funded positions to advocate on issues even if they declare the need. They try to walk a fine line in providing information to voters without campaigning.
Gender issues: A private Christian school in Hillsborough County has asked all LGBTQ students to leave immediately, NBC News reports. The pastor who runs the school said he will not back down despite the threats he has received, Fox News reports. • The Palm Beach County School District has again revised its LGBTQ student support guidelines after a member of the State Board of Education questioned the legality of some districts’ policies, reports the Palm Beach Post. • Orange County educators said they are struggling to implement new state laws, which some have called confusing, Apopka Voice reports.
Campus Security: There has been an increase in guns being brought to schools in Florida and across the country, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Duval County School District officials said they would cooperate with a grand jury that found the district police department underreported crimes on campus, WJXT reports. The grand jury also found mismanagement at Broward County schools, WPLG reports.
Library books: New state rules on school book selections prompted the Sarasota County District to reject a donation of dictionaries, the Herald-Tribune reports.
School vacation: Some Palm Beach County residents have criticized the school board for including Eid al-Fitr as a district holiday in future years, reports the Palm Beach Post.
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Vacancies for teachers: Several factors are at play in the teacher shortage in Southwest Florida, including new laws and low salaries, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
Intellectual freedom: About 2% of students in Florida’s public university system responded to a survey to determine whether all points of view were reflected on campus. Republicans have pushed for the inquiry amid claims that conservative views are unwelcome, Politico Florida reports.
Book bans: A purported list of books banned from Florida schools has circulated on social media, including a prominent part of National Teachers Union leader Randi Weingarten, the National Desk reports. It’s not real, reports the Associated Press. More at Snopes.com.
Civic education : Critics have accused the DeSantis administration of requiring teachers to take civics training that has been questioned over its conservative content. No one was forced to attend the three-day seminars, for which teachers were paid, USA Today reports.
Excerpt from the court file… A federal court has ruled that an Osceola County school resource officer was not immune from civil lawsuit over allegations that he threw a student to the ground, reports the News Service of Florida. • The defense began making their case at the sentencing stage for the Parkland school shooter, reports the Associated Press. He seeks to avoid the death penalty.
Before you leave … Dog yoga, anyone?
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