#schoolsafety | Bonus pay, charter schools and another canceled scholarship donation

NO MORE BONUSES: Florida’s teacher pay debate takes yet another turn, as the House introduces a plan that includes more money for raises than the Senate, which had been considered the more likely chamber to approach the governor’s aggressive $1 billion proposal. Even more surprising, neither chamber has included bonuses in their compensation packages. Key lawmakers suggest the time has come to pay attention to salaries that teachers can depend upon, and not one-time pay that educators have criticized as unfair and unsuccessful.

TOP TEACHERS: Leila Davis Elementary music teacher David Martinez-Cooley is named Pinellas County teacher of the year. • Oriole Beach Elementary teacher Elizabeth Mann is named Santa Rosa County teacher of the year, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

SIX FIGURES: Salaries at the top of the Pasco County school district’s administration have grown along with those of teachers and other employees. Critics are complaining, putting the district on defense as elections loom.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A Hernando County charter school official asks the School Board for a five-year contract renewal. Citing concerns over the school’s finances and student performance, the board offers two years. • Some Manatee County residents continue to hammer their School Board over the forced closure of Lincoln Memorial Academy charter school, but the board is having none of it, the Herald-Tribune reports. • A St. Lucie County charter school has sued the school district over the way it sets enrollment caps, TC Palm reports.

ANOTHER BANK BACKS OUT: Wells Fargo announces it will join Fifth-Third Bank in ending its contributions to Florida’s tax credit scholarship program as long as schools that discriminate against LGBTQ youth can receive the funds, CNBC reports. More from the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau.

THE RALLY THAT NEVER ENDS: More than 400 Polk County teachers and their supporters overflow their School Board meeting to demand better pay and work conditions, the Ledger reports.

PAY THE MAN: The Marion County School Board reinstates the pay of a high school dean who has been suspended after testing positive for marijuana, which he had been prescribed. The board members say they believed they had suspended the Desert Storm veteran with pay, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

SHOW OF FORCE: The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office floods the zone at Fivay High School, which has struggled to combat student fighting all year, to send a clear message that such activity won’t be tolerated, WTSP reports.

SCHOOL DAYS: Miami-Dade County students still do not know when the first day of classes is for next fall, as the district has yet to complete a 2020-21 student calendar, the Miami Herald reports.

IN THE HALLS: The full Hillsborough County School Board and its superintendent spend the day lobbying their education priorities to lawmakers, Florida Politics reports.

STUDENT HEALTH: An investigation determines the Bay County health department failed to act in the best interest of students by ending their health plans without informing either parents or school staff, WMBB reports.

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: Rapper Ludacris donates $75,000 in musical instruments to Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High, WSVN reports.

BILLS ON THE MOVE: The Florida House approves a bill requiring high schools to provide cooling tubs and other equipment to protect student-athletes against heat stroke and related ailments, the Associated Press reports. • Another House committee advances legislation to set a referendum considering school board term limits, Florida Politics reports. • A House panel approves a measure to create a high school civics education course with hands-on projects, the Capitol News Service reports.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The Leon County School Board adopts a state-required medical marijuana usage policy after months of delay, WTXL reports.

DRESS CODE: An Orange County high school student is told to remove his hooded sweatshirt because of its relation to gangs. The brand maker says no such connections exist, WKMG reports.

FIRED: A Martin County high school choral director, who was under investigation amid student and parent complaints, is let go, TC Palm reports.

TODAY: House Education, 9 a.m. (Proposed committee bills on school choice, school safety) • House Health and Human Services, 9 a.m. (HB 81 Medicaid School-based Services) • Florida Board of Governors, 11 a.m. • House State Affairs, 11:30 a.m. (HB 37 school bus safety)

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


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