#teensexting | #sexting | Teacher pay, civics tests and the state’s ongoing scholarship saga

WHO’S A TEACHER? When it comes to compensation, not all Florida teachers have always been treated equally. Many of the state’s plans have prioritized K-12 classroom teachers, leaving others — such as counselors and pre-k instructors — out of the mix. As lawmakers craft a new salary package, the same could happen again this year, as the Senate and House proposals don’t agree how how to spread the wealth.

IT WON’T COUNT, BUT …: Florida high school students soon could find themselves taking another test. Gov. Ron DeSantis contends Floridians don’t know much about civics, and he wants to up the game. Part of his plan is to have every senior sit for a 100-question civics exam. Plans are to debut the assessment in the spring.

HELPING HANDS: About 200 students at Pinellas County’s Jacobson Technical High help build new beds for kids who don’t have a place to sleep.

SCIENCE IN SPACE: Three seniors from Pasco County’s Krinn Technical High will send their research project about bacteria to the International Space Station.

NO MORE CONTRIBUTIONS: ABC Fine Wines & Spirits joins the list of companies backing away from Florida’s tax credit scholarship program amid concerns some participating schools discriminate against LGBTQ youth, Florida Politics reports. State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith contends the program violates state law, WLRN reports. A major blame game over this issue has already ensued. On social media, scholarship supporters have begun accusing Smith and others who pointed out the schools’ stances of harming poor children’s opportunities to have more academic choices. Here’s but one example. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

ON LEAVE: The Polk County school district’s chief academic officer has been placed on administrative leave while under investigation for an unspecified reason, the Ledger reports.

MEET AND GREET: Okaloosa County superintendent Marcus Chambers gets into the community to chat with residents about district issues, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. Chambers, who was appointed by the governor, is seeking election to the seat.

IT’S A HOAX: The Sarasota County school district sends messages home to families telling them there’s no coronavirus in its midst, after a rumor gains traction on social media, the Charlotte Sun reports.

SECURITY: Okaloosa County’s Destin Middle School gets security upgrades as the district works to make its campuses safer for students and staff, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

SEEKING A NEW HOME: The Clay County school district wants a new centralized administration headquarters to replace its aging structures, but can’t afford one, Clay Today reports.

TOP TEACHERS: Triange Elementary School art teacher Christine Palmer is named Lake County’s teacher of the year, the Daily Commercial reports. • Bishop Middle School history teacher Kirk Tapley is named Alachua County teacher of the year, the Gainesville Sun reports. • Webster School first-grade teacher Lori Price is named St. Johns County teacher of the year, the St. Augustine Record reports.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Flagler County School Board’s longest tenured current member applies to become the district’s next superintendent, Flagler Live reports.

IN COURT: A sexual harassment complaint against former Sarasota County superintendent Todd Bowden is headed to trial after a judge’s ruling it may proceed, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BAD ACTS: A former Volusia County teacher and coach permanently loses his certification after allegations of sexting a 15-year-old student and making racist comments to some football players, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • A longtime Miami-Dade County teacher, now retired, is arrested on allegations he repeatedly had sex with a student in his classroom, the Miami Herald reports.

TODAY: Senate Education, 1:30 p.m. • Senate Ethics and Elections, 4 p.m. (SJR 1216, school board term limits)

IF YOU HAVE TIME: The Department of Education released its recommended math and language arts standards revisions late Friday. At more than 200 pages each, they’re quite the read. But with plans afoot to adopt them rather quickly, you might want to check them out if you have any intention of offering input.




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