Text messages reveal behind-the-scenes battle over charter school bill

A new education law that has inspired lawsuits from school districts and derision from teachers’ unions nearly fell victim to an intra-party feud in the Republican-led state Senate, as detailed in a series of text messages exchanged by legislators and their staff during the hectic final days of the 2017 legislative session. Read More

School Board votes not to join in lawsuit against the state

The Sarasota County School Board voted unanimously not to join in a lawsuit against the state for passing legislation that will direct tax dollars to charter schools, among other changes, though some board members were quick to explain they still don’t support the bill. Read More

State lawmakers green-light medical marijuana use in schools. Now school boards have to hash out the details

This school year, children who rely on medical marijuana for a variety of ailments may be allowed to use the drug at school.  On June 23, Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation that established the framework for medical marijuana in Florida. In addition to legalizing cannabis oils, pills and edibles for eligible patients, the law allows…

Miami schools move toward joining lawsuit against state education law

The Miami-Dade School Board is one step closer to joining a growing number of school districts across Florida in challenging the constitutionality of a controversial new education law.  Board members on Wednesday directed their attorney to draft a plan that they can vote on at their next meeting Aug. 9 as to how exactly the…

Lots of questions but few answers on how to make state’s new education policy work

Every year, new state laws hit the books that have to be implemented once they take effect. But House Bill 7069 isn’t your average new law.  The sweeping, 274-page, $419 million measure that reforms Florida’s public K-12 schools spans dozens of changes in statute — some of which are complex and take effect at different…

Editorial: Tallahassee overreach on district capital tax dollars

The budget year for Florida school districts tracks the state’s fiscal year that started July 1. Local education leaders now have Tallahassee politicians to thank for the late juggling necessary to compensate for the additional multimillions of public tax dollars that must be turned over to privately managed charter schools. Read More

School districts gird for impact of Florida’s new ‘religious expression’ law

In world history lessons, as Pinellas County social studies specialist Matthew Blum knows well, religion is key.  The trick can be not letting it get out of hand.  Parents might challenge what’s being taught, as they’ve done in Brevard and Collier counties. And students might assert one world view over another.  But strong teachers “have…