School district relies on Florida pre-kindergarten program

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The big story: Floridians established the state’s voluntary pre-kindergarten system two decades ago to ensure children had access to an early learning program that experts believed was essential for developing necessary social and academic skills.

From the start, advocates have warned that funding the scheme of what amounted to three hours a day could hamper the four-year-olds who need it most, as their parents would have to figure out how to pick them up during working hours. or pay for additional services they might not be able to afford.

It’s a concern that educators have been trying to address ever since.

The pandemic added a layer to the discussion, as many families chose not to send their children to kindergarten and kindergarten with masks, when vaccines were unavailable. Learning gaps emerged.

The Pinellas County School District decided to use money from its millions in federal stimulus funds to address the topic. It added 40 free full-day pre-kindergarten classrooms to 26 high-needs schools. So far, the initiative appears to be successful. Read the story here.

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Getting to school safely is half the battle. A Senate committee has proposed legislation to allow cameras in school zones. “Hundreds of thousands of Florida students cross roads to and from school, and nowhere in America are they more at risk from cars than in our state,” said Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez. , R-Doral, during the hearing.

Four state universities are seeking new presidents. Lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would protect research papers from public view, reports the News Service of Florida. Similar legislation has not gained traction in recent years. Critics have called the concept a “recipe for corruption”, Florida politics reports.

One in three students faces food insecurity. Two Florida lawmakers have filed a proposal to better support campus pantries.

Florida’s constitution guarantees children a quality public education. The presidents of two Tampa-area teachers’ unions told WMNF they view the legislature as cutting the system.

The Florida Department of Education had unused grants for computer training. An internal review revealed that a former employee had spent thousands of dollars on personal expenses, Florida politics reports.

Hot topics

Superintendent’s Research: Runner-up Peter Licata dropped out of the race to become Broward County Superintendent, the Sentinel of the Sun reports. More of the palm beach post. The move came after he was announced as a finalist for another job in Nebraska, KOLN reports. • Three finalists travel to Lee County for interviews to become the district’s next superintendent, the Fort Myers News Press reports. • Incoming Miami-Dade County Superintendent Jose Dotres has said his top priority will be unfinished learning, WLRN reports.

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Teacher, staff pays: The Volusia County School Board has ratified an agreement to raise the minimum salary for teachers to $47,500, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Lake County teachers have reached a tentative contract agreement that includes raises and retention bonuses, WKMG reports. • Manatee County school support workers have ratified a new contract with raises, reports WWSB.

Municipal Charter Schools: The City of Cape Coral will increase residents’ monthly electricity bills to help pay for the expenses of the city’s charter school system, WZVN reports. Many residents are unhappy with the move, WINK reports. • The athletic director of the Coral Springs charter school system will leave to lead another charter school, the Sentinel of the Sun reports. • The Lake Wales Charter School System has three finalists to consider for its superintendent position, the Lake Wales News reports.

Choice of school: Former Collier County School Board member Erika Donalds spoke about Florida’s successes and challenges in growing options at a National School Choice Week event, WFSU reports. .

Sex education: The Polk County School Board has approved changes to its sex ed curriculum, including a policy to notify parents a week before classes are taught, the register reports.

Other school news

The St. Johns County School District shows no signs of slowing enrollment growth. It plans to add 120 portable classrooms next year to ease the crisis, the Register of Saint Augustine reports.

The school board campaign has begun. Four candidates filed nominations in Indian River County, TC palm reports.

Please don’t go. The provost of Florida International University has decided to quit his post despite pleas from faculty that he stay on amid a school leadership shakeup, the Miami Herald reports.

Police blotter… A Hillsborough County elementary school principal has been arrested in a law enforcement operation to capture adults attempting to engage young people in sexual acts. • A Miami-Dade County private school teacher, who is also a former prosecutor, was arrested in a prostitution case, the Miami Herald reports.

Don’t miss a story. Check out yesterday’s roundup.

Before you leave … Spotify released Neil Young’s music amid a political tussle. You can still find his music elsewhere online, though. Here is a favorite.

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