Florida education news: Amendment 8, Common Core, teacher tests and more

Tallahassee attorney Ron Meyer argues Aug. 17 in Leon County court that Amendment 8 should be removed from the November ballot. Judge John Cooper later agrees. [The Florida Channel]

AMENDMENT 8: Leon County Judge John Cooper throws Amendment 8 off the November ballot, agreeing with arguments that its wording is misleading and does not indicate its chief purpose. The Constitution Revision Commission proposal would do three things — set school board term limits, create a constitutional requirement for civics education, and create a path for the Legislature to set up an state authorizer of schools outside the school boards. Cooper stated that third item was not clearly outlined. • In a separate but related case before the state Supreme Court, Attorney General Pam Bondi argues that the CRC proposal and five others are not improperly bundled.

COMMON CORE: The Pasco County School Board chairwoman, who’s a prominent local Republican, loses the party’s endorsement for reelection to the nonpartisan seat because of her stance on Common Core.

SECURITY: After parents complain, the Pinellas County school district decides against showing an active shooter training video to elementary students. The videos will remain online for parents who want their kids to see them. • The Palm Beach County school district makes changes to high school football game security after a shooting at a recent event, the Associated Press reports. More from the Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post. • Florida is among the 10 states with the majority of reported school violence incidents, USA Today reports. • Miami-Dade County superintendent Alberto Carvalho says that security is critical, but parents should worry more about education in the classroom, WLRN reports. • Sarasota County schools adjust to their new internal police force, the Herald-Tribune reports.

EQUITY LAWSUIT: The Florida Supreme Court schedules oral arguments in the state’s long-running education funding case.

TEACHER TESTS: About 200 South Florida teachers lose their jobs after failing the state’s certification exam, WSVN reports.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Florida teachers aim to educate voters on issues important to them as the August 28 primary election nears, WLRN reports. • A Hillsborough County School Board member seeking a state House seat loses a key endorsement over charter school contributions, Florida Politics reports.

COSTLY UPGRADES: The Manatee County school district’s software project that has come under investigation for cost overruns is expected to take even more time and money, the Bradenton Herald reports. More from the Herald-Tribune.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Florida’s largest school district resumes classes a week after most others began, the Miami Herald reports.

TURNAROUNDS: Some Nassau County schools eliminate advanced classes as part of their effort to raise school grades, WJAX reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: A Marion County charter school gives up its contract battle with the school district in order to get back on the district’s meal plan, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

BAD ACTS: A Clay County school bus driver is arrested on child pornography charges, the Miami Herald reports. • A Miami-Dade County teacher loses his certification over the explicit use of emojis in a text to a student, WPLG reports. • A former Escambia County elementary school PTA president is convicted of embezzling from the school group, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

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