Florida education news: School bells, MLK Jr. Day, Confederate flag and more
STARTING TIMES: After months of debate, Hillsborough County schools superintendent Jeff Eakins proposes new school bell schedules for 2018-19. Among the surprises, he shifts direction and calls for high schools to begin at 8:30 a.m., as many experts recommend. Hear the district's reasoning for its changes in a 10-minute podcast. Why aren't others doing this? Pinellas County school officials are looking into it.
LABOR NEWS: Brevard County teachers rally for higher raises outside a School Board meeting, Florida Today reports. • Madison County teachers and the School Board reach a salary agreement, the Madison County Carrier reports.
CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Marion County School Board rejects Charter Schools USA's application to open a 745-student K-8 school, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.
MAKEUP DAYS: The Collier County School Board sticks by its decision to schedule a hurricane makeup day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, despite an NAACP protest, the Naples Daily News reports.
GUNS ON CAMPUS: A Lee County student is arrested after deputies find a weapon in his Chromebook bag on campus, WBBH reports.
CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS: A group of Indian River County residents urge the School Board to ban the Confederate flag from district properties, TC Palm reports.
CLEARED: A Polk County school district investigation finds no support for an allegation that a principal sexually harassed a subordinate employee, the Ledger reports.
BUDGETING: The Duval County School Board overspent its 2016-17 budget by $17.8 million, the Florida Times-Union reports.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL: The Palm Beach County School Board prepares to pay $3.5 million to four young women who claimed they were sexually assaulted more than 10 years ago by their third-grade teacher, the Palm Beach Post reports.
LEGAL FEES: Okaloosa County's superintendent asks the School Board to pay for her to hire a private lawyer to represent her in cases where she battles the board, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.
WELCOME MAT: Orange County schools enroll more than 300 students from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
SPECIAL ELECTION: Manatee County's supervisor of elections suggests the School Board reconsider its special election for a local property tax increase, the Herald-Tribune reports.
SUPERINTENDENTS: The Broward County School Board is ready to begin contract talks with superintendent Robert Runcie, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
REZONING: The St. Johns County School Board approves new attendance boundaries to ease crowding in north-county schools after hearing parents complain about the plan, the St. Augustine Record reports.