Is 2022 the year Florida decides to require financial literacy for graduation?

The big story: Florida expects a lot from its children as they strive to graduate from high school.

They must pass Algebra I and civics, for example, and take at least one course offered online. However, the state does not require teens to successfully complete a half-credit financial literacy course.

This is despite years of attempts to insert the course as a graduation requirement. Ask many teenagers, and they’ll tell you they could use such lessons a lot more than some of the other stuff they’re told to follow.

Maybe this year that could change.

On Wednesday, a House committee unanimously proposed legislation (HB 1115) to add the elective requirement to the curriculum. The Senate Companion (SB 1054) is ready for consideration by the full chamber.

“I think it would have been better for my daughter than doing physical education online,” said state Rep. Robin Bartleman, a former Broward County educator and school board member.

Read the full WFLA story here. More Florida politics.

Stock Tallahassee

School districts have begun tallying positions that would be targeted if the legislature cuts their funding due to their former mask mandates. The Leon County superintendent said the action would effectively remove funding from the district’s chief security officer and other high-level decision makers, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The plenum approved the provision Wednesday as part of its education budget, reports the Associated Press. • A group of parents from potentially affected districts held a press conference to oppose the proposal, reports the WCJB. No more WMFEs.

It took more than a decade for lawmakers to roll back rules for restraining and isolating students with disabilities. Now they are getting closer to a new law reform, Florida politics reports.

Governor Ron DeSantis has called for reducing spring testing, in favor of more regular monitoring of progress. The Florida House has taken a step towards this goal, with HB 1193 passing the second committee, Florida politics reports.

Today in Tallahassee… The Senate will meet in plenary session, where it will consider several supply bills. • The House Education and Employment Committee will meet at 3 p.m. when it considers 13 bills. • The House Judiciary Committee meets at 3:00 p.m., where it is scheduled to consider a proposed committee substitute for HB 1557, which became the “don’t say gay” bill. Among the changes, it would clarify that lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation would be banned from kindergarten through third grade, or in any way that is not age-appropriate.

Hot topics

Parental involvement: Parents who support their public schools are organizing to counter other parent groups who have emerged to fight for a more conservative approach, WFTS reports. • Parents in Leon County are arguing over the composition of the school district’s new LGBTQ+ advisory committee, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The St. Johns County School District implemented new rules on the treatment of students’ preferred pronouns to comply with the state’s Parents’ Rights Act, the Register of Saint Augustine reports.

Compensation of employees: The Hillsborough County superintendent has announced plans to increase bus driver pay to attract more drivers, reports WUSF. • The Osceola County School Board has approved one-time bonuses and a pay raise for employees in hopes of retaining current workers and attracting new ones, WMFE reports. • The Sarasota County School District increased its teachers’ base salary to $50,000, North Port Sun reports.

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School threats: The family of a Broward County teenager falsely accused of making a school bomb threat has filed a lawsuit against the school and two social media companies, WPLG reports.

Other school news

An artist's rendering shows the entrance to Gulf High School in New Port Richey after a renovation slated to begin in late February 2022. The existing school was built in 1971. The original Gulf High was built in 1922, this making it the oldest school in West Pasco County.
An artist’s rendering shows the entrance to Gulf High School in New Port Richey after a renovation slated to begin in late February 2022. The existing school was built in 1971. The original Gulf High was built in 1922, this making it the oldest school in West Pasco County. [ Pasco County Schools ]

Gulf High School in Pasco County was to be renovated. Officials determined that it would be more cost effective to rebuild instead.

The Pinellas County School Board announced its next steps to seek feedback on its superintendent search. Residents can take a survey here or attend one of three community forums. They are scheduled for February 23 at Pinellas Park High, February 24 at Countryside High and February 28 at St. Petersburg High. Each will start at 6 p.m. and will also offer remote access for participation.

Parents in Alachua County have been asking for years to have spring break coincide with the University of Florida. It is on track to arrive in 2023, Main Street Daily News reports.

Flagler County students will have new start-to-school hours next year. High schools will have an additional 15 minutes per day, Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

A Palm Beach County high school football coach has been abruptly fired after a year on the job. Parents and students are protesting, reports WPTV.

The Orange County School District intended to create a new bus depot on its West Technical College campus. The idea is not going well in the community, reports WFTV.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you leave … What’s rotating in your music selection these days? This classic can’t get enough playing time here.

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