Schools headlines

Negron: Need- and merit-based aid boosted for Florida college students

Negron: Need- and merit-based aid boosted for Florida college students

Despite the governor’s veto of a wide-ranging higher-education policy bill, Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday that many of the initiatives embedded in the legislation, including an expansion of Bright Futures scholarships, will still benefit state university and college students as fall terms begin next month. In a memo to senators, Negron, R-Stuart, said a major benefit will be a &ldquo...

POINT OF VIEW: Don’t penalize charters in fight against education law

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa has asked the School Board to continue to penalize families who support school choice. The superintendent wants to join Broward County in a lawsuit to stop a new education law and funding formula that treats all public school students equally — whether they attend a district-run school or chose to attend a charter school. Instead of making...
PBC school board calls for suing state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

PBC school board calls for suing state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

Gov. Rick Scott signed House Bill 7069 into law last month. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post) The Palm Beach County School Board gave unanimous support Wednesday to a proposal to sue the state over charter school-friendly legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott last month, authorizing its attorneys to study the best strategy for a legal challenge. Board members stopped...
State: Recess required, but it doesn’t have to be outdoors

State: Recess required, but it doesn’t have to be outdoors

Limestone Creek Elementary students hit the playground for recess. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post) Daily recess in Florida’s public elementary schools is now law. What will that look like when the first bell rings in August? It’s still unclear – but it doesn’t have to be outside, according to a one-page memo to superintendents that went out last ...
Lake Worth High principal asked teachers to do son’s math assignments

Lake Worth High principal asked teachers to do son’s math assignments

Lake Worth High School’s former principal asked teachers to do math assignments for his son, pressured teachers to change students’ grades and charged students $1 to attend pep rallies, a school district investigation found. During George Lockhart’s time as principal, Lake Worth High also suspended students without reporting the suspensions to the district and submitted erroneous...
Charter school advocate: With lawsuit talk, Avossa aims to “wage war” on charters

Charter school advocate: With lawsuit talk, Avossa aims to “wage war” on charters

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is expected today to ask school board members to consider suing the state government over a new law that requires county school districts to steer more money to charter schools. Lynn Norman-Teck One group, unsurprisingly, is not keen on the...

SouthTech academies host open house events on two campuses

SOUTHTECH PREPARATORY ACADEMY The academy, a tuition-free charter middle school, will host an open house at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1325 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach. The school educates students in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) disciplines and through career academies. School staff will be on hand to provide information on academic and student support services, clubs...
Ten students chosen recipients of Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

Ten students chosen recipients of Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

ALEXANDER W. DREYFOOS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS The Speech and Debate Team received recognition at the recent National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. Matthew Nadel was named National Champion in the category of Informative Speaking. Dreyfoos was recognized as one of the top schools in speech in the nation, receiving the Speech School of Excellence Award. Speech...
Ten students awarded Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

Ten students awarded Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS THE WEISS SCHOOL An open house will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday. RSVP to Pam Tripp at 561-209-2474. BRIEFLY The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation recently awarded its $2,500 Herb and Penny Wender Scholarships to Sabrina A. Snider, a graduate of The Kings Academy, and Nathaniel J. LeBlanc, a graduate of Community Christian Academy. Applications for free or reduced-price...
POINT OF VIEW State must rethink policy about minors, mental health

POINT OF VIEW State must rethink policy about minors, mental health

In September 2016, a 6-year-old child threw a temper tantrum at his elementary school in Jacksonville. Usually, the story would end with the child being sent to the principal’s office for discipline, but, sadly for Nicholas, the child from this story, his journey didn’t end there. Not knowing how to handle an unruly child, the school counselor contacted the local sheriff to pick the child...

This $21 million school is just 16 years old — and probably closing

Palm Beach County School Board members are expected to vote Wednesday to shut down Odyssey Middle School next year, officially pulling the plug on the half-empty school just 16 years after opening it. Superintendent Robert Avossa told board members in May that he wanted to close the school at the end of the upcoming school year and lease the campus to South Tech Academy, a charter school. The school&rsquo...
This $21 million PBC school is just 16 years old – and it’s probably closing

This $21 million PBC school is just 16 years old – and it’s probably closing

Odyssey Middle School (Palm Beach Post file photo) Palm Beach County School Board members are expected to vote Wednesday to shut down Odyssey Middle School next year, officially pulling the plug on the half-empty school just 16 years after opening it. Superintendent Robert Avossa told board members in May that he wanted to close the school at the end of the upcoming school ...
Editorial: School Board should join legal fight against education law

Editorial: School Board should join legal fight against education law

As decisions go, this is an easy one. On Wednesday, Palm Beach County School Superintendent Robert Avossa plans to ask the School Board whether the district should join Broward County in suing the state over the new, controversial education law. The board should indeed weigh it. Then say “yes.” RELATED: Gov. Scott just signed HB 7069. Here’s what it does. HB 7069 is a bit of a stinker...
Alfred Angelo closing: 3 tips to help you get your money back

Alfred Angelo closing: 3 tips to help you get your money back

Alfred Angelo’s abrupt shutdown has brides scrambling for ways to get their money back. Jack Gillis, a spokesman for the Consumer Federation of America, a non-profit research and advocacy group, offered these tips for brides and bridesmaids left without dresses: 1. Call your credit card company. Now. If you paid for your dress with a credit card, you may be able to get a refund, he said. &ldquo...
Judge hands PBC school board another defeat in its charter school feud

Judge hands PBC school board another defeat in its charter school feud

The Renaissance charter school franchise is fighting to build another campus in Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County School Board overstepped its authority by imposing new rules on charter schools that require them to keep their distance from traditional public schools and prove that they are “innovative,” an administrative law judge has ruled. The ...
Avossa calls for suing the state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

Avossa calls for suing the state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County’s public school system has “an obligation” to join the growing legal fight against controversial pro-charter school legislation signed into law last month, Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said today. In an interview this morning, Avossa called for joining...
An entire Suncoast High class had to retake an AP exam over cheating concerns

An entire Suncoast High class had to retake an AP exam over cheating concerns

Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach (File photo) Twenty-two Suncoast High School students were called back to campus last month to retake an Advanced Placement exam after concerns arose that some of the students may have cheated on the test on their first try. The school’s European history class sat for the exam in May, but several days later the students...
POINT OF VIEW: New curriculum-challenge law hides non-science agenda

POINT OF VIEW: New curriculum-challenge law hides non-science agenda

As a science teacher in Miami-Dade, I am disheartened by Florida’s CS/HB 989. This law extends citizens’ right to challenge what’s taught in their local schools. It may sound very democratic, but it is written to disguise a non-scientific agenda. It is a good thing that we are raised in this country thinking we should respect alternative points of view, but science is different....
Editorial: Focus services on kids, not bureaucracy

Editorial: Focus services on kids, not bureaucracy

Palm Beach County, one of the most affluent and beautiful in Florida, also struggles with one of the highest homicide rates in the state, a high rate of domestic violence and an astonishing degree of drug abuse, as any first-responder will attest. Unfortunately, thousands of children have become collateral damage to their parents’ dysfunction. Too many fall through the cracks, as they endure...
Open enrollment is drawing students back to PBC’s public schools

Open enrollment is drawing students back to PBC’s public schools

A mother walks into Galaxy Elementary School with her 3-year-old son. (Palm Beach Post file photo) When Florida lawmakers decided last year to mandate open-enrollment policies in public schools across the state, the move prompted a fair bit of unease. Among the worries of public school leaders: Would giving families more freedom to leave their local schools for campuses with ...
UF grads sue Florida, saying college cash wrongly diverted to tax cuts

UF grads sue Florida, saying college cash wrongly diverted to tax cuts

Two University of Florida alumni have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, saying lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott funneled money that should have gone to higher education into tax cuts and savings. The legal challenge, filed last week, is based on the Legislature’s decision not to provide matching funds for private donations to colleges and universities. State law creates four matching...
Florida man accused of using improv class to have sex with students

Florida man accused of using improv class to have sex with students

A former University of South Florida improv instructor is accused of using his position to force students into sexual acts with him and his wife. An investigation concluded that adjunct instructor Nicholas Riggs, 31, sexually assaulted one student and harassed at least one other, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Riggs and his wife, former graduate student Hannah Prince, are accused of working...
Dementia Prevention: Does FAU have an answer?

Dementia Prevention: Does FAU have an answer?

James Giarusso watched his 94-year-old father slide into the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Now he wants every tool available to him to ward off the neurodegenerative disorder that robs the mind of memory and takes family members hostage. So the part-time Boca Raton resident, after following his father’s care under Dr. James Galvin at Florida Atlantic University’s Comprehensive...
Florida’s evolution to complainer’s paradise for public schools

Florida’s evolution to complainer’s paradise for public schools

News item: A new Florida law allows any resident, regardless of whether he or she has children in the public school system, to instigate a formal challenge to any textbook, library book, novel, or other kind of instructional material used in a public school. The state law channels the resident’s complaint to an “unbiased and qualified hearing officer” who is empowered to determine...
HB 7069: PBC school board to consider suing over charter-friendly bill

HB 7069: PBC school board to consider suing over charter-friendly bill

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County School Board members will be asked this month to decide whether to sue the state over House Bill 7069, a controversial education bill that steers more money towards charter schools, the county’s schools superintendent said. Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa told The Palm...
Will 20 new programs spell the end of gifted clusters?

Will 20 new programs spell the end of gifted clusters?

Sorting thousands of gifted students into tailored, full-time classes at their home school has proven to be an impossible challenge for decades in Palm Beach County. So, for years, the school district has offered children at some schools a bus ride to another that could accommodate them. But the day of these cluster centers as they’re called may be numbered. This fall, 20 elementary schools...
Palm Springs mayor’s name scrubbed from Bak Middle investigation

Palm Springs mayor’s name scrubbed from Bak Middle investigation

Palm Springs Mayor Bev Smith is an office assistant at Bak Middle School of the Arts. Palm Springs Mayor Bev Smith was a key witness in a six-month investigation into the disappearance of $66,000 from Bak Middle School of the Arts, but you wouldn’t know it from the public record. The Palm Beach County School District invoked an obscure provision in state law to scrub Smith&rsquo...
Are safes safe? PBC schools burned twice recently by big heists

Are safes safe? PBC schools burned twice recently by big heists

Despite years of trying, Palm Beach County’s public schools can’t seem to stop employees from raiding the school safes. Six years after vowing to make it harder for school bookkeepers to steal from the $70 million river of money that pours each year through the county’s public schools, the school district is facing the fallout of what appear to be its two biggest heists...

Florida pension fund up 14 percent for fiscal year

Florida’s $155 billion pension fund is on track to show a positive gain for the eighth straight year, as the state’s fiscal year ended on Friday. Although the final number will not be calculated for some time, State Board of Administration officials said they expected the return to be near a Wednesday estimate showing the fund was up 14.24 percent for the fiscal year. RELATED: Read The...
Editorial: Board must act quickly, restore trust in school treasurers

Editorial: Board must act quickly, restore trust in school treasurers

There appears to be something terribly wrong in our Palm Beach County Schools. A school bus crisis, it is not. Nor is it the political firestorm of school funding. This is more insidious. In the span of one week, two former school treasurers were arrested on felony charges stemming from the alleged theft of a combined $89,000 from Bak Middle of the Arts in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton High School...
Hard-fought Florida budget finally takes effect Saturday

Hard-fought Florida budget finally takes effect Saturday

It took an extension to the Florida Legislature’s regular session and a special session on top of that to finally get a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, but the budget that tied up lawmakers for months finally takes effect Saturday. All told, the state will spend between $83 billion and $84 billion, scattered around several bills that have been signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The money...
Lyft, Uber regs among new Florida laws going into effect Saturday

Lyft, Uber regs among new Florida laws going into effect Saturday

Rideshare services, such as Lyft and Uber, will have to comply with statewide rules, and students and teachers will be allowed to express their religious beliefs at public schools, under new laws that will go into effect Saturday. The changes — including two bills from the special session — are among 125 revisions to Florida statutes that go into effect on July 1. RELATED: Read The Post&rsquo...
High school junior wins double gold at state Special Olympics

High school junior wins double gold at state Special Olympics

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Hecly Hector, 18 The wheels of Hecly Hector’s black and neon green wheelchair fly down the 100-meter track at Florida’s Special Olympics. When he crosses the finish line, his time is 25.25 seconds. The 18-year-old Santaluces High School junior became a two-time gold medalist in the 100- and 200-meter races at the event held ESPN’s World Wide of Sports on May 20...
School grades: Palm Beach County logs improvements, retains B grade

School grades: Palm Beach County logs improvements, retains B grade

Palm Beach County continues to reign as Florida’s highest performing large urban school district, and held its B rating for a second year, but its lead is shrinking as districts such as Miami-Dade and Broward make bigger strides in student performance, according to data released Wednesday by the state’s Department of Education. State officials found much to boast about in the final tabulations...
Florida school grades released: PBC district keeps B rating

Florida school grades released: PBC district keeps B rating

The Florida Department of Education has released school grades for the 2016-17 school year,  and is touting “significant improvement over last year”. The number of  A- and B- rated schools statewide is up and the number of failing schools has been cut in half, DOE reports. Palm Beach County School District held on to its B rating, as did each of Florida’s other...
Editorial: School board makes good call on managing building boom

Editorial: School board makes good call on managing building boom

Anyone who’s ever had a home remodeling project knows how important the planning is. If the painter shows up before the plasterer, he’s wasted his time and you’ve wasted your money. If the tile installer suddenly becomes unavailable for a couple of weeks, your simple bathroom renovation stretches maddeningly into a month. Imagine dealing with logistical headaches like those for more...
Commentary: My third-grader thought she failed state standardized test

Commentary: My third-grader thought she failed state standardized test

On a bright, spring afternoon, one of my 8-year-old twins dragged her feet over the school’s sidewalk toward my car. She caught my eye and began to wail before even making it to the vehicle. “I failed my FSA, Mom,” she cried. “My teacher thinks I failed it.” The Florida State Assessment (FSA) test is our state’s version of the nationally required standardized testing...
Monday bill actions by Scott closes book on 2017 legislation

Monday bill actions by Scott closes book on 2017 legislation

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed 29 bills late Monday, including measures boosting spending on education, tourism marketing and economic development. By signing the bills, and vetoing five more, Scott essentially closed the books on this year’s regular and special legislative sessions. RELATED: Read The Post’s 2017 Florida Legislature coverage The bills Scott approved included perhaps one...
Medical pot, drone and 5G wireless laws among 38 signed by Scott

Medical pot, drone and 5G wireless laws among 38 signed by Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed 38 bills Friday from the 2017 regular legislative session and special session. The highest-profile bill (SB 8A) provides rules for implementing the November constitutional amendment that broadened the legal use of medical marijuana in Florida, while others range in issues from setting guidelines for the use of aerial drones (HB 1027) to increasing the availability of...
‘Really do believe’ this is the end of my political career

‘Really do believe’ this is the end of my political career

TALLAHASSEE — Jeff Atwater, a former Florida Senate president, is leaving the statewide elected position of chief financial officer on June 30 with more than a year remaining in his second four-year term. A day later, the Republican will start a new job as a vice president at Florida Atlantic University, where he will manage finances and economic development. Atwater was briefly in the running...
Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on forgery charges

Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on forgery charges

A former Bak Middle School of the Arts treasurer suspected in the disappearance of more than $66,000 in school money was arrested Friday on check-forgery charges related to the case, nine months after authorities had ruled out criminal charges against her. Cathleen Spring, 53, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail shortly after midnight Friday on charges that she forged signatures on two school...
NEW: Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on fraud charges

NEW: Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on fraud charges

A former Bak Middle School of the Arts treasurer suspected in the disappearance of more than $66,000 in school funds was arrested Friday on check-forgery charges related to the case, nine months after authorities ruled out criminal charges against her. Cathleen Spring, 53, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail shortly after midnight Friday on charges that she forged signatures on two school checks...
How does a Pahokee rabbit hunt help kids become NFL football stars?

How does a Pahokee rabbit hunt help kids become NFL football stars?

Filmmaker Patrick Bresnan’s inside look at Pahokee High School’s prom got him his first invitation to the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. But it is his follow up, documenting a Pahokee family hunting rabbits as the critters flee burning cane fields, that has opened the door to competing for an Academy Award. “The Rabbit Hunt,” which runs just over 11 minutes with no narration...
PBC school board OKs paying $26M for help managing building projects

PBC school board OKs paying $26M for help managing building projects

Palm Beach County School Board members agreed Wednesday to hire a project-management company to help oversee an upcoming rush of building and repair projects made possible by an influx of money from this year’s sales-tax hike. California-based AECOM will earn an estimated $26 million over 10 years to help to organize, coordinate and oversee roughly $1.4 billion in new projects, including the...
Best of the Class 2017

Best of the Class 2017

Alyssa Moreno Hometown: West Palm Beach Parents: Francisco and Amy Moreno Director: Mary Joyner College I will attend: Palm Beach State College Biggest personal achievement: My most rewarding accomplishment so far has been getting high honors throughout my high school years, and also receiving valedictorian. Kathleen Fleming Hometown: Boca Raton Rank: Co-Salutatorian Parents: Jack and Beth Altizer...
5 things to learn from valedictorians

5 things to learn from valedictorians

You think valedictorians are smarter than you? Nope — brainpower’s not the key to being at the top of the class. Students who rise to the top are smart, sure, but they display other personal traits that fuel their success. Take a lesson from these three valedictorians, who impressed us with more than their intellects: Kristina Lemajic, who came to Palm Beach County from Serbia when she...
Jupiter council approves CineBowl in Abacoa

Jupiter council approves CineBowl in Abacoa

Despite concerns about parking, the town council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a $22 million plan for CineBowl & Grille, an Abacoa entertainment center with restaurants, bowling lanes, pool tables and a movie theater. “CineBowl will add to the vibrancy of the area,” said Josh Simon, the owner of Downtown Abacoa. The agreement calls for Rich Rendina, the owner of the Aries...
Palm Beach County schools might pay $26 million for help managing building boom

Palm Beach County schools might pay $26 million for help managing building boom

Palm Beach County’s public school system wants to pay a Fortune 500 company $26 million to oversee a decade-long school construction boom, one made possible by an influx of cash generated by voters’ decision in November to raise the county’s sales tax. Under a contract that school board members will consider Wednesday, California-based AECOM would work as the school district&rsquo...
Amid struggles, Boynton Beach High School gets new principal

Amid struggles, Boynton Beach High School gets new principal

Guarn Sims, has been tapped as Boynton Beach High School’s new principal. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post) Boynton Beach High School’s principal is being replaced amid struggles at the school to raise student achievement and calls from community activists for a new leader.
LATEST: Student arrested in assault of Wellington High teacher

LATEST: Student arrested in assault of Wellington High teacher

A teenager is facing a battery charge after police say he physically and verbally assaulted a Wellington High School faculty member in April, according to the Palm Beach County School District police. Sebastian Escudero, 18, charged at the faculty member and said he was going to “beat him,” according to the affidavit for his arrest, made public Monday. Arrested Friday on a charge of battery...
Editorial: Scott’s double-whammy against public education in Florida

Editorial: Scott’s double-whammy against public education in Florida

With one stroke of his pen last week, Gov. Rick Scott set back progress for Florida’s public universities. And with another stroke, he did astounding damage to the state’s K-12 public schools. Nice work, Governor. In the first instance, Scott vetoed most of the policy initiatives sought by Senate President Joe Negron in hopes of catapulting Florida campuses into the nation’s top...
Palm Beach County students, armed with Beyoncé, will learn to save lives

Palm Beach County students, armed with Beyoncé, will learn to save lives

High school biology class in Palm Beach County just got a little more hands on: Every student in the course is going to learn Hands-Only CPR beginning next fall. That will put about 11,000 more life savers on the region’s streets in one year, and more each year that follows. It is another step in a national campaign to put a dent in the number of deaths and injury that result when...
Gov. Scott signs charter-friendly education bill HB 7069 into law

Gov. Scott signs charter-friendly education bill HB 7069 into law

Gov. Rick Scott at Galaxy Elementary School in 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post) Gov. Rick Scott today signed into law a controversial education bill that shifts hundreds of millions of dollars from traditional public schools to charter schools, drawing protests from traditional educators and applause from school-choice advocates.
Scott vetoes Negron priority of higher-education changes

Scott vetoes Negron priority of higher-education changes

With a stroke of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday wiped out most of the higher-education policy initiatives that had been advanced by Senate President Joe Negron during the 2017 legislative session. Scott vetoed a 291-page bill (SB 374), objecting to a proposed enrollment cap on baccalaureate degrees for the 28 state colleges and citing the Legislature’s decision to cut the state college...
Florida governor approves pay raises for state workers

Florida governor approves pay raises for state workers

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Wednesday providing across-the-board pay raises to state employees for the first time since 2013, but remained mum on whether he would also approve a wide-ranging and controversial education bill. In a ceremony for veterans at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee, Scott signed the compensation legislation (SB 7022), a key priority...
Fla. judge: Charter schools deserve a cut of local school taxes

Fla. judge: Charter schools deserve a cut of local school taxes

File photo A state judge ruled this week that Indian River County’s charter schools deserve a proportional share of a special property tax that helps to pay for the county’s public schools, despite the county school board’s argument that it could give them less.
Editorial: Too many decisions made in private, by just three people

Editorial: Too many decisions made in private, by just three people

A modest proposal: For efficiency’s sake, why don’t we just tell the Florida Legislature to stay home and let the state’s laws and spending be decided by only the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House? Because that, in essence was the story of the 2017 legislative session. To a remarkable degree, the outcome was the product of the personalities and...
Public school backers urge Scott to veto bill helping charter schools

Public school backers urge Scott to veto bill helping charter schools

With a controversial and wide-ranging education bill now on his desk, Florida Gov. Rick Scott faces intense pressure from both sides as he weighs whether to sign or veto the legislation. Rumors have begun floating that Scott will sign HB 7069 later this week, but officially the governor maintains that he hasn’t made a final decision. Scott received the bill late Monday; he has until June 27...
Appeals court weighs Florida State University’s gun policies

Appeals court weighs Florida State University’s gun policies

A Second Amendment group asked an appeals court Tuesday to direct Florida State University to revise language in the student Code of Conduct about guns on campus to match state law. The request to a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal came as the group Florida Carry continued a legal battle with the university that started with “erroneous” information about guns in a...
Scott, Corcoran tout Lake Okeechobee dike money in West Palm

Scott, Corcoran tout Lake Okeechobee dike money in West Palm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in Palm Beach County Tuesday to highlight the state’s $83 billion budget, saluted President Donald Trump as a “partner” in efforts to accelerate repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee. Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, recently transformed from fiscal foes to budget buddies, stopped by the South Florida...
Trump imitation in Florida public school sinks student-body president

Trump imitation in Florida public school sinks student-body president

We’re slipping toward a post-satirical world. A Florida high schooler got a first-hand lesson of this recently. Vero Beach High School student J.P. Krause was asked to give an impromptu speech in his Advanced Placement U.S. History class. Krause was running for student body president, and he delivered an off-the-cuff political speech attacking a girl who was running against him for office...
Atwater’s last day as Florida CFO is June 30, then takes job at FAU

Atwater’s last day as Florida CFO is June 30, then takes job at FAU

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater formally delivered his letter of resignation on Monday, five months after announcing he was leaving for a job at Florida Atlantic University. The letter said June 30 — the end of the current fiscal year — will be Atwater’s final day in the statewide job. He’s held the Cabinet office, which has duties ranging from overseeing the state...
Why those recent soggy conditions have led to, ugh, sweaty nights

Why those recent soggy conditions have led to, ugh, sweaty nights

Ocean-warmed winds and air bloated with water vapor buoyed overnight temperatures in South Florida this week, breaking or tying heat records on both coasts. A gooey low of just 79 degrees was recorded Sunday morning at Palm Beach International Airport, tying the previous overnight warm record set for that day in 2012. Miami woke Sunday to a sultry 82, breaking the 2010 record of 80 degrees. Also,...
Lawmakers sweeten session finish with Lake O, college building money

Lawmakers sweeten session finish with Lake O, college building money

After two days of escalating standoffs, Florida lawmakers reached agreement Friday on the issues at the heart of this week’s special legislative session: more money for public schools, an economic-incentives package coveted by the governor and rules to implement the state’s new medical marijuana program. Hours of closed-door bargaining sessions also produced two new sweeteners...
UF plans to hire 500 faculty after funding boost from Legislature

UF plans to hire 500 faculty after funding boost from Legislature

With a boost in funding from the Legislature, the University of Florida on Friday announced an initiative to add 500 new faculty members to help raise its status as one of the nation’s top public research universities. “We know what we need to do and we are laser-focused on several areas that will have the greatest impact on our educational and research missions while giving UF an...
Senate concedes on schools but chambers at odds on business incentives

Senate concedes on schools but chambers at odds on business incentives

The Florida Legislature moved Thursday toward a climatic conclusion of its special session as legislation on a variety of topics — education, medical marijuana, business and tourism incentives — was nudged in the direction of final passage. Breaking a logjam on the most hotly debated topic of the session, education funding, the Senate advanced legislation that would boost per-student K-12...
Senate overrides Scott higher ed vetoes; House refuses to go along

Senate overrides Scott higher ed vetoes; House refuses to go along

In a rebuke to Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Senate on Wednesday voted to override vetoes of about $75 million in higher-education projects, although House leaders appear reluctant to back the move. Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said Scott’s $410 million in line-item vetoes in an $82 billion budget passed last month “disproportionately” affected the higher-education system...
Seminole Ridge band director among the quarterfinalists for award

Seminole Ridge band director among the quarterfinalists for award

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH Band director Dan Harvey is among the quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award, which is presented by the Grammy Foundation’s Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum. The award recognizes teachers who have made a significant contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to maintaining music education. The winner will attend the annual...

School district sets hours for summertime registration

All district schools are open today through Aug. 4 for student registration. Hours will be 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays. Staff will be available during these times to assist. Parents should enroll their children directly at the school they plan to attend for the 2017-18 school year. Hours may vary June 26 through the July 4 holiday, and parents should check with individual schools....
Royal Palm valedictorian plans to study biochemistry

Royal Palm valedictorian plans to study biochemistry

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Carlos Romagosa, 17 If there is one common theme among high school valedictorians, it’s the fact that, when they look back at their high school careers, they often find something they think they could improve upon. Despite his 3.98 (5.33 weighted) GPA and the achievement of finishing high school ranked No. 1 in his class, Carlos Romagosa is no different. “I was doing...
Jupiter High pair wins award for sunscreen-dispenser plan

Jupiter High pair wins award for sunscreen-dispenser plan

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS JUPITER HIGH Jordan Borenstein and Seth Rodgers won the Palm Beach County Philanthropy Tank Ray Band Award for their plan to install sunscreen dispensers in county parks. The pair was awarded $8,500, which will go toward purchasing sunscreen dispensers through the RDK Melanoma Foundation. BRIEFLY All district schools are open today through Aug. 4 for student registration...
House, Senate at odds in where to get extra money for schools

House, Senate at odds in where to get extra money for schools

Palm Beach County public school leaders are hoping for a bigger spending boost when state lawmakers reconvene today to work out a new deal to finance Florida’s schools, and early signs suggest that educators might get their wish. Key House and Senate leaders are proposing more money for public schools than they agreed to provide when they passed a state budget this past month. The new money...
Editorial: Special session an insult to voters, good government

Editorial: Special session an insult to voters, good government

Well, at least the schoolkids look to get a little more money. That’s about the only bright spot to be gleaned from the rubber-stamp of a legislative special session that’s slated to begin today and end on Friday. Although the task is unfinished, Florida’s lawmakers aren’t scheduled to talk about medical marijuana. They aren’t rethinking their huge giveaways to the charter...
Banner flap at Boca High ought to be lesson for Florida lawmakers

Banner flap at Boca High ought to be lesson for Florida lawmakers

Whether or not you admire the spirituality, or lack of spirituality, of local atheist Chaz Stevens, you’ve got to hand it to the guy. He serves a purpose. The Palm Beach County School Board has had a practice of allowing religious groups to advertise their brand of salvation at county public schools. At least that was the practice until Stevens asked Boca Raton High School to display...
FAU hardest hit in Palm Beach County by Scott budget vetoes

FAU hardest hit in Palm Beach County by Scott budget vetoes

To free up money for a budget deal that boosts spending for schools and tourism and business incentives, Florida Gov. Rick Scott used his veto pen Friday to nix about $410 million in projects statewide, including $10.7 million worth in Palm Beach County. Scott used his line-item veto authority to cut from the $83 billion budget approved by state lawmakers last month and signed by Scott on Friday....
Bill paying former Palm Beach County students among 33 signed by Scott

Bill paying former Palm Beach County students among 33 signed by Scott

A measure that allows two former Palm Beach County high school students to collect large settlements from the county School Board was among 33 bills the governor signed into law Friday. The bill (HB 6549) directs the School Board to pay $4.7 million to Dustin Reinhardt for injuries he sustained in a 2013 explosion in his Seminole Ridge High School auto shop class and $790,000 to Altavious Carter,...
Scott OKs budget, calls special session on schools, business funding

Scott OKs budget, calls special session on schools, business funding

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has reached a deal with legislative leaders to hold a three-day special session in Tallahassee next week to direct more money to education, tourism promotion and economic incentives. Despite a push from school districts and Democrats unhappy with the level of education spending, Scott did not follow through on his threat to veto the entire $83 billion budget...

Jupiter student falls short of competing in today’s Spelling Bee final

Jupiter eighth-grader Tyler Berndt’s word skills got him through two rounds of spelling out loud at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. but, like 250 others, he fell short of qualifying for the final rounds today. Only 40 students in a field of 291 will go on to spell in front of a live television audience. It wasn’t enough to spell “affogato” and “ruction&rdquo...
When senior quotes go awry: Boca High recalls yearbooks

When senior quotes go awry: Boca High recalls yearbooks

Boca High students take selfie before their graduation ceremony Saturday. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post) When you rely on high school seniors for wisdom on the path ahead or reflection on the steps already taken, be prepared for some bumps in the road  – a not-so-wise education reporter.
Parent: 2 final exams for the same course? Blame school grades formula

Parent: 2 final exams for the same course? Blame school grades formula

In the age of escalating anti-testing sentiment, in a state that has sought to pare the relentless scheduling of state- and district-wide exams, certain Palm Beach County high schools asked their best students to take not one, but two final exams this spring. The request wasn’t so much for the sake of the students’ grades as it was for the schools. Jamie Howard, a junior at Jupiter High...
Gov. Scott now has Florida budget; has 15 days to veto or deal

Gov. Scott now has Florida budget; has 15 days to veto or deal

With a narrowing deadline and an uncertain outcome, Florida legislative leaders on Wednesday sent the new $82.4 billion state budget to Gov. Rick Scott, as education leaders urged a veto of all or major parts of the spending plan. Scott has not tipped his hand. But the Republican governor remains angered over the Legislature’s decision to slash spending for economic development and tourism incentives...
Summit: Lack of affordable homes in Palm Beach County at ‘crisis’ level

Summit: Lack of affordable homes in Palm Beach County at ‘crisis’ level

More than 500 government officials, lenders and builders packed a ballroom at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Wednesday to come up with ideas on how to address a lack of affordable housing they say is hurting employee recruitment efforts and driving younger people to less expensive locations. Turns out, they fretted, paradise is less idyllic if you’ve got to live with your parents or...
Post Time: The struggles, victories and sacrifice of Charles Stebbins

Post Time: The struggles, victories and sacrifice of Charles Stebbins

Readers: Our April 20 column on civil rights pioneer William Holland prompted a request that we again feature the story of Charles H. Stebbins Jr. Just before World War II, white teachers with five years of experience got a $20 raise to $140 a month— that would be about $2,400 a month now— and similarly qualified blacks didn’t. Blacks’ outrage led to the founding of the Palm...
Palm Beach Central student governors to take on county duties

Palm Beach Central student governors to take on county duties

PALM BEACH CENTRAL HIGH The Student Government Association was elected to preside over the Palm Beach County Council, and will conduct business meetings involving all the district’s high school SGAs. The Palm Beach Central High SGA will become a voting member of the School Board, working with the superintendent and officials on policies that affect students. Members include Johan Restrepo, Jessica...
Valedictorian Joezer Pascal off to Vanderbilt for engineering, sports

Valedictorian Joezer Pascal off to Vanderbilt for engineering, sports

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Joezer Pascal, 18 As a top-level athlete, Joezer Pascal isn’t your average valedictorian. In fact, if you ask him, he isn’t a really a valedictorian at all. He’ll point out that he actually finished seventh in his class but earned the award because the other six students either enrolled early in college or were taking college-level classes – not dual enrollment...
Why Palm Beach County school safety patrols are dropping trains to D.C.

Why Palm Beach County school safety patrols are dropping trains to D.C.

The annual en masse arrival of hundreds of Palm Beach County safety patrollers in the nation’s capital via Amtrak Silver Bullet train is a rite of passage with a 61-year history. But like so many traditions, this one looks to be fading into the rearview. Each year, more schools opt to send their students by air – a trend that ironically began after 9/11.
Palm Beach County boy’s service dog gets own yearbook photo

Palm Beach County boy’s service dog gets own yearbook photo

  A boy and his dog  have landed in the pages of Frontier Elementary’s yearbook, and mom is so thrilled she’s giving the Palm Beach County school a shout-out on Facebook. Ethan Amara sits in a blue polo, grinning, every hair in place. His service dog, Ketch, a yellow Labrador retriever, sits one school photo away, blue harness in place, also grinning, tongue out. “You want...
Dreyfoos murder suspect admitted he was wanted, but wasn’t arrested

Dreyfoos murder suspect admitted he was wanted, but wasn’t arrested

The man accused of fatally shooting two fellow janitors at Dreyfoos School of the Arts met with law-enforcement authorities in Colombia as early as 2013 and told them he was wanted for murder, but was turned away and not arrested for nearly four years, according to a police report made public Friday. On July 25, 2014, Javier Burgos met with Interpol and Colombian national police officials...
EXCLUSIVE: Victim’s family wants life term for Dreyfoos murder suspect

EXCLUSIVE: Victim’s family wants life term for Dreyfoos murder suspect

As the four-year anniversary of Christopher Marshall’s murder crept closer, his family wondered if his killer would ever face justice. “I thought they had forgotten about this,” said LJ Ugarte, Marshall’s brother-in-law, referring to the criminal investigation. On Thursday morning, a West Palm Beach police detective called a family member to report that Javier Burgos had turned...
EXCLUSIVE: How one mom’s gut check led to teacher on the lam for child porn

EXCLUSIVE: How one mom’s gut check led to teacher on the lam for child porn

Elizabeth’s gut kicked in shortly after basketball season began. Coach Corey Perry was on the phone with her son constantly. Her eighth-grader would walk around the house doing his chores, even the laundry, with coach on speaker phone. Daily. Mom could hear the chatter, and that gave her some comfort — the conversation sounded all sports, nothing salacious, nothing inappropriate....
Katz Yeshiva High students win first place in Earth Day challenge

Katz Yeshiva High students win first place in Earth Day challenge

CALUSA ELEMENTARY “Shrek: The Musical, Jr.” will be performed by third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at 6 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. The school is at 2051 Clint Moore Road, Boca Raton. SEA STAR WALDORF SCHOOL The school has been accepted into the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America as a developing member. The private nonprofit school, formerly called Sea Star Initiative, offers...
Valedictorian Perla Cervantes puts heart into book reading, friends

Valedictorian Perla Cervantes puts heart into book reading, friends

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Perla Cervantes, 18 The valedictorian at Glades Central High School this year isn’t just a teenager who snagged a fancy title for her graduation. Perla Cervantes enjoys venturing out of her comfort zone and aims to learn something new every single day. And one of the ways she does this is through book reading. She’s even turned her father’s old, broken-down van...
Palm Beach Central High’s Interact Club donates to Operation Gratitude

Palm Beach Central High’s Interact Club donates to Operation Gratitude

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH Erika Woerner-Goldrich has been named the High School Mathematics Teacher of the Year by the Palm Beach County Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Science teacher Kevin Lasagna was a guest presenter at the annual Florida Marine Science Educators’ Association conference at St. John’s River State College in St. Augustine. His presentation, “Shining Light on Ocean...
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