Florida education news: Recognition funds, Maria refugees, homeless students and more

PERFORMANCE FUNDING: Every year, the Florida schools that perform best on state tests, and those with the biggest gains, receive recognition funds from the Legislature for their results. The amount per student has fluctuated depending on how tight the budget has been, but lawmakers have consistently insisted on continuing the program — even as many educators urge them to put the funding into general school spending. This year’s $129 million allocation is scheduled to be distributed Tuesday.

STUDENT INFLUX: State lawmakers ask Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart to grant districts flexibility in how they count students for funding, in order to support schools that receive children fleeing Puerto Rico’s devastation. Florida schools already have begun enrolling refugees from Hurricane Maria, WLRN reports.

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: Challenger K-8 has Hernando County’s largest middle school band program.

HEADED OUT: The provost of St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs campus faces dismissal after domestic battery charges. • A Duval County teacher resigns after an investigation into allegations he made racial remarks to students, the Florida Times-Union reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Florida Charter Educational Foundation, backed by Charter Schools USA, backs away from its Alachua County plans after pushback from the community, the Gainesville Sun reports.

HOMELESSNESS: A new study indicates that Florida homeless students are less likely to make learning gains, WMFE reports.

GOING DIGITAL: Some Florida schools find classroom technology helps them return to class activities after natural disasters such as Hurricane Irma, the Associated Press reports.

IOU: As Indian River County school officials tally the damage from Hurricane Irma, they seek FEMA reimbursement from past storms’ impact, TC Palm reports.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Lee County superintendent Greg Adkins hits the two-year mark with positive evaluations from his school board, the Naples Daily News reports.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Duval County School Board discusses the programs it would like to offer in the future, the Florida Times-Union reports.

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