Florida education news: ‘In God We Trust,’ Blaine Amendment, teacher housing and more

[Courtesy of Atheists of Florida]

STATE MOTTO: Florida lawmakers have required all public schools to post the phrase, "In God We Trust," in a prominent place for all to see. The Atheists of Florida offers to provide the signs for free. "We want to help educate about the First Amendment and the establishment clause, as well as about the diversity in our country," executive director Judy Adkins said.

NO AID: The Florida Constitution Revision Commission drops its effort to ask voters to repeal the Blaine Amendment, which bars the use of state tax revenue to support religious institutions.

CONSOLIDATION: A St. Petersburg doctor will lead the planning effort to combine all University of South Florida campuses into one entity.

GUN CONTROL: Tampa area teens meet with political leaders to discuss how they can keep momentum from their walkouts and rallies.

TEACHER HOUSING: Miami-Dade County school district and government officials explore ways to develop affordable housing for teachers on school property, the Miami Herald reports.

SECURITY: The Citrus County sheriff plans to ask the County Commission for nearly $1 million to help pay for officers at all public schools, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • The Lee County School Board prepares to hire a new safety director, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Clay County educators and residents discuss approaches to increasing school security, WJXT reports. • Volusia County school district officials review their five-year capital plans with new attention to school safety, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Sarasota County’s superintendent and sheriff feud over the funding of school resource officers, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ARMED TEACHERS: A survey of Lake County educators shows they don’t believe arming teachers would make a difference, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • The Leon County School Board plans to vote on a resolution to not arm any school employees, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. A leading county Republican Party official criticizes the board’s stance, the Democrat reports.

MIDDLE GRADES: The St. Johns County school district shifts its attention to K-8 centers over middle schools, and some parents don’t like the concept, the St. Augustine Record reports.

VIRTUAL LEARNING: More women than men take the Florida university system’s online courses toward earning a degree, the News Service of Florida reports.

POLITICS: State Sen. Bill Montford, head of the state superintendents association, decides to remain in the Senate and not run for Tallahassee mayor, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

TENSION: A Manatee County School Board member calls for the removal of the board chair, the Bradenton Herald reports.

BAD ACTS: Two Brevard County teens are arrested on accusations they stole iPads from an elementary school over the weekend, Florida Today reports.

TODAY: Florida Board of Education, 9 a.m., Hendry County

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