Florida school board politics heat up as election day nears

The big story: Despite being nonpartisan, school board races in Florida and across the nation have taken on a distinctly partisan flavor in this year’s election season.

Party-affiliated groups have seen boards as a way to influence education policy and procedures at the local level, where parents feel the impact the most.

Organizations including Moms for Liberty and 1776 Project have gotten in on the act, as have politicians such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Read more from USA Today.

The Broward County School Board stands to feel the effect of the political winds more than most in Florida, with four of nine seats up for consideration and DeSantis having shifted the balance of power on the panel, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Hot topics

Superintendents: Manatee County superintendent Cynthia Saunders announced she will retire at the end of June, the Herald-Tribune reports.

School choice: The Hillsborough County school district is adding two more career magnets for teens to select among for the coming year, Bay News 9 reports. • Palm Beach County schools will offer eight new choice programs for 2023-24, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Hurricane recovery: Two more Lee County schools are ready to reopen from Hurricane Ian, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Collier County school officials continue to tally up the cost of repairs from hurricane damage, the Naples Daily News reports.

Funding: The Nassau County school district has plans for citizen oversight and little room for outside influence over anticipated revenue from a proposed local-option property tax initiative, WJXT reports.

Charter schools: Manatee County could soon become home to a new Hillsdale College-affiliated classical preparatory charter school, SRQ Magazine reports. • The Southern Poverty Law Center is helping a Leon County parent fight the proposed expulsion of her 6-year-old from a charter school, WCTV reports.

Affirmative action: The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the use of race as a factor in college admissions, CNN reports. Florida is among the states that has already ended the practice

From the police blotter … A Polk County teen was arrested on accusations of threatening to blow up a middle school because she was bored, WFLA reports. • A Palm Beach County high school wrestling coach was arrested on accusation of using school funds to support his personal business, WPEC reports.

Before you go … Rihanna’s got her first new single in a while. Check it out.

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