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School, Police Data Sharing Attracts Federal Scrutiny

The Pasco County, Fla., school district has come under fire for sharing student data with law enforcement. Now the chair of the U.S. House education committee has called for an investigation into the practice.

(TNS) — There’s been a long running debate in Florida and the nation over the collection and use of all types of student information, ranging from personal identifiers to academic performance. Schools stress that the information helps them determine which students need the most help. Some parents worry that, in the wrong hands, their children could be exposed to negative consequences. The controversy has come into focus in Pasco County, in a story that has gone viral. Read on for the latest on that item and more Florida education news.

The Pasco County school district has come under fire for sharing student data with law enforcement. Now the chair of the U.S. House education committee has called for an investigation into the practice.

The presidential inauguration is today. Palm Beach County school district officials made clear that it’s okay for classes to watch and discuss the event, the Palm Beach Post reports. More from WLRN. ‣ Across the nation, some schools are refusing to show the inauguration, Education Week reports.

School employees have asked for priority access to the coronavirus vaccine. Districts in the Tampa Bay area are working out arrangements to make it happen, starting with those age 65 and older. ‣ The Volusia County school district also will offer vaccine to its older employees, WKMG reports. ‣ The Sarasota County School Board has adopted a resolution urging the state to prioritize all school employees for the vaccinations, the Herald-Tribune reports.

About 70 Broward County teachers decided to leave before the second semester. The inability to have adequate social distancing inside schools is part of the concern, WPLG reports.

The Bay County school district ended its remote learning program. It now has about 96 percent of students taking classes in person, WMBB reports.

Most Tampa Bay area high schools saw their graduation rates jump in 2020. Pasco County’s Hudson High dropped by 5 points, to 76 percent. District educators and officials are looking for an explanation.

Many Bay County schools are using decade-old technology. The district is contemplating a major upgrade, the Panama City News Herald reports.

Hands-on learning helps. A Leon County Title I elementary school unveiled a new outdoor classroom to give students added experiences, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

NIMBY. Residents of a Lee County community are raising concerns about proposed new schools, WINK reports.

Let us pray. The Manatee County School Board voted to resume having an invocation before its meetings, the Bradenton Herald reports.

From the police blotter ... A Volusia County school custodian was arrested on accusation of aggravated child abuse. The case was not connected to school, WKMG reports. ‣ A Broward County school resource officer was arrested on allegations of soliciting sex from a child who was described as a family friend, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... One of our Florida lawmakers shared this example of how world cultures cross over with one another, creating in this case something fresh and new that’s accessible to even greater numbers. Not a bad message to apply to other parts of society as the nation moves to its next president.

(c)2021 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.