Superintendent searches advance in 2 Florida school districts. 7 are looking.

The big story: The Hillsborough County School Board wants to take its time in selecting its next full time leader.

But superintendent Addison Davis has set his departure for July 14, and someone has to run the nation’s seventh largest school system while the board conducts its national search.

On Tuesday, the board picked a respected insider to mind the store as interim superintendent for the next year. It’s Van Ayres. Read more here.

Hillsborough is not the only school district looking for a leader.

On Tuesday, the Duval County board also kicked off its effort to replace Diana Greene, who left at the end of June. It asked the Florida School Boards Association to run its search, WJXT reports. The effort is expected to cost at least $75,000, WTLV reports.

Seven districts across the state are currently seeking new top leadership. Nearly a dozen more have seen changes in the past year. Some experts have said this churn is one of the most serious issues facing Florida public education.

Hot topics

Attendance zones: The Hillsborough County School Board narrowly approved a plan to close five schools in 2024, despite the departure of the superintendent who recommended the action.

Board politics: The Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association has filed a grievance against two School Board members with connections to Moms for Liberty, accusing them of harassing a teacher in violation of the district’s contract and policies, as well as state rules and laws. A lawyer for the board has dismissed the complaint as not valid.

Book challenges: Six Lake County students joined authors Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson in suing the Lake County school district and state education officials over the removal of “And Tango Makes Three” from circulation in fourth grade and younger, the NY Times reports. It’s the second lawsuit challenging a Florida school district over book bans. The complaint seeks “to stop the abhorrent and discriminatory practice of removing library books based on partisan, non-pedagogical motivations.”

Campus leadership: Six Hillsborough County schools will get new principals.

Culture wars: As Moms for Liberty increases its national profile, pushback against the group and its efforts to affect school operations grows in Florida, Florida Bulldog reports.

History lessons: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has launched a Freedom School to teach Sarasota-area teens unvarnished Black history, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Security: Flagler County schools will not begin a school guardian program using armed district employees, as School Board members had too many questions and concerns, Flagler Live reports.

Other school news

The Duval County school district is looking to move its headquarters. Officials offered two options for consideration, WJXT reports.

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A Lee County mom was panicked after her non-verbal 8-year old was placed on the wrong summer school bus. The child was found safe, WINK reports.

An Escambia County community has started a summer tutoring program for struggling first and second graders. More than half of students at the nearby elementary school did not meet grade-level expectations in language arts and math, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

From the court docket … An administrative law judge recommended a St. Lucie County teacher who had a rifle in his truck at school should keep his job, the News Service of Florida reports.

Don’t miss a story. The link to yesterday’s roundup is right here.

Before you go … Don’t pass this amazing new mashup of two superstar bands, Kiss + Earth Wind and Fire.

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