Florida education news: School holidays, teacher layoffs, antigang education and more
HOLY WARS: Here we go again. Hillsborough again faces the prospect of a battle over whether to give students a day off for Good Friday. (Times file photo of poor attendance last Good Friday)
BRIGHTER BUDGET: Pasco officials see their projected spending shortfall shrink to $5 million, but with a big asterisk -- that's only if the state doesn't cut any more.
TOP OF THE CLASS: Pinellas crowns its battle of the books winners. • Proof that not everyone learns the same, troubled Hernando sixth-grader Jayson Blalock finds success at the STAR alternative school.
TEACHER TESTING: The State Board of Education is looking into doubling the price for teacher certification exams, the AP reports.
DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT BIOLOGY: Florida students rank in the bottom 10 nationally for their knowledge of biological sciences, the AP reports. More on the study of science achievement, also from the AP.
EVERYBODY SWITCH: Palm Beach schools will start having subject specialists to teach third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, rather than the single-teacher model that's generally used for elementary grades, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
CUTTING TIME: Manatee considers $14 million in cuts, including layoffs, fewer electives and an employee furlough, the Bradenton Herald reports. • Miami-Dade finds a way to cut $142 million without teacher layoffs, the Miami Herald reports. • Brevard's superintendent will release his recommendations for cutting, including whether to seek a local tax increase, Florida Today reports.
GANG PREVENTION: Alachua police urge the school district to adopt an antigang curriculum, the Gainesville Sun reports.
THE LAPTOPS ARE OUR FUTURE: A Marion high school tries to get more students reading by loading all the materials on laptops and handing them out to freshman English classes, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.