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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pay-for-Play will be discussed Tuesday in Hillsborough



photos_two_hslax031011_a1.jpgWhat's this? Lacrosse in high school? Fooled you. This is club lacrosse.

Confused? We'll all know a lot more tomorrow, when the Hillsborough County holds a workshop on pay-for-play.

The concept of charging money for officially sanctioned high school sports is controversal around the nation. In Florida, a handful of districts charge money -- including Pasco, although the fees are nominal.

While there are no immediate plans to charge money in Hillsborough, board members wonder if they should at least learn how the process works in case money gets tight in future years. They might use lacrosse as a model.  But they cannot vote at the 9 a.m. workshop, so nothing will happen officially.

Introducing sports that are not in demand in all communities -- such as water polo, rowing and, yes, lacrosse -- would  mark a departure for Hillsborough, where all 27 high schools try to offer the same programs in the interest of avoiding a have's-vs.-have-not's scenario.

On a separate note.... everyone was confused after last Friday's workshop on outside speakers. Board attorney Thomas Gonzalez will take a closer look at a document chairwoman Candy Olson drafted, which describes the district's current policy -- to trust the teachers. Gonzalez on Friday said that before affirming what was in the document, the board would have to undergo a public hearing process. Of particular concern is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which sent a speaker to Steinbrenner High School in November. Critics of CAIR say its ranks include terrorist sympathizers and the organization has no business in the schools. Supporters of CAIR say the criticism is thinly veiled Islamaphobia, and school board meetings lately are forums for bigotry. We can expect more such dialogue if the matter goes to a public hearing.

If we learn anything more at tomorrow's pay-for-play workshop, we will publish immediately.

[Last modified: Monday, April 2, 2012 10:12am]


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