Today's education news: The governor's budget, a cell phone ban, a question about sixth graders and more
CHANGE OF HEART: Abdul Rao -- the USF VP accused of bicycle stealing -- decides he doesn't want to resign after all. USF officials say he'll have to take it up with their lawyers. (His bio page on the university Web site is already deleted.)
LOVING THE STIMULUS PACKAGE: Gov. Crist's new budget relies on federal funds and cheery economic predictions to increase education spending -- although he does propose to increase tuition. District leaders remain "cautiously optimistic," the Stuart News reports. More from the Palm Beach Post.
NO MORE CELL PHONES: Learning Gate Community School, a charter school, bans cell phones amid too many text messages and calls during class.
TARGETING THE GAP: A Pinellas community group aims to help shrink the county's achievement gap.
A CLASS SIZE PROBLEM: If Florida lawmakers can't fix the class-size amendment's flaws with bills, then it should ask the voters to change the mandate, the Times editorializes.
TREAT THE KIDS RIGHT: Florida needs to make children and education more of a priority, Early Childhood Initiative Foundation president David Lawrence writes in a guest column to the Times.
STRONGER STEPS: Cape Coral makes strides towards establishing a city-sponsored K-12 charter school system, the Cape Coral Daily Breeze reports.
WHERE SHOULD 6TH GRADERS GO? Two Duval School Board members want them to go to elementary school and not middle school, the Florida Times-Union reports.
ABOUT THOSE APPOINTMENTS: Manatee faces criticism for hiring two former elected officials to positions they're questionably qualified for, the Bradenton Herald reports.
TIME FOR TRANSFORMATION: UF officials plan to use the recession to change the way the university does business, the Gainesville Sun reports.
MORE DUAL ENROLLMENT: A growing number of Palm Beach high school students takes college courses as a way to get ahead and save on tuition costs later, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
CUTS HURT: A Brevard principal explains exactly how another round of spending cuts will affect students, Florida Today reports.
Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with Jessica Howard, a Pasco County 7-year-old who is petitioning the Legislature to change Florida's virtual education law.