Today's education news: Intelligent design, dropout prevention, tax reform and more
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? An increasing number of Tampa area schools cultivate gardens out back. (Times photo, Chris Zuppa)
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Pasco schools use learning labs -- where teachers are available all day to help students with their school work -- as a key tool toward eliminating dropouts.
MORE ON CELL TOWERS: Parent opposition to towers on school campuses grows in Hillsborough.
GET IT RIGHT: Florida lawmakers have a chance to make the state's property tax structure -- its primary method of funding schools -- more fair, so they better not blow it, the Times editorializes.
IT'S NOT OVER: State Sen. Stephen Wise of Jacksonville plans to file a bill requiring the instruction of intelligent design alongside evolution, the Florida Times-Union reports.
GIVE BETTER TRAINING: Many Florida teachers are ill prepared to deal with students who have special needs, the Palm Beach Post reports.
THEY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED: Palm Beach leaders rejected a proposal to change school discipline methods. One lawsuit and thousands of dollars later, the district is implementing the change, the Palm Beach Post reports.
CUTS FOR YOU, PERKS FOR THEM: Even as they were hiking tuition and cutting jobs, three top Florida International University officials snagged rich new pay packages, the Miami Herald reports.
GET INSURED: Or else the University of Florida might not admit you, the Gainesville Sun reports.
TAKE A DAY OFF: An unpaid day, that is. Polk joins the ranks of school districts considering a furlough to help balance its budget, the Lakeland Ledger reports.
AROUND THE NATION: New York considers converting four Catholic schools into public charters to save them from closing, the NY Times reports. // An Arkansas sixth grader wins her county spelling bee by spelling "debacle," then faces one of her own as she's rejected from the state bee because her mom forgot to pay the entry fee, the AP reports. // Bucking the national trend, a California school district seeks to weaken its graduation requirements, the LA Times reports.