Today's education news: Odyssey of the Mind, money for college, school supplies and more
DISTRICT DENIES FAULT: Pinellas plans a strong defense against a lawsuit alleging the district mistreated a kindergartener who was handcuffed after a violent tantrum. (Photo from Pinellas County Schools)
AUDIT ISSUES: The Florida Auditor General finds that Pinellas schools improperly spent money intended for capital projects and workforce development.
STATE BOUND: Perennially struggling Cox Elementary in Pasco created an Odyssey of the Mind program last year to better challenge its students. This year, two of its teams qualified for state competition.
HELP THE UNIVERSITIES: Florida's business lobby has supported a tuition hike for the university system. Now it should work to find other sources of revenue for higher education, the Times editorializes. • Meanwhile, plans to allow colleges and universities to increase tuition move quickly through the Legislature, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
TOP OF THE CLASS: West Hernando Middle students add signs of the 1960s with mural • Marines write, visit all-boys class at Westside Elementary • Brooksville Elementary teachers meet parents in festive community event
SUSPENSION UPHELD: An administrative law judge reaffirms the suspension and loss of tenure of the St. Lucie kindergarten teacher who allowed her students to vote a classmate out of the room, the Port St. Lucie Tribune reports.
TAKE FRIDAY OFF: Broward adopts a summer four-day work week, the Miami Herald reports.
TOO MANY FREE LUNCHES? Audits reveal that as many as half the families receiving free and reduced-price meals in Tampa Bay area schools might not qualify for the program, ABC Action News reports. (Many haven't responded to the audit survey, making it unclear.)
THE PAY IS GREAT: Florida International University offers to pay its new president $50,000 more than longtime leader Mitch Madique, who is retiring, the Miami Herald reports.
PROTECT THOSE GRADES: FAMU improves its computer security as a grade tampering scandal continues, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
GET IT TOGETHER: Flagler gives two charter schools the summer to clean up their act or face closure, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
BUDGET NEWS: The Florida House relies heavily on one-time funding and cuts to textbook and construction spending to limit the pain of its general education budget, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • Florida still is waiting to hear whether it will get all its federal stimulus funds, the AP reports. • St. Lucie parents protest proposals to close schools and make other major cuts, the Port St. Lucie Tribune reports. • Some Manatee elementary schools organize walkathons to help pay for supplies, the Bradenton Herald reports. • Santa Rosa will lay off 121 support workers, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.