Today's education news: Swine flu, Bright Futures, religious songs and more
AP, THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Hillsborough schools make AP the new "normal," to varying degrees of success. (Times photo, Skip O'Rourke)
ED BUDGET ALL BUT SETTLED: Florida lawmakers agree on all but a handful of small items in next year's school spending plan. And with the low expectations heading into session, the outcome isn't half bad.
MAKING BUDDIES: Students from Pinellas' Calvin Hunsinger Exceptional Center hit it off with the residents of a local retirement center.
GOING OVERBOARD: USF president Judy Genshaft, worried about swine flu, won't be shaking graduates' hands during commencement.
FAILED REFORM: Florida lawmakers had a chance to fix the Bright Futures scholarship program but blew it, the Times editorializes.
YOU'RE UNFIRED: A state appellate court overrules Manatee's dismissal of a teacher, saying the district failed to prove its case against her, the Bradenton Herald reports.
OH MY: The wife of Monroe's superintendent is arrested on charges of stealing thousands of dollars from the school district, the Miami Herald reports. • A Lee educational support employee faces dismissal over accusations that he surfed the Web while two of his special needs students engaged in sex acts in his classroom, the Naples Daily News reports. • A Duval bus driver is accused of punching a student in the face, the AP reports.
STOP SINGING THOSE SONGS: A judge reprimands the St. Johns school district over its teaching religious songs to third graders, the Florida Times-Union reports.
SWINE FLU NEWS: A Lee school closes for a week after it gets confirmation of a student swine flu case, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. With sidebar. • A Broward school also closes because of swine flu, the Miami Herald reports. • One case is suspected at UF, the Gainesville Sun reports.
EMPLOYEE NEWS: St. Lucie will let go 32 bus drivers, the Fort Pierce Tribune reports. • Broward teachers finally get a raise, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Dismissed Santa Rosa teachers turn to parents for help finding other employment, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.
Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with John Kirtley, founder of Florida's corporate tax credit scholarship program.