Today's education news: Virtual school, tuition for illegal immigrants, kindergarten testing and more
THE SKY IS NOT FALLING: Hillsborough's prudent and precise budget cuts help the district avoid massive layoffs, program cuts and school closings.
$400 MILLION TO GO: The House and Senate are still that far apart on their budgets, with education funding high on the priority list, the Naples Daily News reports.
REAL CUTS FOR VIRTUAL SCHOOL: Educators and families that rely on Florida Virtual School are fighting proposed changes to the school's budget that could reduce its success, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
NO DEAL: Florida is one of the six states with the largest populations of foreign born populations not to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, the NY Times reports.
SO LONG, FAREWELL: Many University of North Florida graduating seniors who can't find work here are headed abroad to search for jobs, the Florida Times-Union reports.
TESTING TIME: Lee prepares to test its kindergartners to see how ready they are for first grade. Some parents wonder why such written assessments are needed, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
RUNNING LATE: The Florida DOE might not get FCAT scores to schools in time for report cards, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Seems the state is still skittish after its 2006 scoring problems.
FIU'S YOUNGEST STUDENT: Sky Choi, 12, is pursuing a double major in physics and math at Florida International, the Miami Herald reports. (He's got a 3.83 GPA.)
WHERE'S THE LINE? Some Okaloosa employees get snared in the district's policies forbidding inappropriate personal use of school computers, but some say the policy isn't clear, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.
FCAT'S NEW LOOK: Florida's annual exam gets tougher in some key areas, particularly math, and many students aren't exactly excited about it, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.
HIRING FREEZE? Maybe on paper. But FAU has hired 495 new employees for about $13 million in salaries since it went into effect, the Palm Beach Post reports.
DOUBLE DIPPING: Manatee faces criticism for allowing its technical institute director to briefly "retire" to claim her DROP pension and then rehiring her to the same post, the Herald-Tribune reports.