PASS THE TAX: The locally approved tax increase that pays some teacher salaries is about to expire. So Pinellas teachers are amping up their effort to get support for a new referendum.
LONGER DAYS, FEWER STOPS: School buses have been awfully crowded, and late, in parts of Hillsborough County. To guarantee a seat for every kid, the district will experiment. The upshot: Lengthier school days and bus stops placed farther apart, to let the buses get to school on time.
THAT WAS THEN: They were rude, uncaring or worse. Their teachers and their peers wanted little to do with them. But Pasco County's Turnaround Achievement Award winners changed their ways, thanks to a parent's words, God's love or some other positive influence. And they couldn't be happier.
THEIR FAVORITE PLACE: The National PTA asked kids where it was, and three children from New Tampa responded so well that they're in the final contest. How big is that? Of 14,841 participants, Florida could advance only 24. Good luck.
SURPRISE RESIGNATION: The executive director of the Pasco-Hernando Early Learning Coalition, which oversees programs including state prekindergarten (VPK), abruptly quits amid allegations of poor management. At least one board member wants to split the counties into two coalitions.
GET SMART: The University of Tampa adopts a new notification system that will send alerts to student and faculty cell phones in case of emergency. It's called Spartan Mobile Alert - SMART.
WE NEED IT MOST: A new study shows that southern states, including Florida, have the highest participation in state-funded early education programs including prekindergarten. Florida, Georgia and South Carolina also have some of the lowest graduation rates in the country, the LA Times reports.
SPELLINGS ON DEFENSE: The U.S. Education secretary gives Congress her views on the college lending crisis. She says her department is limited in its powers to control private lenders. Reports from the Washington Post and NY Times.