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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news

CamerahelicoptersA REAL 'HELICOPTER MOM': Brenda Nielsen has two children graduating from high school on Monday. The widowed mom's problem - they attend different schools, and one ceremony is in St. Petersburg, the other in Clearwater. She was planning to videotape one event and attend the other. Then Clearwater High principal Keith Mastorides came up with a better idea. Read the story here.

GOVERNMENT INSTITUTE, GOVERNMENT GUY: St. Petersburg College is set to get a new government institute thanks to the lobbying effort of veteran Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young. College leaders suggest that Young might be the perfect choice to run the place after he retires from the U.S. House, whenever that might be.

LUNCH BROUGHT TO YOU BY ... College lenders make a routine practice of sponsoring all sorts of events for the university officials they work with. The idea is that these relationships make or break deals. But many financial aid folks deny it, saying there's not a meal in the world that could buy them off.

DOES YOUR PRE-K STACK UP? The Department of Education unveiled a web site that gives every center and school participating in state-funded Voluntary Pre-K a "readiness rate" for how well its students were prepared for kindergarten. Officials figure parents will use the data to help them choose a program, but caution that it's "just one piece of information."

GO AHEAD, GROW: The Athenian Academy of Pasco County faced denial of its desire to expand. Rather than pushing the School Board to vote, it asked for time to negotiate. That worked, and the charter school won approval to add sixth grade on Tuesday.

FREEDOM OF CHOICE: If Broward County kids don't want to wear a school uniform, up 'til now that's been just too bad. But the School Board is reconsidering, saying families should not need a religious exemption to opt out of their school's uniform policy, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

BAND? WHAT BAND? Last year, the band at Spanish River High in Palm Beach County complained that it gotShark_in_circle_2 almost no ink in the inches thick school yearbook. It was supposed to be different this year, with a full page dedicated to the group. Instead, the band didn't appear in the yearbook at all, the Palm Beach Post reports. Quick, go check your yearbook for your picture!

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN: A proposal to convert some of Florida's public universities to almost solely undergraduate studies won't work, plan author Alceste Pappas says during a symposium, the AP reports.

COLLEGE LENDING SETTLEMENTS: Drexel University and Capella University settled with the NY Attorney General's Office in student loan steering cases; Drexel agrees to repay students $250,000, the AP reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:17am]


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