COSTLY CONSTRUCTION: The price of building schools is rising fast, and many school districts scramble to keep up. The Pasco School Board will consider an impact fee increase, borrowing $144-million and seeking a $1.6-million grant to help cover costs as it puts up several new campuses.
AVOID THAT SUMMER SLIDE: Educators say that kids lose what they've learned if they don't use it during vacation. What to do to keep minds nimble? Columnist and mom Elisabeth Dyer offers several ideas, including, of course, reading the newspaper.
VALEDICTORIAN'S VALEDICTORIAN: King High Rumela Das tried to do it all, and she succeeded. Her 8.08 GPA was third highest in Hillsborough County - ever. Rumela spoke to the Gradebook last week about her accomplishments, too.
SURE, HE'LL GRADUATE, BUT ... What Hernando High senior John McConnell really cares about is motocross racing. He's good at it, and he's gunning for pro shortly after getting his diploma.
NEVER MISSED A DAY: Patrick James completes Chamberlain High without a single absence. Only two others in Hillsborough County can claim that feat this year. Weird thing, though. His brother, Alan, did the same last year. Never sick? What's their secret?
ETHICS OF TESTING: The Palm Beach school district is dealing with a testing problem of its own. Some teachers have been using last year's year-end algebra exam, which all students take, as a practice test. Then the district learned the company that makes the test won't be supplying a new one. See where this is going? Read this Palm Beach Post column to learn more.
SHE STUMBLED ON 'URGRUND': A Jupiter ninth-grader makes it all the way to the final 15 in the National Spelling Bee before messing up, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Like we could do better?
TEACH FOR ... JACKSONVILLE: The national Teach for America, which brings teachers to places where it's hard to find enough, is poised to make Jacksonville its second project site in Florida, the Florida Times-Union reports.
MINORITY ENROLLMENT BOOMS: With an influx of Hispanics, the public schools are at 42 percent minority students - up from 22 percent three decades ago, the New York Times reports. It's pretty obvious in Florida, but it's happening in places like Nebraska, too.