DO THEY DO THAT IN FLORIDA? Closing schools generally is a northern affair. It happens in places that are shrinking, and kids are in short supply. Pinellas County fits the mold now, and superintendent Clayton Wilcox released a tentative list of 10 schools that could shut for good at the end of the 2007-08 year. Parents who have looked forward to finally sending their kids to a neighborhood school are naturally disappointed.
FOLLOWING THE OKALOOSA MODEL: By the time lawmakers mandated school districts to create career academies, Pasco County school leaders already had been sold on the source, Okaloosa's CHOICE institutes. Now they're following through, seeking to set up an information technology institute at year-old Wiregrass Ranch High.
UPWARD BOUND UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, predicts passage of the College Cost Reduction Act, Tampa radio station WMNF reports. The approval would restore funding to the program that helps children of low-income families go to college.
PICKENS' DECISION: The Florida Times-Union offers more details about state Rep. Joe Pickens' choice not to apply for education commissioner, something we first reported in the Gradebook yesterday. The Jacksonville paper cares because northeast Floridians have held the post for many years.
BOOK BANNING REQUEST: A Palm Beach County mom is asking the School Board to remove dozens of books from two high school libraries because they talk about abortion, atheism and homosexuality, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The superintendent has refused the request.
BRACING FOR BUDGET CUTS: They know lawmakers said schools were not to be affected by lower taxes. But school superintendents expect to see less money anyway, and they're getting ready, the Florida Times-Union reports.
WARNING: The U.S. Department of Education puts on alert 922 colleges and universities where one lender does more than 80 percent of the loan business, the Chicago Tribune reports. The letter reminds officials not to take things and not to steer students.