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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



Images POWER PLAY: Nevermind the governor's veto of a tuition hike. The Board of Governors votes to increase the amount students pay to attend Florida's universities by 5 percent, asserting its constitutional authority in such matters. The decision came amid a wide-ranging discussion about how to deal with looming budget troubles.

SPEAKING OF BUDGET CUTS: Like the university system, Florida school districts also must seek ways to trim spending by at least 4 percent. Superintendents got the word during a conference call with the state, and immediately set out to find what fat remains in what they consider already lean budgets. Most pledge to insulate students from any pain.

A QUESTIONABLE HIRE? Leon County commissioner Bill Proctor has been investigated, penalized and fined by the state. He's also been hired since 2000 by Florida A&M, which sits in his district, to teach political science - a job some students complain he shouldn't have. Is Proctor a brilliant politician? Or another example of cronyism?

SERIOUS CONCERNS: Political infighting, inexperienced leadership and poor morale all plagued the Pasco-Hernando Early Learning Council, according to a state report that also offers recommendations for improvement.

FEES DOWN: Pasco school officials find a financial bright spot for parents amid talk of budget gloom. The School Board reduces the cost for kids to play sports, saying it's one area they could afford to cut.

BORDER PATROL: No, not for illegal immigrants. For students lying about where they live so they can attend a more "desirable" school. The Palm Beach school district is looking at ways to stop the practice, the Palm Beach Post reports. At least one board member says she can identify with the cheaters, though.

NUISANCE? OR INCENTIVE? Some school districts ban iPods and other music players, saying kids can use them to cheat on exams. In Seattle, the school district and community college system are giving away iPods to lure failing students to take a summer test-prep course, the Seattle Times reports.

RUN, KIDS, RUN: Florida has gotten a lot of attention for its new mandate expanding P.E. for elementary students. Leave it to Texas, ever competitive, to go one step further. The Lone Star State will begin testing kids on their physical fitness, the Dallas Morning News reports. No penalty for failing.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:19am]


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