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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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Piggybank320 BUDGET BAD NEWS:  Pasco County school leaders had expected to have about $10-million available to put into raises, among other key items. A looming 4 percent revenue cut from the state puts the pay bump - perhaps including annual step increases - in jeopardy. The Pasco-Hernando Early Learning Council started talking about seeking private donations to make up any shortfall for child care and preschool programs. The University of Central Florida reacted to the pending cut by freezing hiring, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Florida Atlantic University also took steps, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

'A NEW DAY': New president James Ammons unveils an aggressive 100-day plan to put Florida A&M University back on track. He pledges to deal with financial problems, declining enrollment, employee flight and academic woes.

NO JAIL TIME: Cheryl Foster-Lawrentz, the former Chamberlain High teacher who stole almost $10,000 from the senior class, gets deferred adjudication and probation for her crime. She's also been banned from jobs in Hillsborough schools.

SEEKING COUNTY SEAT: Ousted from office last year, former Hernando School Board chairman John Druzbick plans to run for County Commission.

THE BOOKS STAY: The Palm Beach School Board denies a mom's request to remove dozens of titles from two high school libraries, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

CREW DENIED: Miami-Dade superintendent Rudy Crew, a highly celebrated education innovator in many circles, gets his worst performance review ever - and no raise - from his School Board, the Miami Herald reports.

THEY DO IT IN FLORIDA: A local Utah school board raises its pay 300 percent, and two other boards look to do the same. The rationale? "When we go to national conventions, we hear a school (board member) in Florida getting $60,000 a year, and ... they still have other careers," Alpine board president Debbie Taylor told the Deseret News.

BOOST FOR COLLEGE LOANS: The U.S. House passes legislation to boost college financial aid by $18-billion over the next five years, the Washington Post reports.

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


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