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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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Tb_kcamp_450 GETTING READY: The first day of school can be trying for kindergartners and their parents. A growing number of Pasco elementary schools offer a four-day kindergarten camp to ease the angst. While the 5-year-olds learn about things like how to ride the bus, their moms and dads get some helpful advice, too. (Times photo, Julia Kumari Drapkin)

SPEAK UP: Taxpayers have been paying much attention to the way their municipal governments tax and spend. But when it comes to the largest tax-supported agencies in town - the school districts - no one seems to be taking note. School district budget hearings are now. Go, the Times editorial board says.

FEE HIKE: Pasco school officials want to raise the school impact fee by 140 percent. Home builders say the increase will simply serve to hinder already slowing growth.

BAD GAMBLE: Economists figured that slot machines in Broward County would generate $212 a day each for Florida schools. The amount has been closer to $85 each, just piling on the revenue crunch for schools, the Miami Herald reports.

PURSUING POINTS: Six Palm Beach schools are asking the state to re-score their grades or their adequate yearly progress ratings. Cash and prestige are on the line, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BUDGET UNEASE: School officials are still fretting over how they will make cuts without hurting the classroom, if the state reduces their revenue as expected. Here are reports from Manatee (Herald-Tribune), Osceola (Orlando Sentinel) and Broward (Sun-Sentinel). The state will have more details on how much money schools will get after a revenue estimating conference tomorrow.

NEXT STOP, NEW YORK: Fresh off creating a controversial Hebrew-language charter school in Broward, former U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch is making plans to bring the model to NYC, the New York Sun reports.

MORE THAN MATH: The chairman of the House Education committee says he wants to give states more varied measures to determine whether schools are making adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind, the NY Times reports.

NOTE TO READERS: If you're looking for a link to a story about Hillsborough County's enrollment projections, we've removed it after district officials challenged the story's accuracy. Look for more details soon.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:20am]


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