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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT: A North Florida woman has accused the Department of Education of religious discrimination, saying her company was targeted during a "witch hunt" to purge faith-based providers from the department's contractor list. DOE officials deny it.

$1.5-BILLION: That's the amount that the state expects to come up short in its budget this year, meaning big cuts for services and programs including education. Economists say the future looks bleak, too, projecting four years of tough times. It's still too soon to know exactly how much local school districts will be forced to slash. Miami-Dade, the state's biggest district, is looking at things like summer school and adult classes, the Miami Herald reports.

Tb_pashooter_450_2 BANG, BANG: Pasco school resource officers practice how to respond to a gunman on campus. The rules changed after Columbine in 1999, and officers train like this annually. This year, they had April's Virginia Tech shootings on their minds. (Times photo, Mike Pease)

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BUYING: Retailers worry that parents will be spending less on school supplies, even with the state's sales tax holiday that begins this weekend.

About 50 parents protest the Hernando School Board's decision to end magnet school admission preferences for siblings of children already in the schools.

A LESSON ABOUT E-MAIL: It's in writing, it's on someone's computer, and it therefore could become public very quickly. You'd think FSU professor Robert Olen Butler, a nationally famous author, would know such things. But now his e-mail about how his wife left him for Ted Turner, intended for about a dozen students, has been quoted around the world.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Collier School Board abruptly fired superintendent Ray Baker on Tuesday and already has a top candidate to replace him, the Naples Daily News reports. Baker plans to sue the board.

They really mean it. The Palm Beach school district will have an officer living on 47 acres it bought to protect it until a high school is built there, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The school is scheduled to open by 2016.

PHONE FLIP-FLOP: Two days after banning personal calls on district-issue cell phones, the Duval school district says it will allow "reasonable personal use." Tracking the calls looked to be too time consuming and expensive, the Florida Times-Union reports.

LENDING PROBE HITS FLORIDA: Four state universities, including the USF and UCF, are receiving subpoenas in the New York State investigation, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

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


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