GROWING PAINS: Florida's voluntary prekindergarten program turns 2 years old as the school year begins. The numbers enrolled are up, and that's just one of the positives. But the question remains: Does VPK yet provide "high quality" education for 4-year-olds, as promised in the state constitution? (Times photo, Willie Allen Jr.)
BACK TO SCHOOL: Kids head back to classes this week. Here's the local roundup of stories from Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough. (Pinellas gets back to it tomorrow.) Have a great day. And don't forget the state university system.
TRAINED TO MAKE A's: Children get academic training, but need more life skills, parents tell the Hillsborough Children's Board. The board is seeking parent input to make its offerings more relevant.
FASANO TO REF: Pasco's state senator decides to step into a battle between the county schools superintendent and the county manager. Perhaps he can get them to stop squabbling and instead focus on getting money where it needs to go, like classrooms, the Times editorial board says.
SERIOUS ABOUT BOUNDARIES: Palm Beach parents face perjury charges if they lie about where they live to get their children into schools where they're not assigned, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
AVE MARIA - THE PREP SCHOOL: There's been much national attention paid to the new Catholic college. But not the community's K-12 school. It's already filled beyond capacity, the Naples Daily News reports.
BETTER SCHOOLS NEED BETTER PAY: Teachers matter, and to get the best, they need higher salaries, the Sun-Sentinel editorial board says. And until that happens, teachers say the state should forget about performance pay, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
UNDOCUMENTED, AND WORRIED: Children of illegal immigrants can get into public schools without concern - the state forbids districts to ask their status. But many of the students worry their work is for nothing, if they can't get residency and access to many colleges, the Miami Herald reports.
GROWTH TRENDS (AGAIN): Only a small number of Florida districts (including Pasco and Polk) expect more students this year. Leading the Orlando Sentinel to ponder, "Where have all the students gone?"