FIRST DAY TALES: In Hillsborough, getting there isn't half the fun as the district imposes a new busing plan. But kids and parents at new schools enjoyed life without portables. In Pasco, jitters gave way to excitement early as classes got down to business. Most of the tears belonged to moms and dads. And in Hernando, the new superintendent experienced as many firsts as the students. To see all sorts of back to school photos, click here. (Times photo, Stephen J. Coddington)
PULLING NO PUNCHES: Former Florida university chancellor Charlie Reed comes to Tallahassee to tell folks the system he left is mired in mediocrity.
PARTNER BENEFITS: Gay rights activists are asking the Palm Beach Community College trustees to reconsider offering benefits to domestic partners, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
MORE THAN FOUR: The New York City school system is expanding programs that recognize it takes many teens more than four years to finish high school, the NY Times reports. The goal is to remove the stigma of being an "over-age" student, so kids don't drop out.
DITCH THE GRADES: Florida should completely overhaul the way it evaluates and grades schools, rather than just tinker around the edges, the Palm Beach Post editorial board says.
TURNING TROUBLES: Lake County parents worry about whether buses can make U-turns safely on bustling US 27, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
DEALING WITH DECLINES: Like Pinellas, Miami-Dade school leaders are evaluating options for under-enrolled schools, the Miami Herald reports. Closures could be coming.
CLEARED, BUT FIRED: The Manatee School Board finds that a teacher accused of FCAT cheating didn't do it. But the board fires the woman, anyway, for refusing to cooperate with the investigation, the Herald-Tribune reports.