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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



STRONG SUPPORT FOR TAX: Voters might not like taxes generally, but they don't seem to mind paying extra to help pay for Pinellas schools, according to a newly released survey. The Pinellas School Board is considering whether to call a referendum to renew the extra property tax.

Tb_hills_busaxi_450x300 SCHOOL BUS CRASH: Eleven Giunta Middle School students suffer bumps and bruises after their school bus swerved off the road and into brush and trees. The bus driver, who has had other accidents, says she was trying to avoid an armadillo. (Times photo, Skip O'Rourke)

LOFTY GOALS: USF aims to polish its reputation, collect more research dollars, and draw the highest caliber faculty and students as part of its ambitious five-year plan. But with budget cuts looming, the big question is how to pay for it all.

TOO MANY KIDS: The Athenian Academy, a Pasco charter school, has almost doubled in size this year. It's a cause for celebration at the school. But district officials say the school has more students than its contract allows.

SRO STRUGGLES: Pasco commissioners have told the Sheriff's Office it can't add staff. That means the county's elementary schools might lose their resource officers. It's a common situation around Florida, as municipalities look for ways to slash their budgets.

MAGNET MUDDLE CLEARING: The Hernando School Board is nearing consensus on how to deal with magnet schools. One possibility: Admitting students based on aptitude only. Controversy has swirled as some board members talked of doing away with magnets to help solve crowding and attendance zone issues.

TRACKING TEACHERS: Florida's new teacher discipline online database is causing concerns among some teacher groups, who say someone's civil rights could be violated, Education Week reports. And the Gainesville Sun finds the site less than helpful in finding cases involving teachers in the classroom now. Meanwhile, other states are looking to follow Florida's lead, Newsweek reports.

FACING THE PROBLEM: St. Lucie County has the highest AIDS rate for African-Americans in Florida. So it is changing its sex-ex curriculum to cope with it, the Palm Beach Post reports.

DISTRICT AS LANDLORD: The Broward School Board agrees to build affordable housing solely for district employees who can't afford the pricey market otherwise on their district salaries, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SMALLER SCHOOLS: To save money, the Sarasota district is looking at narrowing the hallways, installing fewer restrooms and other wise shrinking any new schools it builds, the Herald-Tribune reports.

TALKING, BUT MAYBE NOT LISTENING: Gov. Charlie Crist meets with university student leaders, who talk of crowded classrooms and limited faculty. He tells them he still opposes raising tuition, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:22am]


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