NEW COMMISSIONER IN THE HOUSE: Eric J. Smith, who began his teaching career in Florida in the 1970s, returns to the state to take over the Florida Department of Education. Contract details still need to be worked out.
TURNING BACK THE CLOCK? Pinellas black community leaders blast the school district's proposed student assignment changes as a return to segregation, and urge the board to reject it.
TOO MANY GAMES: In making their budget decisions, Florida lawmakers increase the financial burden on local taxpayers to cover the cost of the class-size amendment, which is the state's responsibility. The coming crisis for school funding promises only to get worse in coming years, the Times editorializes.
UNIFORMITY: Claiming the move will let kids focus on education, the Flagler School Board imposes school uniforms for all students, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
BUS RADIO: The Seminole school district might adopt a daily radio program to pipe into 53 of its school buses, hoping students will listen rather than distracting the drivers. But some critics don't like the idea of giving the advertisers a captive audience of children, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
CODE RED: Lockdowns are becoming as common as fire drills, as schools work to keep their students safe from the world outside, the Palm Beach Post reports.
COST CUTTING: The expected loss of $100 per student has school district officials in Central Florida talking about hiring freezes and program cuts, WKMG Channel 6 in Orlando reports.
GO TO SCHOOL: Duval's State Attorney's Office is taking its truancy fight to the airwaves with a video available on cable, the Florida Times-Union reports. Kids cutting class probably are watching TV, after all, but will they order the show on demand?
MIDDLE SCHOOL, EARLY: Toledo Blade Elementary in Sarasota County is so crowded that the district will start sending its fifth graders to a nearby middle school instead, the Herald-Tribune reports.
WHERE ACCESS = OPPORTUNITY: An audit shows that a Polk school secretary padded her overtime by close to $75,000 over five years. She's also suspected in the disappearance of nearly $14,000 in missing uniform sale proceeds, the Lakeland Ledger reports. The secretary has resigned, and her principal faces a reprimand for poor oversight.
RETHINKING IPODS: Some school districts are finding ways to use the music players for educational purposes, going so far as to buy some to help students in language classes, the NY Times reports.