MONEY MATTERS: For those of us who follow the budget side of education here's a one-two punch to keep you wondering how education leaders will respond. In the property tax reform effort, the House has changed its proposal, but still doesn't find agreement with the Senate. Meanwhile, the sales tax picture continues to look less pretty: Florida faces its first actual decline in sales tax income, year to year, since 1992.
EVOLUTION - A 'BIG IDEA': Florida has rewritten its science education standards to include, for the first time, explicit mention that evolution should be taught in depth as one of science's "big ideas," the Orlando Sentinel reports.
NO PAINT: Football fans cover up at Manatee High, as the Manatee School Board prepares to debate whether all students, including girls, can paint themselves in school colors and cheer the night away, the Bradenton Herald reports. To see a picture of the girls who caused the debate, click here.
NOT ENOUGH RELIEF: Its enrollment capped, Cypress Bay High in Broward - one of the nation's largest high schools - still needs more help, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
HEALTHY MENUS: French fries and sodas are harder to find in school cafeterias throughout Florida and the country, as schools start listening to nutrition experts more and more, the Orlando Sentinel reports. But they still can't stop kids from bringing in the "contraband" in their lunch boxes, can they?
REMEMBER HIS NAME: Gary Wang, a Winter Haven fifth-grader, has made a perfect score on both sections of the FCAT two years running, the Lakeland Ledger reports.
OUR FAULT, TOO: US Education Secretary Margaret Spellings admits the federal government's partial responsibility in overpaying student lenders with taxpayer money, the Washington Post reports. But she's not going to do much about it.
TEACHER MISCONDUCT: The AP has done a three-day series on sexual misconduct by teachers. Here's a link to the final installment, about how schools and legislatures have done little about this problem. It includes links to the previous stories.
Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with FSBA executive director Wayne Blanton, who talks about charter school exclusive authority and property tax reform.