PINELLAS ASSIGNMENT PLAN APPROVED: The Pinellas district abandons its integration program in favor of a color-blind system that lets kids attend school close to home. See also this Q&A on the details. Janet Clark (left) and Mary Brown voted against the plan. (Times photo, Joseph Garnett Jr.)
PASCO TO PURSUE HOUSING GRANT: Despite some misgivings, the Pasco board unanimously supports seeking a $5-million state grant to develop affordable housing for district employees.
HERNANDO CONTRACT DONE: The Hernando board narrowly approves a deal giving teachers a 6 percent raise.
A FIRST AT USF: A USF surgeon becomes the first in the world to correct a rare condition that can make a baby bleed to death in the womb.
MAKE IT HARDER TO DROP OUT: Duval school officials are asking lawmakers to allow the district to raise its compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18, the Florida Times-Union reports. If approved, the pilot program would apply to students who aren't yet in high school.
PASS FCAT, WIN A CAR: A St. Lucie high school principal interrupts a student's history class to award her a 2001 Mercury Cougar as part of the school's FCAT incentive program, the Fort Pierce Tribune reports.
HELP FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISM: Miami-Dade is poised to move ahead with several recommendations designed to improve education for autistic children, the Miami Herald reports.
SOME NEVER LEARN: With all the stories about educators who get disciplined for misusing e-mail and the internet, you might think they'd stop using district computers for such personal use. Nope. A Collier principal is dismissed for sending and receiving porn on his district account, the Naples Daily News reports.
HELPING GIRLS IN SCIENCE, MATH: The Leon district launches a new after-school program to boost girls' achievement in science and math. It's being spearheaded by the district's student School Board member, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
CREATION INSTITUTE WINS OK: A key panel in Texas has recommended allowing a Bible-based institute to offer master's degrees in science education, the NY Times reports. The move heightens the evolution debate in Texas, which is reviewing its science standards as is Florida.
LUNCH CONTROLS DROPPED: The U.S. Senate pulled a bill from consideration that would have changed nutrition standards for a la carte items such as drinks and snacks sold in school cafeterias, Education Week reports.