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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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B4s_mohawk031908_14671c HIS 'DO COULD DO HIM IN: Seminole High valedictorian Jacob Settle worries that his new hair style could prevent him from giving the class graduation speech. Principal Walter Weller says that Settle is overreacting to some teasing about his hair. (Times photo, John Pendygraft)

Hillsborough schools haven't been open on Good Friday for years. Officials expect many students and employees to be "sick" when the day arrives later this week.

MORE MINUTES IN THE MIDDLE: Pinellas is considering extending the middle school day by up to 22 minutes to fit in more instruction time. A bill in the Florida Legislature that would require 225 minutes of weekly P.E. at middle schools is making the change more urgent.

ADDING TO THE ARTS: Powell Middle in Hernando will put renewed emphasis on arts education as the district refocuses the school's curriculum to be more in line with the arts magnet elementary that feeds into it.

LIMPING BY WITH LESS: State budget cuts have hit Pasco schools to the tune of $7.65-million this month, on top of $7-million last fall. Officials say they have no plans to lay anyone off, but suggest the financial pain will have to be shared by all. That's already true in Sarasota, where the district plans to eliminate about 175 jobs while cutting about $20-million in spending, the Herald-Tribune reports.

ACLU SUES PALM BEACH SCHOOLS: The civil rights organization suggests that the school district's graduation rate is too low and that the district needs to better educate students, the Sun-Sentinel reports. More from the Palm Beach Post here.

MORE WOULD GET VOUCHERS: A bill moving through the Florida House would allow foster children and kids recently released from Juvenile Justice schools to qualify for corporate income tax credit scholarships, the Palm Beach Post reports.

COLLIER SCHEDULE BATTLE CONTINUES: Some Collier School Board members want to reconsider how the district's high schools schedule classes because the issue has become so polarizing, the Naples Daily News reports.

STOP THE MADNESS: Lawmakers move ahead with a bill to end "FCAT frenzy," the AP reports (via Florida Times-Union).

MAKING USE OF MAGNETS: The Broward School Board approves magnet programs for two struggling high schools, hoping to attract more students and improve the schools' performance, the Miami Herald reports.

PROTESTING PORTABLES: About 25 families fight the Manatee district's plans to add portable classrooms to their campus, saying officials had plenty of time to find a better solution to crowding, the Bradenton Herald reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:37am]


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