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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



USF RAISES TUITION: Students new to the university's Tampa campus will pay 15 percent more. Incoming freshmen who live outside the area also will be required to live on campus.

Walexander SHAKE IT UP: Hernando superintendent Wayne Alexander (left) announces an administration overhaul that he says can save the district about $400,000 a year.

A Pasco high student is caught sending text messages to friends during FCAT testing. Six Pasco students have their tests tossed out for having cell phones in the testing room, against state rules.

Tom Washburn first began his effort to get flashing warning lights in front of Schrader Elementary in Bayonet Point a year ago. He got nice words and promises, but little action. So he's boosted his campaign again, hoping the squeaky wheel really does get the grease.

HOPING FOR A GOOD FRIDAY: Hillsborough school officials prepare for the worst but look for a normal day when they offer classes on the holiday that traditionally has seen the district closed. Polk schools face a similar situation, the Lakeland Ledger reports.

ANOTHER TEACHER ARRESTED FOR SEX WITH STUDENTS: This time it's Mary Jo Spack of Freedom High in New Tampa. She's accused of buying liquor for some boys then taking them to a hotel, where she had sex with one of them in the shower.

MOVE ON: Abstinence-only sex education does not provide enough information for school children in Florida, which has the nation's sixth highest teen pregnancy rate, the Times editorializes.

DIFFERING VIEWS: Broward school officials have led the effort to diminish the "FCAT frenzy." Some lawmakers have the same goal in mind. But the Broward folks find the legislative initiative "bizarre," the Miami Herald reports.

Florida can't improve its schools by slashing spending. Before the cutting goes too far, there needs to be a community conversation about what folks want from the education system, Florida Times-Union columnist Ron Littlepage writes.

ELECT THE COMMISSIONER: House Schools and Learning chairman Rep. Joe Pickens tells the Palatka Daily News that if Florida decides to vote for the education commissioner, the job probably should have minimum qualifications.

CAN THE PLAN: Lake school leaders agree they need to get rid of the district's teacher performance pay program, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

FAMU FIGHTS FOR FUNDING: The struggling university stands to lose about $2.7-million under a federal proposal to cut support to historically black colleges and universities, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

THAT'S FINAL (FOR NOW): The Collier School Board decides to stick with its controversial decision on high school block scheduling after indicating it might change direction, the Naples Daily News reports.

'SOFT EXTORTION'? Lawmakers question why university foundations are donating thousands of dollars to support the chancellor's salary, the Palm Beach Post reports.

EVERYTHING ON THE TABLE: Manatee school officials are looking for ways to cut $21-million from the budget without layoffs, the Bradenton Herald reports.

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


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