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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



A4s_skulfriday_0322_15387c GOOD FRIDAY NO-SHOWS: About 60 percent of Hillsborough students didn't show up for classes on Friday. Nearly 40 percent of bus drivers were out. But was the absenteeism due to religious observance? Or was it a protest over a lost vacation day? If you thought this dispute was over, think again. Read the story here. See how the absenteeism affected different schools here. (Times photo, Skip O'Rourke)

CLOSER THAN YOU THINK: A review of e-mails and discussions that took place leading up to the State Board of Education's vote on adding evolution to the science standards shows that the standard likely would have failed without the word "theory" in there. "We wouldn't have gotten it without it," board member Kathleen Shanahan said. "There were too many constituencies who were opposed."

ADMINISTRATIVE MUSICAL CHAIRS: Hernando superintendent Wayne Alexander announces job shifts for a third of the district's principals and some central office officials.

CHARTERS POPPING IN PINELLAS: Charter schools are growing in number, and popularity, in Pinellas County.

ALREADY OPPOSED: The Fort Myers-News Press editorial board wastes no time in coming out against the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission's proposed amendment to change education funding in Florida, saying the recommended system would undermine the state's commitment to schools.

QUALITY LOSES IN EXPANSION: UCF has grown in size at the expense of education, faculty senate president incoming faculty union president Stanley Smith contends in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed piece.

A "DISCRIMINATORY BILL": The NAACP holds its press conference to officially oppose Sen. Gary Siplin's bill that would ban saggy pants in schools, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

SUIT SETTLED: The Collier district cuts a $50,000 deal to end legal claims of racial discrimination against a former school supervisor, the Naples Daily News reports.

DEEP CUTS PLANNED: Orange and Seminole school officials prepare to slash spending for the coming year as they expect revenue to plummet, the Orlando Sentinel reports. "This may be the biggest challenge that school districts in Florida have ever faced," Seminole superintendent Bill Vogel told the Sentinel.

Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with Debbie Johnston, the Cape Coral mom who's been fighting to get Florida lawmakers to pass an anti-bullying bill for the past three years.

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


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