PRE-K PROGRAM "PARTICULARLY WORRISOME": Access to Florida's Voluntary Prekindergarten program is fourth-best in the nation, but its per-student funding is 35th of 38 states that have pre-k systems, the National Institute for Early Education Research reports in its latest preschool survey. That disconnect leads to low quality, researcher Steve Barnett said. But there's no activity in Tallahassee to change the program.
REFS CRY FOUL: Some sports referees are threatening to stop working games in Citrus County unless the school district changes its background check procedure. They complain that the $61 fingerprint fee, along with the cost of renewing their badges, is a burden. District officials say the Jessica Lundsford Act gives them little wiggle room.
MATH PROBLEMS: Some parents have found shortcomings with Hillsborough County's elementary-level math curriculum. Several teachers have concerns about it, too. Now the district is seeking outside advice as it looks to update the way it teaches math.
SLIM BUDGET PICKINGS: The GOP-dominated Florida legislature trimmed Gov. Charlie Crist's education spending proposal by about $200-million, blaming a "modest budget year," the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
ANTI-BULLYING OR ANTI-GAY? As anti-harassment legislation winds through Tallahassee, some lawmakers face criticism for not including specific protection for gay students, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
CELL PHONE DEBATE: Parents like them to keep tabs on their children. Teachers don't like them when they're used in class. Palm Beach's schools superintendent says they might be used to "cyber-bully." So he's recommending several alternatives, including banning cell phones from campus, the Palm Beach Post reports.
UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS? Congress takes a closer look at whether all children really can read and do math at grade level by 2014, as it considers renewal of No Child Left Behind, the Washington Post reports.