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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



ANGLING TO CUT TAXES EVEN MORE: Republicans in the Florida House want to cap property taxes at 1.35 percent of taxable value, but the Senate is having none of it.

TWO MORE FOR THE BOARD: The already crowded field for Pinellas School Board gains two more hopefuls, bringing the candidate total to 12.

Pac_earthday042308_20297c BEING GREEN: Hillsborough students aim to plant 10,000 trees in an hour to celebrate Earth Day. Kids at Gulf Trace Elementary, Pasco's first Green LEED (Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design) school, take the annual event so seriously they even attend classes without air conditioning. (Times photo, Brendan Fitterer)

GETTING NERVOUS: Pasco School Board members, not having talked about spending priorities yet, are getting antsy as lawmakers prepare to cut education funding.

GIFTED CENTRAL: Hernando will move all its gifted programs for kindergarten through eighth grade to a single school in the fall.

LOOKING POLITICAL: The Taxation and Budget Reform seems to be flip-flopping on two highly charged issues - a tax cap and education vouchers - in its waning days. If the goal in creating the commission was to avoid daily politics, it isn't working, the Times editorializes.

BRIGHT FUTURES - AN ENTITLEMENT FOR WHITE KIDS? The criticism appears true. The Palm Beach Post reports that the vast majority of scholarship recipients are white, unlike the racial makeups of the state's schools.

FORGET THE FREE BREAKFASTS: Lawmakers were poised to mandate that school districts provide free breakfast to all children attending high-poverty schools. The budget crisis led them to change the mandate to a suggestion, the Palm Beach Post reports.

LEAVE THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM ALONE: The House should kill the Senate's proposal for a referendum to change Florida's higher education governance system, the Sun-Sentinel editorializes.

GO AHEAD AND ASK: Collier superintendent Dennis Thompson, who has opposed a local tax referendum for fear it wouldn't pass, changes his mind and says he'll pursue the idea for the August primary, the Naples Daily News reports.

MORE DRUG TESTING: Polk officials plan to double the number of students it randomly tests for drugs. It won't be just athletes, but rather anyone participating in extracurriculars. Yes, even Future Farmers of America and Future Business Leaders of America, the Lakeland Ledger reports.

AROUND THE NATION: US Education Secretary Margaret Spellings proposes rule changes to No Child Left Behind, the LA Times reports. The Bush administration also is asking Congress for permission to buy billions in student loans, to make sure the nation's credit crunch doesn't further harm borrowing for college, the NY Times reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:40am]


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