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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news

PINELLAS NAMES INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT: Julie Janssen, the district's second in command since 2006, takes the job as the School Board prepares for a national search to replace Clayton Wilcox.

Prom051005_2 HOPE YOUR DATE HAS ID: Hillsborough schools are making a list, checking it twice, to make sure all the kids coming to prom are known and accounted for. In several instances, they're taking copies of drivers licenses and one school is asking for social security numbers. North Texas schools are taking similarly aggressive measures to ensure a safe prom, the Dallas Morning News reports. (Photo from

SEEKING TO SOFTEN THE BLOW: The Pinellas School Board looks for less painful ways to cut the budget than salary reductions.

WARPED PRIORITIES: The Florida Legislature's budget relies on stopgap measures that don't bode well for the present or the future, the Times editorializes, using education spending as a key example.

NO DIFFERENCE: The federal government's $6-billion Reading First program, used in Pinellas and Hillsborough, made no difference in students' reading abilities, the AP reports.

CHALLENGING EVOLUTION: Critics of evolution have given up on pressuring local school boards, turning instead to state lawmakers to change the curriculum. Florida's a leading example, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A Bonita middle school says kids can't bring water bottles to school anymore, after one student is caught bringing alcohol, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

ENGLISH ONLY: Seminole school workers are forbidden from speaking anything but English while on the job. At least one worker is fighting the policy, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

BUDGET ROUNDUP: Reality is setting in as Lee continues to slash, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. The Palm Beach superintendent promises to protect jobs during cuts, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Orange is looking to eliminate 585 teaching positions, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The Board of Governors' request for $13-million to beef up campus security isn't in the plans, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

AROUND THE NATION: Berea College in Kentucky doesn't charge tuition in its quest to improve the lives of folks who otherwise might not get a higher education, the Chicago Tribune reports. A Cal State-Fullerton instructor loses her job for refusing to sign a loyalty oath, the LA Times reports. Colorado considers replacing its annual assessment test after determining it's not working, the Rocky Mountain News reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:41am]


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