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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news

UF CUTS AG RESEARCH AND OUTREACH: The university will save $9.5-million by cutting 96 staff and 24 faculty positions in its Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

PASCO SETS CUTTING GOAL: Superintendent Heather Fiorentino is working on recommendations to slash district spending by $16-million. She says pay cuts and layoffs are at the bottom of the list.

YOGA FOR INFANTS, WORLD HISTORY FOR TODDLERS: The upscale Goddard School plans to open a new preschool in Temple Terrace this summer.

IN ITS PROPER PLACE: The state of Florida is wise to reduce its emphasis on the FCAT scores, the Times editorializes.

BUDGET NEWS: Palm Beach begins contract negotiations facing a shortfall that suggests raises probably aren't coming, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The Escambia School Board just can't bring itself to eliminate jobs, the Pensacola News Journal reports. Manatee's teachers and administration are already fighting about negotiations, which the superintendent is forcing to occur because of "financial urgency," the Bradenton Herald reports. Brevard looks to eliminate 60 jobs without laying off anyone, Florida Today reports.

FREE PASS: Duval backs off its requirement that fourth- and fifth-graders pass the FCAT in order to move to the next grade level, the Florida Times-Union reports.

040831nsbakerray_t220 IT'S SETTLED: Former Collier superintendent Ray Baker (left) reaches a $555,000 settlement in his wrongful termination suit against the School Board, the Naples Daily News reports. Baker also gets to keep district health insurance coverage for his family until they become eligible for Medicare.

CHARTER SCHOOLS HELP: A new study conducted by researchers from Florida State and other institutions shows students who attended multi-grade charter high schools in Chicago had better test scores and were more likely to graduate and attend college than their public school peers, the AP reports.

PRINCIPAL CLEARED: A Fort Pierce principal accused of interfering with the FCAT is found to have done nothing wrong, the Vero Beach Press-Journal reports.

CRACKDOWN: Manatee proposes a new student code of conduct that would allow administrators to discipline students who refuse to answer questions, and to go through students' cell phones and iPods if they have "reasonable suspicion," the Bradenton Herald reports. Some legal experts question the changes.

THEY WANT A HIGH SCHOOL: Destin leaders are fighting to get a local high school, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

UNIFORMS REQUIRED: The Osceola School Board mandates student uniforms by a 3-2 vote, the Lakeland Ledger reports. "If they're worried about self-expression, I suggest they take a creative writing course," board member Jay Wheeler said.

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


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