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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news

Images_2 WILCOX'S QUESTIONABLE ALLEGIANCE: Outgoing Pinellas superintendent Clayton Wilcox should have thought a little bit more about the school district, and less about his own employment opportunities, when currying favor with Scholastic Inc., the Times editorializes. Several school district leaders had the same reaction when they learned of Wilcox's lengthy relationship with the publishing giant.

CAMPUS CLOSING: St. Petersburg College considers shutting down its Midtown campus, considered by some key in revitalizing an economically disadvantaged section of the county, as a cost-saving measure.

VOUCHER SUPPORT GROWS: As the Florida debate intensifies over the role of school vouchers, the supporters have a growing base in the families that use - and like - the system that's already in place. The Washington Post reports that Florida's battle is likely the first of many. Not surprisingly, groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State have already begun weighing in.

PASCO, HERNANDO EXPLORE CUTS: The rising price of gas and food has Hernando officials looking for ways to slash about $2.1-million from next year's budget. Meanwhile, Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino releases her recommendations to reduce spending by $16-million for next year.

NO BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIRED: Two Florida cases demonstrate that even convicted felons and serial debtors can get into the college student loan business.

SLOPPY, BUT NO FRAUD: An audit of the Pasco-Hernando Early Learning Coalition turns up some bad past business practices, ones the new executive director has begun to repair.

A PROF AND HER 'BOT: USF engineering professor Robin Murphy wins a grant to develop a robot that would provide comfort to disaster victims while awaiting help.

A BOY AND HIS CAMEL: What's the best way to study Egypt? With a real live camel in the classroom, a Lee County 8-year-old decides, as the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

SCHOOLS NEED SHRINKS: Students, especially those with special needs, should not have to do without psychological services as the Miami-Dade district has proposed in its budget cuts, two Nova Southeastern U. psychology profs write in an op-ed piece for the Miami Herald.

ACCUSED: A Broward teacher could lose his job over accusations that he stole money from the high school dance, the Miami Herald reports.

KEEPING THE PEACE: Witt Elementary in Bradenton starts a Peacemakers club after a lesson on hope sparked student interest, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Visit the Gradebook at noon for an interview with interim Pinellas superintendent Julie Janssen.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:42am]


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