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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news



CHANGING CHOICES: Pinellas school officials begin hashing out a student assignment plan that doesn't consider race for the first time in decades. Questions arise over how committed the School Board is to diversity.

LOOKING UP: Pasco County is getting its first three-story school. It won't be the last here, or elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area. Rising land prices and shrinking land availability are forcing districts to look at building up rather than out.

Some are talking about leaving the school, which is dealing with accreditation questions and missing millions. Gov. Charlie Crist says new leadership should have the chance to fix matters before he intervenes.

LOBBYING LESSONS: Seven Hillsborough teens spend their spring break in Tallahassee, telling lawmakers there ought to be a law creating a paid internship program for high school students. They learn that good ideas don't always win the day - especially when millions of dollars are at stake.

STOCK UP ON BAND-AIDS: Teachers with visible piercings and tattoos could face restrictions in Pasco County schools, as the district moves ahead with a policy to restrict those that are "offensive to community standards." Whatever that means.

DRIVER QUITS: Under fire for failing to report students' sexual activity on his bus, Don Allender resigns from the Citrus County school system.

Florida has 3,500 fewer school students this year than last, representing the state's first enrollment decline since 1981. Education leaders are looking at the bright side, noting that fewer kids reduces the need for more teachers and eases the burden of the class size amendment, the Associated Press reports.

KIDS IN SPACE: Well, a space-themed school, anyway. Lawmakers have taken the first step toward creating a residential school at Kennedy Space Center, Florida Today reports. One potential snag: the price tag. Proponents say the start-up could cost $1-billion.

PUSH FOR MAYORAL CONTROL: More and more states across the country are giving city mayors, rather than elected school boards, power to run their school systems, USA Today reports. Florida has a bill moving that would allow voters to split large districts. Could mayor-led districts be far behind?

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:15am]


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