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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Today's news

MEMO MISCUE: Pasco's new communications director thought she was helping out by telling principals that she would give the official OK before they could speak to reporters. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino didn't agree, and yanked the new procedure in favor of the official one within hours of the first complaint.

LEGAL WIZARDRY: Jim Piculas, the Pasco substitute teacher who claims he was fired for "wizardry," alerts the school district of his intent to sue over defamation of character.

PLAY NICE: The candidates for Hillsborough School Board are acting too much like politicians and straying far from the issues that matter, the Times editorializes.

FIGHTING THE BOARD: Sally McKinney, whose own child died while crossing busy streets after getting off a school bus, joins the fight with Oldsmar parents trying to prevent the Pinellas district from ending bus service to their children.

LOOKING FORWARD TO GRADES: Florida releases its school grades today, and many school leaders are optimistic after assessing the FCAT results that came out earlier, the Naples Daily News reports. The Stuart News offers a Q&A about the grades and adequate yearly progress ratings. The Sun-Sentinel also provides a preview on the release.

FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION: Beginning with the new school year, Florida eighth-graders will have to pass all their courses to win promotion to ninth grade, the Miami Herald reports.

MAKING SCIENCE FUN: Manatee teachers get some lessons in new techniques to keep their students interested in science lessons, the Herald-Tribune reports.

CLUB SEEKS ACCESS AGAIN: The Gay-Straight Alliance, which has been suing to meet at Okeechobee High, has filed a new round of papers to get approval to gather when the new school year begins, the Fort Pierce Tribune reports.

BUDGET ROUNDUP: Palm Beach officials leave no room for raises as they cut millions in spending, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The Lee school district prepares to use half its reserves to cover its budget shortfall, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. Florida International University increases its tuition to the maximum allowed by law, the Miami Herald reports. Brevard puts its student handbooks online to save the cost of printing, Florida Today reports.

AROUND THE NATION: The Texas attorney general says school districts - not the state - are responsible for paying benefits on the raises that the state Legislature mandated in 2006, the Dallas Morning News reports. Technology is establishing an ever stronger foothold on America's classrooms, the AP reports. Illegal immigrants have the right to a free public education, but after graduation their futures are uncertain, the LA Times reports.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:49am]


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