LAYOFFS? OR PAY CUTS? Hillsborough asks its employees for input on which budget cutting strategies they would find least objectionable.
ONE MORE TRY (BUT DON'T EXPECT MUCH): Hundreds of parents are expected to make one final effort to stop Pinellas from closing five schools and ending busing for thousands of children. They're not the only ones facing such a fight. Some Panama City parents also are rallying to save their school from closure, the Panama City News Herald reports.
SCHEDULE SHOWDOWN: Pinellas superintendent Julie Janssen refuses to change middle school schedules despite an arbitrator's ruling that the current setup violates the teachers' contract. The teachers threaten to sue.
VETO COMING? Gov. Crist says he might reject the Legislature's education cuts because they're too deep, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
ALL EYES ON TALLAHASSEE: Volusia residents blast state lawmakers for putting them in a position where they have to slash programs, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Many Central Florida districts are urging parents to lobby the lawmakers to find new money for schools, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Sarasota, meanwhile, plans its latest budget reductions, the Herald-Tribune reports.
LOOKING TO D.C. FOR A HANDOUT: Florida's largest school districts lead a growing national effort to press the federal government for an economic stimulus package, USA Today reports.
ABOUT THAT FLEXIBILITY: While many district leaders cheer the state's willingness to spend construction money on general operations, perhaps they should be thinking about the long-term detriment such a plan might create, Florida Today columnist Matt Reed writes.
STATES SCALE BACK SCHOLARSHIPS: Florida is just one of several states considering cuts to merit-based scholarships like Bright Futures as they struggle with finances, the Wall Street Journal reports.
SEEKING DROPOUT SOLUTIONS: Florida parents, educators and community leaders gather in Clearwater to develop an action plan to keep kids in school, the AP reports.
NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS: Critics of a plan to randomly drug test Palm Beach student-athletes say it's a potential invasion of privacy for students who are taking doctor-prescribed medication, the Palm Beach Post reports.
STOP THAT PRAYER: A federal judge orders Santa Rosa schools to stop promoting religion and prayer in classrooms and at events, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.