PINELLAS JOINS LATEST LANGUAGE TREND: Students at Safety Harbor Middle School soon will be able to take Mandarin Chinese classes, like students in select Duval and Hillsborough county schools. Just three years ago, no Florida schools offered Chinese.
VOUCHER MANEUVER: Lawmakers continue to seek a way to offer students vouchers despite a state Supreme Court ruling that found the program unconstitutional. The bills come up for votes next week.
KIDS PASS A BILL: The Hillsborough high school students started off competing in the Ought To Be A Law contest. Their idea now is poised to actually become a law, as it passed the House and Senate unanimously.
PORTABLES VANDALIZED: Someone spray-painted racial slurs on nine portables at Palm Harbor University High School. The principal tried not to let any kids see what it said.
GOVERNOR'S PE BILL STALLED : Sarasota Sen. Lisa Carlton is holding up Gov. Crist's pet proposal to require all elementary schools to offer 30 minutes of daily physical education. The powerful senator, who serves as budget gatekeeper, says it's too expensive, the Herald-Tribune reports.
TUITION NEWS: The Florida Senate voted to increase the cost of attending the University of South Florida, the University of Florida and Florida State University, the Miami Herald reports. Gov. Crist still says he'll veto the measure. Lawmakers appear less likely to approve a fee to improve university technology offerings, despite widespread support on campuses, the Palm Beach Post reports.
SUMMER SCHOOL WITHOUT BORDERS: Duval County buys up hundreds of licenses for a Web-based program so it can offer remedial classes over the summer without opening its schools, the Florida Times-Union reports.
SOUNDS LIKE A SAC: Parents don't show up in great numbers to participate in New York City's school parent councils. Many say the councils have no authority, no power and no influence, the New York Times reports. Just like so many school advisory councils in Florida.
NEVER TOO LATE: After Nola Ochs graduates from Fort Hays State University in Kansas in May, she hopes to become a story teller on a cruise ship. She's already become a story in herself, because at 95, she's believed to be the oldest person ever to be awarded a degree.