What's a kid to do?
The last bell of the school year has rung for most teens by now, and graduations are wrapping up all around the Tampa area and throughout Florida. It's time to get some R&R, raise a little spending cash and maybe take a class to keep your skills honed, right?
Not this year.
The job market is especially tight this summer, with cash-strapped parents taking many of the opportunities that kids would snag in better times (think movie ticket taker, lifeguard, camp counselor). Hey, adults need gas money, too. Read what kids, employers and experts are saying about summer employment here.
Summer school isn't much of an option either. Schools also are cash-strapped, and many are cutting back what few summertime offerings they have provided in the past. Reading camp for struggling third-graders remains a state requirement, but don't look for districts to offer the help to second- or fourth-graders anymore. Voluntary pre-k also is a mandate, but enrichment chemistry? Forget it. See this Miami Herald story for more on that issue.
And if your kids complain there's nothing to do this summer, tell them to go play outside or something. Hope the 10 weeks don't seem too long.