Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

Trying to find causes of disparities in student discipline

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I got a chance to talk to Donna Elam, director of Tampa Bay Educational Partnership, about the recent U.S. Department of Education study that concluded the nation's black and Latino students are far more likely to be suspended than white students.

Elam, who heads a collaborative effort between the University of South Florida and the Hillsborough County school district, said that instead of delving into blame games, the focus needs to be on diagnosing the causes of the disparities.

Through understanding needs of those students and their parents, Elam believes solutions can be found. She says it's a matter of corrective measures instead of punitive ones. I agree. …

Look for officials to break ground on a USO lounge at Tampa International Airport. It should open this summer. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: Bacon Is A Vegetable. …

People who understand the role higher education plays in economic development have to be disappointed the Legislature didn't make the state university system a higher priority, but USF St. Petersburg can't just bemoan a $5.1 million cut.

It's planning a September event to honor businessman Gus Stavros and raise funds for its College of Business, now spread over four buildings. You can lend support to "USFSP Celebrates!" by going to www.usfsp.edu. …

In a lighter moment in Tallahassee, Rep. Alan B. Williams, D-Tallahassee, quoted a Jay-Z song while on the House floor, only to be corrected by Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park.

If you ask me, however, when it comes to the Legislature, we've got more than 99 Problems and it's going to be a Hard Knock Life if things don't change.

That's all I'm saying.

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