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Florida education news: School budgets, performance pay, FCAT and more

TALKING THE TALK: Fourth-grader Javion Hammer becomes Cox Elementary School's first district Tropicana speech winner, highlighting an academic turnaround at the school. (Times photo, Stephen Coddington)

TALE OF TWO DISTRICTS: Sitting across Tampa Bay from each other, the Hillsborough and Pinellas school districts have very different budget strategies and outlooks.

SUSPENDED: A Hernando Central High teacher is suspended, accused of punching a student.

NO CLASS SIZE LAWSUIT? Groups are reconsidering whether to sue over Florida's class size penalties if Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill that would virtually eliminate the fines going forward, the AP reports.

BUT MAYBE A SUIT ON PAY: The Florida Education Association considers suing over new performance pay laws, the AP reports.

UNDERCOVER: Some young police officers pretend to be Palm Beach high school students to uncover campus drug dealing, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

FALLING SHORT: Thousands of high school seniors fail to pass their FCAT retakes, putting their graduation in jeopardy, the Miami Herald reports.

$2.4 MILLION WANTED: St. Lucie looks for funding to keep resource officers in schools, the Port St. Lucie Tribune reports.

THEY WANT THEIR AP'S: Parents at three Monroe schools fight to keep their assistant principals from being axed in the budget, the Keynoter reports.

TOUGH TIMES: Florida university leaders say it's getting harder to provide a high quality education while continuing to cut spending, the News Service of Florida reports. - UF looks to cover its gap with one-time resources, but warns that big cuts could come in the future, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Posted by Jeff Solochek at 6:16:47 am on May 13, 2011