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Florida education news: Tuition increase, school vouchers, school closings and more

GOING UP (AGAIN): The Florida House prepares a budget that includes tuition increases at public colleges and universities.

OPEN MINDS: Hillsborough superintendent MaryEllen Elia defends the decision to allow a Muslim speaker to address students, amid boos from the crowd attending a School Board meeting.

VOUCHER BACKER: Newly appointed Pinellas School Board member Glen Gilzean is an advocate for public school vouchers. The Times editorializes that Gov. Rick Scott did not pick the most qualified candidate to fill the board vacancy.

SAVE THE EARTH: West Zephyrhills Elementary students find fun in recycling at school.

UNFAIR: The state's new list of school district rankings simply highlights the folly of using FCAT scores alone to rate schools and districts, the Ocala Star-Banner editorializes.

POWER TO THE PARENTS: Florida lawmakers roll out their "parent empowerment" bill to criticism from some organized parent groups, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

GOOD NEWS NEEDED: The Manatee School Board will start highlighting school activities at its meetings to keep the focus on the classroom, the Bradenton Herald reports.

LABOR NEWS: Miami-Dade teachers reach a tentative deal on health care benefits, the Miami Herald reports.

HE'S FIRED: Edison State College trustees dismiss suspended president Kenneth Walker, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

GET PACKING: Indian River School Board members vote to relocate an elementary school despite parent protests, the Vero Beach Press-Journal reports. - The Brevard School Board decides to close a Titusville elementary school and redraw several attendance boundaries, Florida Today reports. - Seminole parents make noise about proposals to close their schools, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

LEAD THE WAY: Polk school officials seek to improve the profile of the district's career academies, the Ledger reports.

Posted by Jeff Solochek at 6:12:52 am on January 25, 2012