Florida education news: Free lunches, teacher salaries, FCAT frenzy and more

Published June 12, 2012

a4s_summerlunch0612_226278c.jpegFREE FOOD: Low-income children across the Tampa area can get a free lunch from the Cruisin' Cafe while school's out for summer. • The number of Florida children living in poverty has surged since 2006, the Orlando Sentinel reports. (Times photo, Carolina Hidalgo)

LIKE A ROCK: Pinellas teacher salaries steadily decline despite a local tax aimed at supporting their pay.

BIG SHOES: It won't be easy to replace retiring University of Florida president Bernie Machen, the Times editorializes.

NEW FILING: A lawyer for the Rick Scott administration argues in new court documents that the state was within its rights in requiring teachers and other state employees to contribute to their pensions, the Palm Beach Post reports.

MAKING STRIDES: Broward and Palm Beach officials celebrate increasing graduation rates, whatever the measure, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

STRESS: FCAT frenzy, and not the test itself, is what does a disservice to Florida students and schools, Orlando Sentinel columnist Beth Kassab writes. • Bay educators and parents express dismay over the way the state has handled FCAT changes, the Panama City News-Herald reports.

EXPANSION PLANS: Miami-Dade looks into growing the highly popular MAST Academy, the Miami Herald reports.

DISCIPLINE: A Duval special education teacher faces firing for physically attacking a student, the Florida Times-Union reports.

DEFICITS: Florida school districts face funding shortfalls despite the Legislature adding $1 billion to the education budget, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

SHUFFLE: An administrative reorganization could cost some Indian River officials thousands in salary, the Vero Beach Press-Journal reports.

ENDED: The Manatee School Board eliminates early-release Wednesdays, the Herald-Tribune reports.

BULLYING: Online cyberbullying affects thousands of Brevard students, Florida Today reports.

BIG DEAL: UF's move to lower its tuition increase is likely to affect the way other state universities handle their finances, the Gainesville Sun reports.