1. The Education Gradebook


Published Dec. 20, 2013

Good morning. It's Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.

The Hillsborough County School Board voted to approve a plan to put armed guards at all of its 146 elementary schools. If the plan is fully implemented, based on various estimates, it will cost between $3.4 million and $4.5 million of teachers' raises and books. The price tag ultimately will push security spending to roughly $14 million of teachers' raises and books.

This country killed 39 people in 2013, only the second time in 19 years this country killed fewer than 40 people, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Florida was one of nine states that killed people, killing seven people, which ranked second -- behind, of course, Texas, which killed 16 people.

More than half the high schools in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are "A" schools? No high school in Pinellas is worse than a "B" school? Read here. But no way.

Esoteric fantasy or brutal reality? That's the question in Largo at the trial (and also just in general).

The irresponsible palace of Tampa's sketchy peddler of gold will be taken over by a bank.

The Fish and Wildlife folks caught and killed two bears that weren't the bear that attacked that woman near Orlando. They did catch the bear that did. They're not killing that one.

An autistic boy in DeBary can keep his backyard chickens.

Also in DeBary? A sub taught a class of first-graders that "the white on the candy cane stands for Jesus because he was white."

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has joined the Festivus pole of beer cans at the Florida Capitol.

Obligatory itemization of almost entirely unrelated shenanigans some seem to think are all that goes on in this state of almost 20 million people: pants on fire, a lonely old man and a guy in Winter Park who drank two bottles of champagne, blasted John Lennon and attacked a woman with a telescope.

Don't do drugs.


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