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Sunday, Feb 19, 2017

Adult ed no longer free; Hillsborough seeks donations

TAMPA - The Hillsborough County school district is looking for corporations, foundations and anyone who can help cover new fees for adults struggling to continue their education. Adult education courses used to be free for anyone without a GED, but state legislators approved a new law that went into effect this month. Now, the program costs Florida residents up to $90 per year. To offset what could be a hardship for some students, Hillsborough can charge the fee in two $45 blocks.
But school officials are worried the costs will prevent some students, who can't afford it, from enrolling in the program. For these students, "there are no scholarships, no way to get their fees paid for,'' Milito said. "We're exploring ways to create a fund.'' In other action, the board approved keeping school start times the same as last year. That means the first bell for high-schoolers will ring at about 7:27 a.m. instead of later, as some parents, students and health officials have called for. Deputy Superintendent Ken Otero said it boils down to transportation and money; the district can't afford to revamp its bus schedule. "Somebody has to start early,'' he said, "or everybody starts late.''

sackerman@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7144