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Switching to a year-round schedule could cut Florida schools' capital-outlay needs in half and reduce the amount of review time needed by students, according to Partners in Productivity, a task force created by Gov. Bob Martinez.

"We don't think we are using our facilities efficiently," Myrtle Bailey, the Governor's education advisor, said last week. She described Mr. Martinez as being supportive of extending the school year, as well as of using facilities on Saturdays.

With statewide enrollment growing at the rate of 60,000 students a year, many Florida school districts currently are facing severe overcrowding and mounting construction needs.

The task force's education subcommittee also called on state officials to consider parental choice, incentives to districts that increase student-retention rates, and tying teacher pay to student performance.

Partners in Productivity also plans to issue reports on transportation, corrections, and health and rehabilitative services.

Educational programs for Ohio youths who have been convicted of felony offenses are inadequate, underfunded, and resistant to change, a task force of the state department of youth services has concluded.

The group's report found that many of the 1,600 to 1,900 juveniles in state detention centers are not attending school at all.

Those who are enrolled in one of the system's nine schools often are truant and far behind in credit hours, it said, adding that "there was little reason to believe" the youths would return to school upon their release.

But John McConnell, general chairman of the Worthington Steel Company and head of the task force, noted that several improvements, such as increased funding and efforts to develop a new curriculum, have been made by the department since the group began its study in 1987.

Vol. 08, Issue 34

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