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Tim Howard
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SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOLS REPORT THAT ENROLLMENT IN THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL IS DOWN WHILE CHARLOTTE COUNTY NUMBERS REMAINED FLAT.  BLAMING THE REGION’S SLUGGISH ECONOMY AND THE LOSS OF JOBS LOCALLY, SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY THERE ARE ABOUT 500 FEWER STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS COUNTYWIDE, WHICH REPRESENTS A LITTLE MORE THAN A ONE PERCENT DECREASE.  THERE IS CONCERN THE COUNTY WILL LOSE STATE FUNDING, AND THEY NOW PLAN TO ELIMINATE TEN TEACHING JOBS AND MOVE OTHER TEACHERS FROM SCHOOLS THAT LOST STUDENTS TO OTHER SCHOOLS BY THE END OF THE WEEK.  SARASOTA HIGH SCHOOL LOST THE MOST STUDENTS AS THEIR ENROLLMENT FELL BY 207, WHILE NORTH PORT HIGH LOST 132 STUDENTS AND WOODLAND MIDDLE SCHOOL LOST 78.  TAYLOR RANCH ELEMENTARY LOST 84 STUDENTS AS WELL, BUT MOST OF THOSE WERE REDISTRICTED TO ENGLEWOOD ELEMENTARY.  CHARLOTTE COUNTY SCHOOLS REMAINED NEAR LAST YEAR’S LEVELS, ENDING THE DOWNWARD TREND SINCE HURRICANE CHARLEY IN ’04