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Teaching program promised scholarships, but funding efforts are under scrutiny....

TAMPA — Mekka Mason and her parents were thrilled when they learned a Hillsborough County magnet program would help pay for Mekka, the youngest of six children, to go to college and become a teacher.

Launched four years ago, the Urban Teaching Academy promised scholarships and the cost of books to students who completed the program successfully. In return, they agreed to come back to Hillsborough and teach for three years in urban schools.