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Hillsborough Superintendent: Deficit Spending "Can't Continue"

It was with great fanfare in 2009 that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it was giving $100 million to Hillsborough County schools for a program called Empowering Effective Teachers -- one of just three public school districts in the country awarded the grant. At the time, it was at the forefront of the movement to pay teachers for performance, rather than seniority.Now, the district won't be getting a fifth of that money. And the consequences to the school district's budget are coming clear. Increases in teacher pay and bonuses haven't been matched by the Gates Foundation money or other revenue, forcing the school district to dip into its financial reserves.
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Leaders with the Florida Legislature are moving ahead with plans to hold a 19-day special session this fall.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner on Monday officially announced a special session to redraw the state's 40 Senate districts. The move comes after the Senate acknowledged this summer that it violated the state constitution by creating maps that benefit Republicans and incumbents.

The session will begin at noon on Oct. 19 and last until Nov. 6.

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The Justice Department and five states have finalized a settlement of more than $20 billion arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal announced Monday resolves all civil claims against BP and ends five years of legal fighting over the nearly 134 million-gallon spill.

This other struggle involves the competition among former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. History suggests that whoever emerges triumphant in this three-way rivalry will be in a strong position to claim the nomination, though admittedly the past has been a poor predictor of events so far in this campaign.

The 41-year old Re­pub­lic­an is only a year and a half re­moved from his first run for elec­ted of­fice, a spe­cial House elec­tion that drew na­tion­al at­ten­tion and heavy in­terest-group spend­ing to Jolly’s ever-so-slightly Demo­crat­ic-tilt­ing dis­trict. (Pres­id­ent Obama car­ried it twice.) But Jolly has already be­come a vic­tim of re­dis­trict­ing, thanks to lit­ig­a­tion that forced a mid-dec­ade re­draw of Flor­ida’s con­gres­sion­al lines and is set to make his dis­trict sig­ni­fic­antly more Demo­crat­ic. Left with little hope of re­tain­ing the seat that once be­longed to his boss, former Rep. Bill Young, Jolly im­me­di­ately began mak­ing pre­par­a­tions for a Sen­ate bid. As Jolly hin­ted, while his mod­el of break­ing with his party has been a fit for his evenly di­vided con­gres­sion­al dis­trict, it’s not one that’s won him any fa­vor with con­ser­vat­ive groups.

Supreme Court Gets Pot Amendment For Review

15 hours ago

A revamped proposal that would legalize marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions is in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court, which will decide if the ballot initiative meets the criteria to go before voters next year.

Stay Of Execution Lifted For Death Row Inmate

15 hours ago

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday lifted a stay of execution for a Death Row inmate who argued that the state's lethal-injection method would violate his constitutional rights.

DCF Reaches Settlement In Bell Killings

15 hours ago

The Florida Department of Children and Families and two private companies have agreed to pay $750,000 to settle legal claims resulting from a mass killing in Gilchrist County last year.

It’s common knowledge that consumers have to pay more money if they choose doctors or hospitals outside of their insurance plan’s network. But a new analysis prepared by the insurance industry seeks to show just how much more in each of the 50 states.

If your company hasn't launched a wellness program, this might be the year.

As benefits enrollment for 2016 approaches, more employers than ever are expected to nudge workers toward plans that screen them for risks, monitor their activity and encourage them to take the right pills, food and exercise.

The Argentine black and white tegu is one of the newest, biggest threats to Florida’s natural wildlife. The large, invasive lizard was first noticed in the wild roughly 10 years ago. Now, it has two main breeding populations and biologists are trying to contain them. They want to stop tegus from becoming established throughout the state.


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