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.
State senators are scheduled next week to begin considering whether to keep the Confederate flag on the Senate's official seal, another sign of a growing national tide against icons of the South's rebellion in the 1860s.
The Senate Rules Committee will meet Oct. 8 to begin re-examining the current emblem of the chamber. Under Senate rules, the seal includes "a fan of the five flags which have flown over Florida" --- those of the United States, Confederate States of America, France, Great Britain and Spain.
State officials will step up enforcement Nov. 1 to prevent the harvest and sale of undersize oysters from Northwest Florida's Apalachicola Bay, as efforts continue to try to help the bay recover from a collapse three years ago.
"Things have gotten worse," Jim Estes, deputy director for marine fisheries management at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Wednesday. "People are desperate, so there's quite a harvest of undersize oysters."
A Conservative Florida group wants Governor Rick Scott to de-fund the state’s planned parenthood clinics. Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger says Governor Rick Scott isn’t a true conservative if he allows state dollars to continue flowing to planned parenthood.
It was a routine launch for the Atlas V booster, which was carrying a Mexican satellite into orbit as it lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Friday morning. But the rocket's expanding exhaust plume was anything but ordinary.
Philadelphia’s mayor was critical of how the media covered Pope Francis’ trip to his city, saying the media scared people away by talking about the crowds. We ask Poynter’s Kelly McBride if this is another case of "shooting the messenger."
The big news recently was His Holiness, the Pope, making a grand tour of the U.S. His final stop was in Philadelphia, where huge crowds greeted the pontiff. But apparently that wasn't enough for The City of Brotherly Love's Mayor, Michael Nutter, who took a shot at the news media: