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Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy is a Massachusetts native, meaning that like all residents is under state mandate to be a Boston Red Sox fan.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

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Hollsborough County Schools

More than 11,000 students will be graduating from Hillsborough County Public Schools over the next two weeks, and five of them have accomplished a notable feat.

Each one has have never missed a day of school since kindergarten.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Just days after a Florida sheriff's deputy was killed in the line of duty, ceremonies were held in the Tampa Bay area Wednesday to remember fallen law enforcement officers.

Pixabay.com

The Hernando County teachers union has filed a grievance over the district’s announcement it is firing every teacher at a struggling elementary school.

Earlier this month, 47 teachers at Moton Elementary School in Brooksville were told they would be terminated from teaching at Moton at the end of the school year. Moton is on the state's list of Florida's lowest performing schools.

Wikimedia Commons

An elementary school in Brooksville is removing all of its teachers at the end of the school year. 

In a letter sent to parents on Monday, Lori Romano, the superintendent of the Hernando County School District said Moton Elementary School needs a fresh start.

Sarasota High School / Sarasota County Schools

School districts across Florida are grappling with how to implement a new law adopted after the mass school shooting in Parkland.

In the next  academic year, all schools in the state must have at least one school resource officer on campus.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida students have not shied away from debating public policy.

Cathy Carter

Florida students have not shied away from debating public policy since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Crystal River Middle School

A Florida middle school teacher accused of promoting racist views has resigned.

The educator first came under fire after it was revealed she was the host of a white nationalist podcast.

On her show called “Unapologetic,” social studies teacher Dayanna Volitich, argued that some races are smarter than others and suggested that Muslims be exterminated to prevent terrorism.

Wiki Commons

Residents of Hillsborough County can get an update on public school issues at a special town hall meeting on Wednesday.

School board member April Griffin says she initially planned the gathering to update the community on the district's financial woes.

"And then Parkland happened,” she said. “I wanted to educate the public on what we've already done in Hillsborough County for our students and for our staff's safety."

School District of Manatee County

State lawmakers have approved funding for more school resource officers for the 2018-19 school year.  

But some Tampa Bay area school districts aren't waiting to beef up security.

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Florida has received another reprieve in submitting its education plan to the federal government.

Two main views tend to emerge when it comes to the topic of school vouchers.

Advocates say they give disadvantaged kids access to better schools. But opponents say vouchers drain money and resources from traditional public schools.  

Wiki Commons

In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into federal law. ESSA passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. It's a long-term plan that succeeds the No Child Left Behind Act.

Pixabay.com

In 2017, Florida lawmakers passed a law that allows kids to attend any public school in the state, regardless of where they live. 

The state joined 42 other states that have policies allowing students to attend a school outside of their resident district.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Professional mermaid isn't a position that comes up often for job seekers. But for 70 years, a Florida roadside attraction has been the profession's biggest employer. 

On a cold, gray Saturday morning, dozens of women swam laps in iceberg blue water at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park as onlookers bundled up in coats and mittens cheered them on.

Close to 60 aspiring mermaids are competing to earn just eight slots on the park's famous mermaid squad.

Courtesy of the estate of Syd Solomon.

Across Florida, there are communities where artists seem to gravitate and Sarasota is one of those places. Now, years after his death, one of the city's most influential artist's continues to have an impact.

MoneyBlogNewz / Flickr Creative Commons

Florida's minimum wage will increase by 15 cents next year.

On January 1, the state's minimum wage will go from $8.10 per hour to $8.25 an hour. Tipped workers meanwhile will earn $5.23 an hour, also an increase of 15 cents.

Florida voters approved a statewide minimum wage in 2004. The Florida Minimum Wage Amendment was approved by a 71 % margin.  It’s recalculated each year based on the Consumer Price Index.

Flickr

A new Florida law aims to streamline parenting plans for unmarried parents.  

On January 1, the state's Department of Revenue will have the authority to provide parents with a proposed Standard Parenting Time Plan.

The plan would determine, among other things, where the child will live and how parental responsibility shall be shared.

Flickr

The new Republican tax law is prompting plenty of questions and many of them are coming from homeowners.

Outback Bowl

Tampa Bay businesses will be laying out the welcome mat for fans arriving ahead of the 2018 Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

Economists say college football's bowl season is a boon to host cities.

Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to wade in on the state’s controversial new education law.

The case has now been transferred to the Leon County Circuit Court instead.

Cathy Carter

A new law allows any Florida resident to question what's being taught in the state's public schools.

A handful of complaints have been filed in school districts across the state since the law took effect in July. Previously, challenges to curriculum and instructional material could only be made by parents.

Sometimes when something is as universal, necessary and mundane as eating, it's hard to make "food" sound special. But not for the people on this Florida Matters.

WUSF has been talking to people who communicate their passion about food in particularly interesting ways. Food...as muse.


Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ends today but its impact on Florida will be felt for years to come.

After Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys in September, officials attributed 72 deaths in the state to the storm, including 10 in Tampa Bay. The death toll does not include 12 patients who died after power went out at a South Florida nursing home. Those have been ruled as homicides.

Pinellas County Schools

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego has been named Florida’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year.

Earlier this month, Grego was selected as the Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association. On Wednesday, his fellow Florida school superintendents presented him with the award at a statewide meeting in Tampa.

Pixabay.com

Just three states hold elections for local school superintendents and Florida is one of them. But a proposed constitutional amendment could change things. 

Most superintendents in Florida, 41 of 67, are elected by popular vote.  That stands in contrast to the vast majority in the country where school superintendents are typically selected by members of school boards.

Beginning Monday, members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission will consider whether that position should be one appointed by school boards.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill to create a statewide board to oversee Florida’s 28 state and community colleges.

The schools are now under the State Board of Education, which also oversees Florida’s pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade system.

The proposal also revives a plan college presidents objected to last year: stricter performance measures for graduation.

Jodi Bardelli

Hundreds of Hillsborough County school teachers protested at Tuesday's School Board meeting in Tampa.

Friction between teachers and administrators began surfacing last month when teachers were told they would not be getting a pay raise. Under a negotiated pay plan, teachers have received a four thousand dollar increase every three years if they attain high evaluation scores. 

But now, the school district says it cannot afford the $17 million dollars it would take to pay out those performance raises to teachers and support staff.

Wikimedia Commons

More than 5,000 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Florida public schools since Hurricane Maria.

In the seven weeks since the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, the majority of schools in Puerto Rico still don't have electricity or running water.  While most students have settled in Central and South Florida, school systems across Tampa Bay were also impacted.

When the new Legislative session begins in January, lawmakers will debate policy and craft budgets.

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