Cathy Carter


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

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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.  

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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.

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.

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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.


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.


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.

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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. 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.

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.

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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.