Lynn Hatter

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Phone: (850) 487-3086

The Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, along with seven Florida teachers are suing the state, the Florida Department of Education and all 67 public school districts. That includes university lab schools, Florida Virtual School and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. At issue: whether the state's “Best and Brightest” teacher bonus program discriminates against black and Hispanic educators and those over 40.

For many young girls its hard navigating middle and high school. There’s cafeteria politics coupled with changing relationships among friends and family. It’s also a time for body changes, and  one group of young women say with all they have going on, the last thing they want to deal with is a dress code.

Federal funding that provides insurance for nearly 340,000 Florida kids will expire in September unless Congress acts. It’s called the  Children’s Health Insurance Program and it supports kids who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Governor Rick Scott says he will veto the legislature’s education funding proposal, sending lawmakers back to the drawing board in a special session next week. Scott says he and legislative leaders have agreed to spend another $200 million for education, and put more money into the state’s tourism and job recruitment agencies.

Florida’s public education board had its say on a controversial ed bill and the state budget Tuesday.  Public school officials and a state lawmaker presented opposing views on how education policy played out during the legislative session.

Charter School Lobbyist: Education Bill Could End Up In Court

May 11, 2017

There are growing demands for Governor Rick Scott to veto both the state budget, and a controversial education companion measure that critics say goes too far.  House Bill 7069 covers everything from charter schools to testing to sunscreen.

The Associated Press

State lawmakers finally signed off on a new state budget Monday night after a bit of a delay.

This week on Florida Matters we’ll take a look at what’s in the $82.4 billion spending plan along with a few other issues decided during the 60-day session.


Florida lawmakers have a budget. But that’s come at the cost of a process that has in recent years, been a lot more transparent than it is now. Lawmakers have struck deals largely in secret, seemingly backtracking on House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s promise that this would be the most transparent process in legislative history.

State employees are in line for pay raises for the first time in years. But the potential trade-offs for those pay bumps is raising concerns.

Florida lawmakers appear to be moving forward with a House priority bill boosting funding to charter schools that set up near chronically failing public schools. The measure, dubbed schools of hope, is a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran but its final form is still being debated.

A proposal allowing Florida Power and Light to charge customers for exploratory natural gas drilling has cleared a key senate hurdle, despite numerous consumer concerns. The company calls the move a hedge against future fuel increases.

It appears talks regarding Florida’s budget have re-started with the House budget chief saying talks could begin as early as tonight. Earlier in the day the House’s budget committee voted to re-authorizing the current year’s spending plan with a few changes, after lawmakers appeared to be at a stand-still.

Can Florida Lawmakers leave Tallahassee on time? The mood in the state capital has gone from one of pessimism, to cautious optimism that leaders can strike key deals in time.

The Florida House has unveiled plans to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. The proposal includes new premiums and work requirements. But longtime observers say the program is stingy as-is, and they’re questioning whether the House plan is even feasible.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.

After a rough start, a Florida Senate education panel has managed to move a major testing bill forward. The proposal is a mix of two separate testing bills.

Florida has more than 100 schools that it labels persistently failing. Those schools have earned D’s and F’s for several years in a row. Many of them suffer from high poverty and high teacher turnover. The issues facing parents, teachers, and students in such schools are complex. Now a House panel has unveiled a plan that would change the way the state deals with such situations.

A rift has emerged along a now-familiar fault line in the House and Senate Education spending plans. The chambers are again at odds over how to count what’s known as the required local effort to fund public schools.

Florida’s unemployment rate remains at 5 percent, where it’s been throughout the first quarter of the year. Lynn Hatter reports state employment officials say that’s a good thing.

Both prescription and illegal opioids are driving a national spike in overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they were involved in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015. Florida has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-driven overdoses, up more than 20 percent.  Yet, lawmakers are still grappling with how to address the issue.

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