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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.

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The Florida Board of Education’s new budget request promotes Governor Rick Scott’s pledge for record funding of K-12 public schools. If it’s approved by the legislature this Spring, the $17.5 billion request would one for the record books.

Scott has made education funding a priority for the past two years, a reversal from his first year in office when the legislature approved a $1.3 billion cut to public schools. The money has been steadily increasing since then. Now Scott is campaigning on even more money for education.

Three proposed state constitutional amendment are slated for Florida’s November ballot. So far most of the media and the public’s attention has been paid to two of them. But the one proposal that could have the most impact on state policy, is the one many people are overlooking.

Some political watchers say Florida is heading toward a crisis in the judicial system.

Florida’s public universities will risk more money this year in an effort to convince Florida lawmakers to give them additional funds. The state university system governing board wants the legislature to increase the public university budget by more than $200 million,  half of which would be awarded based on individual schools’ performance.

The Florida Board of Governors is weighing how national rankings should impact the state’s public universities. When it comes to evaluating schools, the board agrees metrics should matter, but how much?

Florida’s state university system governing board wants the public universities to climb in the national rankings. But which one? Several groups rank schools. U.S. News and World Report is the most popular,  but there’s also Newsweek, and Kiplinger. The Princeton Review. And none of the outlets ranks the schools the same way. s

About 40,000 Families that purchased prepaid college and university savings plans with the state of Florida could see the costs of those plans drop.

Florida State University’s presidential search committee will meet Friday to whittle down a list of candidates for the school’s top job. Nearly 40 names includes the school’s interim president, who is looking to make her post permanent.

Florida State University’s former President Eric Barron recruited Stokes. She served as provost and when Barron left earlier this year to head Penn State University, Stokes took over as interim president. She says others encouraged her to apply for the job before she made the decision to jump into the fray.

Florida lawmakers are returning to Tallahassee this week to redraw congressional voting districts invalidated by a judge. The move comes just weeks before voters head to the polls to cast ballots later this month.

Update 3:40 p.m: The move has raised questions about whether the state will be able to hold the scheduled August 26th primary but one local election’s supervisor is telling his constituents i’s business as usual.

Florida’s top high school graduates are getting a new financial incentive to go to Florida universities.

Tucked away in the state budget is a program aimed at rewarding Florida students designated as National Merit scholars, called the Florida National Merit Scholarship Initiative.

Choosing the right college or university is usually a big decision for most students, but choosing an untested one was an even bigger decision for Edison Collegiate High School Senior Natalie Ekdahl.

When she told her friends where she was going she says,  “most of them asked what it was, they’d never heard about it. But a few of them, they were excited about it and had heard good things about it too.”

Florida high school seniors continue to struggle in math and reading, according to the latest report from the National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP.

The Florida Democratic Party is taking shots at Governor Rick Scott over a proposal giving undocumented students access to in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Party officials are slamming Scott over a watered-down version of the bill now in play in the legislature.

The Florida House is cobbling together several different health-related bills in the hope the combined proposal will sway the Senate to vote for them. But the new, combined proposal still doesn’t sway some in the originating chamber.

School choice opponents are lining up against a proposal giving students with disabilities additional funding. They say while the intent of the bill is noble, they fear it will lead to even greater segregation within Florida’s education system.

Florida lawmakers have been weighing how to regulate telemedicine—generating debate between doctors’ groups and other healthcare providers. The House has been moving its telehealth proposal along, but the Senate version of the bill had its first hearing Tuesday.

A former Florida A&M University band member has been sentenced to jail for the 2011 death of a drum major.

In all 13 people were charged in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Six have received probation but no jail or prison sentences.

Friday, Jessie Baskin became the first person to receive a jail sentence in the case. Baskin  received a year behind bars, along with five years of probation and 300 hours of community service for his role in the hazing ritual aboard a bus in Orlando that led to Champion’s death.

A spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year is coming into view as both chambers of the Legislature finalize their respective budget proposals. Wednesday the House Appropriations Committee signed off on that chamber’s $75 billion spending plan.

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More students could get scholarships to go to private school next year under a planned expansion of the state’s corporate tax scholarship program. But those students may also be subjected to state exams.

Quietly and without much fanfare, Florida’s health insurance marketplace made its debut earlier this week, but it should not to be confused with the federal health insurance exchanges and Obamacare.

“We’re not in competition with the federal exchange. We’re not offering subsidies—those can only come from the federal exchange," says Florida Health Choices Director Rose Naff, who  is quick to point out the differences between the program she’s running—and that of the federal government.

Florida State University’s provost will become the school’s interim president. Garnett Stokes takes the helm of Florida State as current university President Eric Barron departs for Penn state.

Barron was appointed Penn State University’s new university president last month. Florida State University Trustees named Stokes to the interim position as the school begins a national presidential search.

South Florida's Assisted Living Facilities were the subject of a series of 2011 Miami Herald reports alleging lax oversight and abuse of residents in several South Florida facilities. Now, years later, Florida lawmakers are inching closer on bills cracking down on the industry.

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