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Education

We're dedicated to telling you stories about policy and public spending, and how they affect students in Florida schools. Our WUSF News reporters team up with our public media partners across Florida to bring you a more comprehensive look at learning.

To see coverage from our prior StateImpact Florida project, visit here.

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This year, there have been stories of schoolchildren being sent home because of blistering heat in classrooms where the air conditioning is either broken or on the way out.

Update: Many student borrowers have responded to this story by sharing stories of their struggles with PSLF. We've curated many of them here.

On the morning of Monday, Aug. 27, Seth Frotman told his two young daughters that he would likely be home early that day and could take them to the playground. They cheered.

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A recent story on the Huffington Post website revealed that some Florida private schools have discriminatory policies despite accepting students with publically-funded school vouchers.

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A 42-foot long traveling exhibit that is crossing the country to encourage digital reading is coming to the Tampa Bay area.

The Digital Bookmobile National Tour will be stopping in Ruskin on Thursday and Largo on Friday to educate the community on using digital books.

Federal Judge Blocks Releasing Records of FIU Bridge

Oct 7, 2018

Siding with arguments of transportation-safety officials, a federal judge Friday blocked an attempt by the Miami Herald to get records related to a March bridge collapse at Florida International University that killed six people.

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The founder of a company that operated charter schools in several Florida counties was found guilty of using those schools to steer millions of dollars into his personal accounts.

Sarasota High School / Sarasota County Schools

Starting next school year, the State College of Florida will no longer offer college-level courses in Sarasota and Manatee county high schools.

Instead, students can only access dual enrollment classes online or at SCF campuses.

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Last month was the Tampa Bay Area’s hottest September on record and because of constant air conditioning problems, some Hillsborough County students felt the heat more than others.

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Tampa Bay school districts are working to implement new safety measures based on assessment feedback.

End Common Core. Pay new teachers $50,000 a year.

These education platforms are likely to be politically effective for the major party gubernatorial candidates — Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, respectively. But actually implementing them would be more complicated than voters might glean from candidates' stump speeches.

The state's newest school voucher program is ramping up.

Beginning Monday Oct. 1, Floridians purchasing a new car will now have the option to designate up to $105 of the vehicle's sales tax to fund what's called Hope Scholarships.  The money generated from the new car sales tax program will help fund scholarships for students who are being bullied at school.

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The University of Central Florida is extending its offer of in-state tuition to students who came to the school from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria.

At midnight, Oct. 1, the rush begins.

Eillin Delapaz / WUSF Public Media

Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum's running mate came to Tampa Tuesday to unveil the Democrats' $1 billion "Fair Share for Florida's Future" plan to revamp the state's public schools.

U.S. Department of Education

The Florida Board of Education on Friday advanced a $21.8 billion request for public school funding in the next budget year, including a $200 boost in per-student funds and increased funding for school-safety initiatives.

To millions of parents and students, they're magical words: free college.

But is the idea pure fantasy?

More than a dozen states now offer grants, often called scholarships, promising to help qualifying students pay for some or all of their college education. In fact, that word, "promise," shows up again and again in these programs' official names: Nevada Promise, Oklahoma's Promise, Oregon Promise, Tennessee Promise ... you get the idea.

A controversial education amendment will not go to voters in November.

In a 4-3 decision, Florida's Supreme Court has ruled that Amendment 8 should remain off the ballot.

The court upheld the order of a Leon County Judge who decreed the measure's title and summary to be misleading.

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Hillsborough County residents will see a new tax referendum on their November ballots.

Voters will decide if they support a half-cent sales tax to help pay for improvements to the county's public schools.

Before Lori Alhadeff ran for a seat on her local school board, she had no experience in politics. She didn't even consider herself a "political person," she says.

That changed when her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, died in the Parkland school shooting. In February, a former student killed 14-year-old Alyssa and 16 other people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The mother of a Florida high school massacre victim easily won a school board seat Tuesday, but the father of another victim was trailing an incumbent and a former teacher lost to another in an election seen as a referendum on district policies before and after February's shooting.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Members of the Hillsborough County School Board voted Friday to add a new tax referendum to November's ballot.

Florida's top incoming legislative leaders are rejecting Gov. Rick Scott's push to redirect $58 million so school districts can hire more campus police officers. The lawmakers say the state should stay with a program they crafted that puts armed security guards and staff members in its public schools.

A long-running lawsuit over whether the state is properly funding its public schools is now before the Florida Supreme Court.  Oral arguments have been scheduled for November 8th.

Creative Commons

Florida remains the only state that hasn't received approval of a federally mandated education plan.

Now, civil rights groups are weighing in on the delay.

The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states latitude in creating systems for measuring student success, but they still have to be accepted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Florida's ESSA plan was initially rejected for failing to address several provisions including testing for English language learners.

Cathy Carter

According to the state's largest teacher's union, educators vote at a higher rate than the average Floridian.

Several dozen Pinellas County teachers gathered in downtown St. Petersburg Sunday for a "Get Out The Vote" rally. Like their counterparts across the country, the teachers wore the color red as a sign of solidarity. 

USF Libraries

In December 2017, Pinellas County community leaders met to discuss the state of education in the county.

They ended up commissioning a report looking at how to best educate students after high school. The group explored metrics related to college and career readiness, access and affordability, college performance and workforce and economic outcomes.

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to persuade a Leon County Circuit judge today to strip a constitutional amendment proposal off the November ballot. The amendment in question is number eight, which combines several issues into one proposal like term limits for local school board, mandating civics be taught. But  the part the league takes issue with the section that deals with approving new charter schools.

The application process has begun for a new state scholarship designed to help kids who are struggling with reading.

Passed into law this spring as part of a larger education bill, the scholarships will give $500 to students who score below the Level 3 passing grade on the state's third and fourth-grade reading exam.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

School districts across Florida are scrambling to meet a deadline to install security officers in every single public school.

Florida "medallion scholars" will be among the biggest beneficiaries this academic year of the state's efforts to expand financial aid for university and state college students.

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