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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.

Wikipedia

Florida’s combative former House speaker is going to become the state’s education commissioner.

The State Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to select Richard Corcoran of Land O'Lakes for the job.

Days after entering hospice care, Former Florida House Speaker and Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell has died. He was 72.

Wetherell had been battling cancer for 15 years and just last week, his wife announced he had decided to stop treatments and enter hospice.

The Florida Supreme Court has upheld the state’s hazing law and the sentencing of the man convicted in the 2011 Hazing death of Florida A&M University band drum major Robert Champion.

Manatee County School District

Manatee County still doesn't have a permanent school superintendent. 

Just days before the Manatee County School Board was going to offer the position to the interim superintendent Cynthia Saunders, the state education commissioner filed an administrative complaint against her.

A fresh redesign of the ‘Support Education’ specialty license plate was released Tuesday statewide.

It's the first update to the plate since it first launched 25 years ago. It now shows two children basking under palm trees, opening books and stretching out under a beachy sunset.

When a Florida resident purchases or renews this specialty tag, proceeds go directly back to support public schools and classrooms in the county where the tag is registered.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has chosen fellow Republican and Former Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran to head the State Department of Education. Florida’s Board of Education will vote on whether or not Corcoran gets the job later this month.

For public school teacher Kaitlyn McCollum, even simple acts like washing dishes or taking a shower can fill her with dread.

"It will just hit me like a ton of bricks," McCollum says. " 'Oh my God, I owe all of that money.' And it's, like, a knee-buckling moment of panic all over again."

She and her family recently moved to a much smaller, older house. One big reason for the downsizing: a $24,000 loan that McCollum has been unfairly saddled with because of a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education.

More people could still lose their jobs or face other consequences as a result of their actions before, during and after the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland high school, according to the sheriff who chairs a state commission investigating what went wrong.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is preparing to release a report to the governor and Legislature by Jan. 1, and it's likely to include more detail about mistakes made by individuals leading up to the shooting that left 17 people dead, as well as during the slow, chaotic response.

Facebook

Some parents are outraged that a Florida high school conducted an unannounced "code red drill," sending students and teachers into a panic.

Wikipedia

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced he'll nominate outgoing Florida House speaker Richard Corcoran as the state's next education commissioner.

The nomination of the Land O'Lakes Republican is no surprise - the possibility has been talked about for weeks, and his fervent backing of expanding charter schools in the state has already drawn the ire of the state’s teachers union and some Democrats.

A new front in the ongoing battle between Everglades restoration and Florida’s sugar industry has opened up. This time, it’s over a planned water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Environmentalists are suing to block an extension of sugar leases they say could delay construction.


Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

WUSF News is looking for student journalists ready for the opportunity to work in a professional newsroom. We're taking applications for a trio of internships for the Spring 2019 semester, including the Stephen Noble Internship - a semester-long chance to develop into a public radio reporter.

Madeline Pumariega, the chancellor of the Florida college system since 2015, is leaving her position early next month.

In a letter to state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart on Friday, Pumariega, a former top administrator at Miami Dade College, said her resignation is effective on Dec. 3. No reason for her resignation was given in the letter.

She is the first woman and first Hispanic educator to lead the system, which includes 28 colleges and about 720,000 full- and part-time students.

Wikimedia Commons

The founder of a company that operated charter schools in several Florida counties has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday in a nine-year-old case on K-12 education standards.

Sarasota High School / Sarasota County Schools

The Sarasota County School Board has voted to keep its new gender guidelines following weeks of acrimony over the issue of parental notification.

The instructions were sent to Sarasota County schools in October.

Panhandle schools hit hard by Hurricane Michael are re-opening, and many students are experiencing a “new normal” as they return. Some districts are having to get creative to get all students in the classroom.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

At a town hall early this month at Tampa's Pizzo Elementary, Hillsborough School Superintendent Jeff Eakins said the district was out of options and had to go for a sales tax.

Wikimedia Commons

The Sarasota County School Board released a new set of gender guidelines that will allow transgender students to use the restroom that corresponds to their preferred gender identity and names. This decision came after years of back and forth on the best course of action.


Google Maps

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.

Pixabay.com

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.

OverDrive

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.

Flickr

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.

Wikimedia

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.

Pixabay.com

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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