3:05 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

12 Charged with Manslaughter in FAMU Death

Prosecutors are charging 12 former Florida A&M University band members with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of a drum major.
  • Source: Ap
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Prosecutors are charging 12 former Florida A&M University band members with manslaughter in the 2011 hazing death of a drum major.Ten of the band members had been charged last May with felony hazing for the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, but prosecutors said Monday they are raising the charges to manslaughter.
6:48 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Florida's School Systems Brace for Impact of Sequestration

Florida school districts will lose more than $85 million after President Obama and Congress failed to reach a compromise to avoid automatic federal budget cuts.

The cuts -- known as sequestration -- trim $85 billion for the military, schools, airports, national parks and other programs.

StateImpact Florida reporter John O'Connor spoke with WUSF's Craig Kopp about just how soon school districts will start feeling the pinch.

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8:54 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Weatherford Says FL Poly No "Disaster"

House Speaker Will Weatherford

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told The Ledger Wednesday that he did not call Florida's newest university a "disaster," as had earlier been reported. He said his remarks to the editorial board of the Tampa Tribune earlier in the week were directed toward a request by Florida Polytechnic for additional state funds.

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2:26 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Weatherford: FL Poly Could Be Satellite, But Not With USF

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford

While Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says Florida Polytechnic University is "a disaster" that could use an outside ally, he's looking for an entity more like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and not USF -- the university Florida Poly was spun off from.

Speaking to the Tampa Tribune editorial board, the Wesley Chapel Republican presented what he admits is "a crazy idea... go talk to MIT or CalTech or Stanford and see if they want to have a satellite campus in Florida."

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10:30 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Moffitt inventors earn national recognition

One helped bring the nascent Internet into our homes and now hopes to send tiny robotic cameras and surgical instruments into our bodies. Another maintains that solar power must play a significant role in U.S. energy needs. Another demonstrated that bone marrow and stem cells can be transformed into neural cells that may help victims of stroke, spinal cord injury and Lou Gehrig's disease. Five University of South Florida professors, along with the head of Moffitt Cancer Center who holds a joint appointment to USF, have now been recognized for their career accomplishments by being named charter fellows in the National Academy of Inventors. The accolades reflect the fact that USF is now the No. 1 university in the state in generating patents.
One helped bring the nascent Internet into our homes and now hopes to send tiny robotic cameras and surgical instruments into our bodies. Another maintains that solar power must play a significant role in U.S. energy needs.
1:15 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Florida Lawmakers Might Delay New Education Standards, Testing For Some Grades

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 11:22 am

Florida lawmakers are considering allowing the state education commissioner to partially delay implementation of new, tougher education standards and testing.

Senate education committee chairman John Legg, R-Port Richey, says Education Commissioner Tony Bennett has asked for 120 days to survey Florida school districts as to whether they can meet the fall 2014 deadline for new education standards.

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12:51 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Live Chat on Florida Education: What Will Happen in 2013?


StateImpact Florida, WUSF's education reporting project, is co-hosting an online chat about education on Tuesday.

We'll talk about issues like proposed teacher salary increases and whether charter school teachers should be evaluated the same way traditional public school teachers are. Senate President Don Gaetz says they should not. 

We'll also talk about Florida lawmakers potentially delaying the implementation of new, tougher education standards and tests under Common Core, and anything else you want to discuss. 

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12:51 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

USF Students Head to Tallahasee to Talk Education Funding

Florida Capitol

A few busloads of students from all three University of South Florida campuses will be heading to Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet with state lawmakers.

At least 70 students, along with university officials including President Judy Genshaft and head football coach Willie Taggart, will take part in USF Day at the Capitol.

They'd like to talk to legislators about a number of issues, including in-state tuition for veterans.

But USF Student Government President Brian Goff says the major topic of discussion will be funding for higher education.

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12:41 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Critics Denounce Poly U's Request for More Funding

Florida Polytechnic University's first building, under construction alongside I-4 in Lakeland
Credit Chris Urso /

In a move that's prompting a round of "I told you so's" from critics, Florida Polytechnic University trustees are asking state legislators for $25 million in additional funding.

The Tampa Tribune reports those who stood opposed to creating the new university last year are again voicing their displeasure.

"I told my colleagues and I told the governor last year that this was going to be a monstrous cost," said state Rep. Mike Fasano, a Republican from New Port Richey who was in the Senate at the time. "Very few people wanted to listen. Now it's coming back to haunt them."

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7:22 am
Mon February 11, 2013

House Bill Would Use Gun Taxes for School Security

State Rep. Linda Stewart (D) of Orlando

The Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting has revived the debate in many state legislatures over new gun laws as well as school security and mental health care.

After holding roundtable discussions with gun owners, teachers and law enforcement officers, State Rep. Linda Stewart of Orlando came to a conclusion about Florida’s elementary schools.

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1:48 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Cats Flaunt Frank Lloyd Wright Style 'Cafes' at Florida Southern

Florida Southern College in Lakeland is home to a collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The college is making way for six more F.L. Wright-inspired structures. These new structures will only be 5 feet tall- they're for cats.
LAKELAND | Treasured for its storied collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, esplanades and soaring fountain, Florida Southern College is making room for six more structures inspired by the famed architect. These new structures will be small - only about 5 feet high and 3 feet wide.
University Beat
4:33 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Tampa Bay College Students Can Earn Degree After Transfering

Hillsborough Community College president Ken Atwater signs a "reverse transfer" agreement Monday as University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft looks on. The agreement allows students who transfer to the University of South Florida to earn credits toward an associate's degree from one of four Tampa Bay colleges.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Students who transfer to the University of South Florida can still earn a degree at their former school.

USF and four Tampa Bay colleges signed a "reverse transfer" agreement Monday.

That means when a student completes a class a USF, the credits can count toward an associate's degree at Hillsborough Community College, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Polk State College and St. Petersburg College.

HCC president Ken Atwater says students who earn enough credits at USF will automatically receive their degree.

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5:38 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Fed Ex Gives Plane to Polk School

Fed Ex donates 727 to Aerospace Academy
Credit Sun 'n Fun

A group of about 200 schoolchildren, teachers, local officials and aviation buffs gathered  to watch a Boeing 727 aircraft make its final landing at Lakeland Linder airport's Sun 'n Fun campus Friday.

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11:40 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Rocky the Bull Wants Twitter Votes for Shorty Awards

Rocky the Bull- USF's mascot, is asking people to cast their votes on Twitter for the university. USF is nominated for a Shorty Award which honors those who produce real-time short content across social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr. USF is ranked fifth out of 174 nominated schools.
TAMPA | In the video plea, Rocky the Bull is trying to tweet on the smooth surface of a smartphone, but his fingers are just too fat. And furry. That's why, the video explains, the school mascot needs people with actual skin to cast Twitter votes for the University of South Florida.
4:44 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Florida Private Schools Team Up To Create A School Emergency Plan

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:21 pm

Private schools in Florida are coming together to share their resources in case of a school emergency.

Dana Markham is the president of Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale. She says private, independent schools don’t have a support network the way public schools do.

Public middle and high schools, for example, share School Resource Officers — police officers who visit school campuses every day. Markham says if private schools want a police officer on their campuses, they have to pay an off-duty officer and hire them through a law enforcement agency.

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