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.

The chair of Miami-Dade County’s school board wants to set a deadline for the district to decide whether to join a  legal challenge against a controversial new charter school law.

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, 18-year-old Ledishla Acevedo booked a flight to Miami in hopes of continuing her college education in Florida.

When she arrived at her cousin’s house here, she turned on the lights and started to cry.

Then she took a hot shower and cried some more.

Cathy Carter

Each spring, third graders in Florida's public schools are required to take a reading exam, and a failing grade could result in a student being held back.

Supporters of the mandatory state test say it helps catch struggling readers early.

But in Sarasota County, educators and community leaders think third grade intervention isn't soon enough.   

Howard Webster’s third graders had “first-day jitters” on Sept. 18. But the first day of school had been nearly a month earlier.

Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center in Homestead was closed for seven school days because of Hurricane Irma, as were most other schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“With the kids being out so long, it's like starting school all over again,” Webster said during an after-school event shortly after the storm.

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You'll work closely with our team of seasoned reporters learning how to research, write and produce stories for radio and online platforms. It’s place where students are treated like a real journalist from the start, assigned stories that matter to millions of Tampa Bay area residents.

Latoya Williams was concerned about her first paycheck after Hurricane Irma.

She couldn’t go to work for seven days because the early childcare center where she teaches was closed because of the storm and its after-effects.

“Whatever I make is what I make,” said Williams. “I have no supplemental income. It really would have been hard and tight."

Like most hourly employees, Williams doesn’t get paid if she doesn’t show up to work— even if the reason is an act of nature. The economic impact of Irma could have a devastating affect on individuals who work hourly jobs.

Hillsborough County School Board

Here's a sample of what the start and end times may look like for students in Hillsborough County in the coming school year. Actual times for individual schools can be found here

The Duval County School District is one of 13 counties that jointly filed a lawsuit in Leon County Monday, against the state regarding a new education law.

Amaury Sablon

Vibhor Nayar spends most of his time at the University of Florida studying mechanical engineering.

But as president of the UF Indian American Student Association, the senior from Fort Lauderdale is distracted by Thursday’s expected arrival of a white nationalist group on the Gainesville campus.

When Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida last month, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency. On Monday, he did the same thing in Alachua County, ahead of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Broward County and a dozen other school districts filed a much-anticipated lawsuit targeting House Bill 7069 on Monday.

Albrina Hendry

Research by the Brookings Institution shows that poor children do worse in school partly because their families have fewer financial resources, but also because their own parents tend to have less education and higher rates of single and teen pregnancy.

A national home based early learning program with chapters in Florida is aiming to level the playing field.

Hurricanes Leave Uncertainly In Florida Schools Enrollment

Oct 13, 2017

The impact of hurricanes may be a complicating factor as lawmakers try to figure out how many students are in Florida's public schools this year and how many might show up next year.

Florida House of Representatives

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Rep. Byron Donalds have unveiled their plan to challenge violence and abuse in schools.

USF Communications and Marketing

When it comes to the top online colleges in Florida, the University of South Florida came in fifth.

OnlineColleges’ annual list of the best online colleges also broke them down by state.

51 Puerto Rican law students have signed up to enroll in universities. 18 schools, including seven in Florida, have agreed to help students fleeing the battered island.

Puerto Ricans fleeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria have already arrived at Florida’s public schools.

Broward County schools took in 128 hurricane refugees last week, mainly from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Miami-Dade district enrolled 31 from Puerto Rico, in addition to the 16 students from the Keys and two from Texas the district got after Irma and Harvey.

School leaders are preparing for what could be a much bigger influx.

Cathy Carter

By the time a girl turns six years old, she begins to lose confidence. That's the conclusion of a recent study on gender stereotypes published in the journal "Science."

But building self-esteem doesn't have to be clinical or complicated. For one local group, it can be accomplished with the belief that "girls rock."

And they mean that quite literally. 

Report: Florida Schools Beginning To Re-Segregate

Sep 28, 2017

Florida schools are beginning to re-segregate by race and income, that’s according to a new public policy report. Highly segregated schools are found in metropolitan urban areas of Florida, with the highest concentration in Miami. The study is from the Leroy Collins Center. And co-author Gary Orfield says schools with more minority students are getting fewer resources.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida students missed several days of school because of Hurricane Irma.

Pam Stewart, the state’s Education Commissioner has waived two make-up days for Florida schools and now local districts are announcing plans for the remaining missed school days.