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Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is a reporter and host for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy has covered everything from the affordable housing crisis to the ever growing cultural landscape of Tampa Bay and Sarasota.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Public Radio Journalist's Association, Florida Associated Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

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Cathy Carter

Florida students have not shied away from debating public policy since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Crystal River Middle School

A Florida middle school teacher accused of promoting racist views has resigned.

The educator first came under fire after it was revealed she was the host of a white nationalist podcast.

On her show called “Unapologetic,” social studies teacher Dayanna Volitich, argued that some races are smarter than others and suggested that Muslims be exterminated to prevent terrorism.

Florida’s retail industry is gearing up for this year’s back-to-school sales tax “holiday” on clothes, classroom supplies and computer equipment, with the state offering the tax break for five days .
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Residents of Hillsborough County can get an update on public school issues at a special town hall meeting on Wednesday.

School board member April Griffin says she initially planned the gathering to update the community on the district's financial woes.

"And then Parkland happened,” she said. “I wanted to educate the public on what we've already done in Hillsborough County for our students and for our staff's safety."

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School District of Manatee County

State lawmakers have approved funding for more school resource officers for the 2018-19 school year.  

But some Tampa Bay area school districts aren't waiting to beef up security.

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Florida has received another reprieve in submitting its education plan to the federal government.

Two main views tend to emerge when it comes to the topic of school vouchers.

Advocates say they give disadvantaged kids access to better schools. But opponents say vouchers drain money and resources from traditional public schools.  

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In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into federal law. ESSA passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. It's a long-term plan that succeeds the No Child Left Behind Act.

Pixabay.com

In 2017, Florida lawmakers passed a law that allows kids to attend any public school in the state, regardless of where they live. 

The state joined 42 other states that have policies allowing students to attend a school outside of their resident district.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Professional mermaid isn't a position that comes up often for job seekers. But for 70 years, a Florida roadside attraction has been the profession's biggest employer. 

On a cold, gray Saturday morning, dozens of women swam laps in iceberg blue water at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park as onlookers bundled up in coats and mittens cheered them on.

Close to 60 aspiring mermaids are competing to earn just eight slots on the park's famous mermaid squad.

Courtesy of the estate of Syd Solomon.

Across Florida, there are communities where artists seem to gravitate and Sarasota is one of those places. Now, years after his death, one of the city's most influential artist's continues to have an impact.

MoneyBlogNewz / Flickr Creative Commons

Florida's minimum wage will increase by 15 cents next year.

On January 1, the state's minimum wage will go from $8.10 per hour to $8.25 an hour. Tipped workers meanwhile will earn $5.23 an hour, also an increase of 15 cents.

Florida voters approved a statewide minimum wage in 2004. The Florida Minimum Wage Amendment was approved by a 71 % margin.  It’s recalculated each year based on the Consumer Price Index.

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A new Florida law aims to streamline parenting plans for unmarried parents.  

On January 1, the state's Department of Revenue will have the authority to provide parents with a proposed Standard Parenting Time Plan.

The plan would determine, among other things, where the child will live and how parental responsibility shall be shared.

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The new Republican tax law is prompting plenty of questions and many of them are coming from homeowners.

Outback Bowl

Tampa Bay businesses will be laying out the welcome mat for fans arriving ahead of the 2018 Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

Economists say college football's bowl season is a boon to host cities.

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The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to wade in on the state’s controversial new education law.

The case has now been transferred to the Leon County Circuit Court instead.

Cathy Carter

A new law allows any Florida resident to question what's being taught in the state's public schools.

A handful of complaints have been filed in school districts across the state since the law took effect in July. Previously, challenges to curriculum and instructional material could only be made by parents.

Sometimes when something is as universal, necessary and mundane as eating, it's hard to make "food" sound special. But not for the people on this Florida Matters.

WUSF has been talking to people who communicate their passion about food in particularly interesting ways. Food...as muse.


Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ends today but its impact on Florida will be felt for years to come.

After Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys in September, officials attributed 72 deaths in the state to the storm, including 10 in Tampa Bay. The death toll does not include 12 patients who died after power went out at a South Florida nursing home. Those have been ruled as homicides.

Pinellas County Schools

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego has been named Florida’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year.

Earlier this month, Grego was selected as the Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association. On Wednesday, his fellow Florida school superintendents presented him with the award at a statewide meeting in Tampa.

Pixabay.com

Just three states hold elections for local school superintendents and Florida is one of them. But a proposed constitutional amendment could change things. 

Most superintendents in Florida, 41 of 67, are elected by popular vote.  That stands in contrast to the vast majority in the country where school superintendents are typically selected by members of school boards.

Beginning Monday, members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission will consider whether that position should be one appointed by school boards.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill to create a statewide board to oversee Florida’s 28 state and community colleges.

The schools are now under the State Board of Education, which also oversees Florida’s pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade system.

The proposal also revives a plan college presidents objected to last year: stricter performance measures for graduation.

Jodi Bardelli

Hundreds of Hillsborough County school teachers protested at Tuesday's School Board meeting in Tampa.

Friction between teachers and administrators began surfacing last month when teachers were told they would not be getting a pay raise. Under a negotiated pay plan, teachers have received a four thousand dollar increase every three years if they attain high evaluation scores. 

But now, the school district says it cannot afford the $17 million dollars it would take to pay out those performance raises to teachers and support staff.

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More than 5,000 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Florida public schools since Hurricane Maria.

In the seven weeks since the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, the majority of schools in Puerto Rico still don't have electricity or running water.  While most students have settled in Central and South Florida, school systems across Tampa Bay were also impacted.

When the new Legislative session begins in January, lawmakers will debate policy and craft budgets.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg hopes to attract both Star Wars fans and fashionistas to their newest exhibition.

"Star Wars, and the Power of Costume" opens this weekend for members of the museum and on Monday for the general public.

It's almost Election Day in Pinellas County. And Sunday, Nov. 5 is the early voting deadline.

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.   

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.

Nonesuch Records

The new season of a "Prairie Home Companion" can be heard on WUSF every weekend.

And on Wednesday, its host will be in Tampa to play a concert at the Straz Center.

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. 

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