LISTEN LIVE

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.

Latvala: Budget Cuts May Be Necessary To Pay For Teacher Raises

Oct 17, 2019

A House education panel on Thursday began delving into the issue of raising teacher pay, with a key lawmaker saying that while "everything is on the table," the panel still needs to figure out where the money would come from.

How Florida classrooms will be taught post-Common Core will be the focus of a listening tour stop in Tampa Thursday by Florida's top education official, Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

The state's Education Practices Commission on Tuesday unanimously rejected a settlement agreement between the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and Manatee County Schools Superintendent Cynthia Saunders.

These are second graders at Broward Elementary in Tampa.
Hillsborough County School District

A plan to raise minimum salaries for Florida teachers by an average $10,000 a year is being greeted by Tampa Bay union leaders with mild applause and great concern.

DeSantis Wants To Raise Minimum Teacher Salaries To $47,500

Oct 7, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to raise the minimum salary of Florida teachers to $47,500, a proposal that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and likely will be a key issue during the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

teacher in class with children
U.S. Department of Education

The powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee filed a proposal Friday that would repeal the state’s long-controversial “Best and Brightest” teacher bonus program.

The potential impeachment of a President, like Donald Trump, is a highly partisan affair, where truth can be hard to find.

Political science professor Frank Orlando of St. Leo University is teaching his students to understand it through the lens of both history, and strategy.

In a 95-page ruling, an administrative law judge Friday backed a decision by the Manatee County School Board to terminate a contract with a charter school that he said showed “gross financial mismanagement,” including failing to pay salaries and payroll taxes, getting cut off by food suppliers and facing a shutoff of water service.

Nine county school boards, including Polk County, are going to the Florida Supreme Court in a battle about the constitutionality of a controversial 2017 law that sought to bolster charter schools.

At-Risk Girls At Higher Risk Of Violence And Bullying, Report Says

Sep 26, 2019

At-risk girls in Florida face growing rates of violence and victimization, according to a report released Wednesday. 

Florida Lawmakers To Weigh Teacher Salary, Bonus Increases

Sep 25, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been tight-lipped about the details of his teacher-compensation plan for the upcoming legislative session, but this week he suggested doing away with a controversial bonus program.

Florida education czar Richard Corcoran bristles at being called a disrupter.

Florida Launches Campaign To Stop School Threats

Sep 17, 2019

The state wants kids to understand the trouble they can get into by making school threats. So, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has launched an awareness campaign called “It’s No Joke.”

Nearly 800 Florida kids were charged with offenses related to school threats in the last fiscal year.

School districts in 11 Florida counties are open to training teachers to carry guns in schools as a defense tactic in case of shooting situations, according to an official with the state Department of Education. 

Nearly 300,000 students attend charter schools in Florida. Charters are taxpayer funded, privately run and are changing the state’s public education system.

We spent the full hour taking a closer look at the growth of the charter school movement in Florida with:

Florida's Auditor General Focuses On Student Data Protection

Sep 12, 2019

Florida is cracking down to ensure school districts, state colleges and state universities are protecting students' Social Security numbers.

As mass shootings continue to rock the country, Florida lawmakers say more needs to be done to ensure students are safe. For some that means allowing more guns on college campuses. But for many students at Florida State University that proposal leads to more feelings of fear than safety.

The prospect of Hurricane Dorian dumping inches of rain across the region has prompted several public school districts to add an extra day off this Labor Day weekend.

Florida’s largest teachers union is calling for a 10-year, $22 billion  investment into the state’s public schools. The Florida Education Association is calling its plan the "Decade of Progress."

Standing at the speaker's lectern Tuesday night, Hillsborough County Athletic Director Lanness Robinson lauded the new partnership with three health care agencies that will put certified trainers in all 27 high schools.
Screenshot from Hillsborough County School Board

All 27 Hillsborough County high schools will soon have an athletic trainer on campus.

The school board's decision on Tuesday to spend $270,000 for the program comes two months after an incoming freshman football player at Middleton High in Tampa died after taking part in conditioning drills.

Florida schools are reopening for a new academic year. With the new year, comes new changes, including a new rule that Florida public schools are now required to provide mental and emotional health education to middle and high school students.

Schools will give information about coping skills, ways to sustain good mental health, suicide prevention and the impacts of substance abuse. It comes as attending school is potentially becoming more stressful.

Manatee Literacy Council Executive Director Lillian Santiago Bauza and adult English language learner, Cecilia Cortez, a native of Colombia.
Cathy Carter

Public schools are known for helping children who don’t speak English as a native language. But there isn't as much focus on "English Language Learner" education for adults with a similar language barrier.

Everyday situations like filling out a job application, reading street signs or going to the doctor can be daunting for someone born in a non-English speaking country.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld speaks at a podium
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF

Americans owe $1.5 trillion dollars in student debt. Some Democratic presidential candidates argue that free tuition is the answer. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
SAM TURKEN / WLRN

South Florida is heading back to school. Palm Beach County students started classes on Monday. Broward and Monroe Counties start Wednesday, and students in Miami-Dade go back Aug. 19.

Safety and security are still on the minds of teachers, parents, students and state officials at this start to the second school year since the Parkland shooting. Several school districts in the state — most of which are in South Florida — were found over the summer to still not be in compliance with state safety laws.

Psychologist Eddy Regnier
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF Public Media

Schools across the state are back in session, many with increased security measures and monthly active shooter drills, in an effort to ramp up security in the wake of last year’s deadly massacre at Marjory Stoneman Dougas High School in Parkland. 

Florida Officials Eye Safety, Mental Health Ahead Of School Year

Aug 9, 2019

With the start of a new school year just around the corner, Florida officials are eyeing policy changes that would expand the number of mental health professionals in schools and ensure that charter schools are meeting safety requirements. 

MacDill Air Force Base Commander Col. Stephen Snelson addressed teachers who work at Tinker K-8 on base during an orientation program about military culture.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Monday is the first day of school in Hillsborough County and teachers are preparing for the new year. For teachers at Tinker K-8 on MacDill Air Force Base, that includes learning about military culture at an orientation program the base hosted Thursday.

BestFit Foundation clothing rack.
Arpan Bagui

Between participating in sports, traveling with clubs, and attending prom, high school can be expensive.

Those costs are what prompted six King High School students in Tampa to start the BestFit Foundation.

Children do math during the summer at Alta Vista Elementary in Sarasota
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF

In mid-July, eight third-graders sit cross-legged on the floor as they work intently on a math problem, using small eraser boards in their laps. Many are wearing their school uniforms, even though it's summer break. 

Pages