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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.

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An elementary school in Brooksville is removing all of its teachers at the end of the school year. 

In a letter sent to parents on Monday, Lori Romano, the superintendent of the Hernando County School District said Moton Elementary School needs a fresh start.

Sarasota High School / Sarasota County Schools

School districts across Florida are grappling with how to implement a new law adopted after the mass school shooting in Parkland.

In the next  academic year, all schools in the state must have at least one school resource officer on campus.

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Starting this fall, public school students in Pinellas County can sleep in a little longer.


After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida students have not shied away from debating public policy.

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.

Maglab Renewed With A $184 Million Federal Boost

Apr 3, 2018

The National Science Foundation announced Monday that it has renewed support for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, with an investment of $184 million over the next five years.

Students at the Florida high school where 17 students and staff members were massacred are now carrying their belongings in clear plastic backpacks in hopes that it will make it difficult to smuggle weapons onto campus.

High school students in Immokalee, who are on the college track, are earning scholarship dollars by tutoring elementary school kids in their community. As part of the program, the teenagers also have adult mentors who advise them throughout their adolescence. 

Four key Constitution Revision Commission proposals that could impact K-12 education are a step closer to being in front of voters in November.

Will adding language that promotes civic literacy into the state constitution make Florida’s students more aware of their rights? A proposal to do just that is moving forward in the Constitution Revision Commission.

The STEMI Coalition

The Florida Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo is pushing the envelope for students interested in STEM subjects.

“Whereas STEM is very straight sense, science, technology, engineering, and math, STEMIE takes it that next step further,” says Tracy Zuluaga, Executive Director of Bright Young Minds Coalition. STEMIE adds emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship on to the traditional STEM curriculum.

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."

Florida school districts could get more money to hire school resource officers depending on what happens with a contentious program that allows school personnel to carry guns.

Gov. Rick Scott quickly signed a new $88.7 billion state budget that boosts funding for K-12 education by $485 million. But many district superintendents say the package still shortchanges schools.

Superintendents from around the state are petitioning Gov. Rick Scott to hold a special session to address what they feel is a paltry increase to K-12 schools’ per-student funding.

Action Network

Students at high schools across Tampa Bay are speaking out on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland high school shooting.

Students from across the country are planning to participate in a coordinated national walkout on Wednesday in response to the high school shooting in Parkland.

University Money Could Help Draw Top Researchers

Mar 14, 2018

Florida universities will share $151 million in funding next academic year that will allow them to recruit top-level researchers and improve professional and graduate schools.

Legislative leaders are touting this year’s $101 increase in K-12 per student funding as “unprecedented.” But education officials say that billing is misleading.

The Legislature’s new plan to arm school employees as a last line of defense to an active shooter might never get tested in Florida’s biggest school districts.

Officials in 10 of the state’s largest systems, which educate nearly 60 percent of all Florida school children, said they have no intention of giving teachers or other staff guns to carry into classrooms.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Many school boards across Tampa Bay are voicing their opposition to a bill in the Florida legislature that would arm school personnel.

Crystal River Middle School

Dayanna Volitich is a Citrus County teacher who has been removed from the classroom in response to the discovery that she hosts a white nationalist podcast.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Since the Parkland school shooting, sixteen-year-old Alex Barrow says Hillsborough High School has an environment of fear.

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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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Residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties will vote on whether or not to support their respective school through property taxes in a special election on March 20.

When Sarah Lerner walked into her classroom on Friday, she felt like time had stood still.

Abandoned quizzes sat on her students’ desks. Their backpacks were scattered around the room and cell phones plugged into electrical outlets. The date was still on the board: Feb. 14.

It was the first time she’d been to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since that day, when she sheltered 15 students from a shooter who opened fire in the hallways. Seventeen people died, and more than a dozen others were injured.

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

Metal detectors at schools, better coordination between agencies and keeping guns out of the hands of people who are mentally ill were among the solutions three groups of experts handed Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott, as state leaders search for ways to prevent tragedies like last week’s mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Broward County high school.

Hundreds of students from around the state rallied at the Florida Capitol Wednesday. They joined Parkland students to promote their gun control cause and convince lawmakers to look into what they see as better policies.

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