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School voucher proposal gets new life listen

04/25/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The state Commission that meets once every 20 years finished up its business today with a flourish. The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission adjourned today after voting to revive the school tuition-voucher program that was axed by the Florida Supreme Court nearly 2 ½ years ago.

The Commission also passed a proposal requiring school districts to spend 65 cents of every education dollar in the classroom. They later decided to combine the two as one ballot item.

The voucher proposal woul...

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USF students protest budget cut plan listen

04/22/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Today at the University of South Florida Tampa campus, more than 200 students marched to stop what they fear will be the consolidation of small departments.

Students and faculty from Africana Studies, Women’s Studies and other departments ended their march by cramming into a breezeway of the Administration Building. There they asked heated questions for over an hour of Ralph Wilcox, who is USF’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

After a rally on the Martin Luther K...

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Critics try to stop "Academic Freedom" bill listen

04/14/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A group formed to stop creationism from being taught in public school science classes spoke out in Tallahassee today.

The Florida Citizens for Science criticized the Evolution Academic Freedom Act bills pending in both houses in the state legislature.

The bill is being sponsored in the Senate by Eastern Hillsborough Republican Ronda Storms, and in the House by Lake County Republican D. Alan Hays.

In a bid to reduce criticism that the bill paves the way for creationism to be taught...

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USF proposes cuts in three departments

04/10/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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A task force of USF faculty, students and staff released a report last month that calls for major cuts in Women’s tudies, Africana studies and Latin American studies.

The committee said that the undergraduate major could be cut in Africana studies and Women’s studies, and that the graduate degree could be eliminated in the Women's studies department. These changes would result in some faculty budget lines being removed.

Joining us now to talk about this issue are:

Kim Vaz, Associa...

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FAST assembly addresses citizen's concerns listen

04/08/08 Jamie Kidder
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Faith and Action for Strength Together (FAST) is a Pinellas County faith-based orginization that works toward community justice.

FAST held its annual Nehemiah Action Assembly in Largo last night, where local community leaders, members of law enforcement and local government officials were invited to answer questions about issues that FAST members feel should be addressed.

The topics included education, affordable housing and crime. Members of FAST asked a series of yes-or-no questions t...

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Parents push schools to go green listen

04/01/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A group of environmentally conscious parents and educators has formed in Hillsborough County to encourage schools to go green. This Environmental Improvement Force met today to share their accomplishments and ideas for upcoming initiatives with Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

The Environmental Improvement Force met at the Jan Platt Library in South Tampa. Leslie Farrell, chairman and founder, described the group's mission.

“We’re a nonpolitical, nonpro...

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Palm Beach schools sued over minority graduation rates listen

03/31/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Low graduation rates, especially among minority students, in the School District of Palm Beach County have led to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Muslima Lewis is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida and director of their Racial Justice Project.

Today, WMNF spoke with Lewis about the lawsuit and about the high school graduation rates in Palm Beach County and in Florida.

Learn more:

ACLU of Florida

...

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Report: Florida falls short on education investment listen

03/31/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Last month, the chief economist for former Gov. Jeb Bush released a report that shows Florida falling behind from other states in attracting high-wage jobs because of its lack of investment in education and inadequate linkage between schools and economic development.

Economist Antonio Villamil, who worked for the former governor, says Florida ranks 46 among the 50 states in combined state and local spending for public schools. His report was commissioned by the United Teachers of Dade Coun...

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Declining demand for teachers in state’s schools? listen

03/24/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Because of state budget cuts and declining student enrollment, some of the largest school districts in Florida are expected to hire fewer teachers this fall than they have in the recent past. This follows years of increased recruitment due to a chronic shortage of teachers in the state.

Andrea Zahn is director of communications for Pinellas County Schools. She says the county expects to hire about 100-200 fewer teachers this fall. Student enrollment is projected to be lower next year in P...

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ACLU meeting focuses on racial justice listen

03/12/08 Jamie Kidder
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The Tampa ACLU held a meeting on racial justice at the John F. Germany Library in Tampa yesterday. The speakers touched on subjects pertaining to racial injustice, such as felon disenfranchisment and educational inequality.

The Florida ACLU is one of the fastest growing ACLU affiliates in the nation, with local chapters in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Gainsville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola.

The Tampa chapter of the ACLU has been involved with a number of events in the area...

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