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Florida's Amendment 8 could give more funding to faith-based charities; opponents worry it'll increase school vouchers listen

04/04/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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A proposed amendment appearing on the ballot this fall would overturn the part of Florida’s Constitution that forbids public funds from going to religious organizations. A group called Citizens for Religious Freedom and Non-Discrimination is starting a coalition in support of Amendment 8. At a press conference Wednesday morning in Tampa, one of the amendment’s original authors, former state Representative Juan Zapata said it would allow faith-based charities to better provide public service...

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Alex Sink still undecided about second bid for Governor listen

03/22/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The big question on the minds of Suncoast Tiger Bay Club members was, ‘Will Alex Sink run for Governor again?’” And Thursday, Sink’s answer at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club was the same as it has been for months: never say never. Sink said right now she’s focused on making a difference in Florida as a private citizen.

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink told attendees of the packed Tiger Ba...

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Florida Senate barely kills parent trigger bill listen

03/09/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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A deadlocked vote in the state Senate this afternoon has killed the controversial parent trigger bill. Supporters of the bill tried to revive the pro-charter school legislation after an onslaught of opposition from teacher and parent groups.

Republican Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto told of woman who felt helpless for her child attending a failing school. Benacquisto, the bill’s sponsor, urged Senators to vote for what she named the [Parent Empowermen...

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Parent trigger vote expected Friday; opponents hopeful it will fail listen

03/08/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Update: the parent trigger / parent empowerment bill failed 20-20 Friday

A final state Senate vote on the "parent trigger" bill has been postponed until Friday; it would allow parents to have a say in how to improve a failing school including turning it into a privately run charter school. The bill has already passed in the House, but Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teacher’s Association, said she’s confident there is enough opposition to leave the measure dead Fr...

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USF students protest budget cuts on both sides of the Bay listen

03/01/12 Janelle Irwin & Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Occupy Education, an off-shoot of the Occupy Movement, called for a national day of action today demanding legislation that would increase educational spending instead of cutting budgets. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, student protesters shut down most of the campus. Students at USF campuses in Tampa and St. Pete held events today in solidarity with that effort. Students at both campu...

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USF president, students glad for restored funding but still want fewer cuts listen

02/24/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Some of the sting was taken away from the cuts proposed for the University of South Florida. That’s because the state Senate voted yesterday to more evenly spread 400 million dollars in budget cuts across all Florida public universities. They also approved plans to immediately make the USF Polytechnic campus in Lakeland the state’s 12th independent university. USF students and the university president reacted to the news last night on the Tampa campus.

An inde...

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Head of USF St. Pete says they are suffering from budget cuts too listen

02/23/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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USF St. Petersburg faces a two to three million dollar budget cut under Florida Senator JD Alexander’s budget plan. It pales in comparison to the deep cuts proposed for its parent university in Tampa. But, at a Suncoast Tiger Bay luncheon Thursday afternoon, the Chancellor of USF St. Pete, Margaret Sullivan, said the drop in funding still hurts.

USF St. Pete’s proposed funding...

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Tampa City Council weighs in on Florida Senate's proposed funding cuts to USF listen

02/16/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Tampa City Council is weighing in on the Florida Senate’s proposed budget cuts for the University of South Florida. At their meeting this morning, Council member Mike Suarez proposed sending a letter to Hillsborough County’s legislative delegation voicing disappointment with the proposed cuts and to show support for USF.

Senate budget chair JD Alexander wants the university to speed up the process of splitting off its Lakeland polytechnic campus so it can become Florida’s 12th state un...

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Is the future of science education in danger? listen

02/10/12 Liz McKibbon
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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An anthropologist warns Florida has laws that are a back-door entrance to teaching creationist theory in schools. At a lecture Thursday night in Tampa as part of USF’s Darwin Day celebration, Eugenie Scott says that’s hurting the quality of science education in the state.

Students, professors and the public filled nearly every seat in USF’s Fine Arts Hall. Jamie Delgato was one student in attendance.

”Well the whole creationism ver...

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Waldorf Schools consultant says "education of the heart" can cultivate emotional intelligence listen

01/26/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Because of pressure from politicians, most educators in the U.S. are forced to “teach to the test” even though they have the skills and training to provide a much more rounded education. That’s the take of Eugene Schwartz, an educational consultant working mainly with Waldorf Schools.

“…We’re not teaching to the test, we’re teaching to the child.”

Schwartz is speaking at 7:00 p.m. today at the Suncoast Waldorf School at 1857 Curlew Road in Palm Harbor. Ph...

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