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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor upset with Florida Republicans over maintenance funding in public schools listen

04/14/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: PECO, public schools, education, kathy castor, Mark Danish, PTA

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Seventeen schools in Hillsborough County have unfunded maintenance projects totaling more than $100 million. During a press conference in front of Woodrow Wilson Middle School in South Tampa Monday, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor rallied against budgets passed by the state House and Senate that would allocate more money for repairs to privately run charter schools than to traditional public schools.

“We’re here today to report a theft. There has been a theft of tax dollars from our public schools...

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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor sides with former teacher of the year on bashing Florida lawmakers on public education listen

03/31/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: kathy castor, Megan Allen, education, public education, charter schools, voucher programs

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U.S. Representative Kathy Castor is joining a former Florida teacher of the year in lashing out at state lawmakers for unfriendly public education measures. At an unrelated press conference at Al Lopez Park in Tampa Monday, Castor said Megan Allen is one of the best public school teachers she’s ever met and is glad the former Hillsborough County educator is speaking out against Florida’s education policies.

“Florida has created a mess with a lot of their accountability system. This over t...

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School choice group defends voucher programs

03/21/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: Step Up for Students, education, vouchers, charter schools

Step Up For Students facilitates corporate tax scholarships for low-income students to use to attend private schools.

The program is lauded by supporters as giving parents the option to remove students from failing schools and put them in schools they otherwise couldn't afford. But opponents argue it's just a way to funnel public dollars into private hands - and it undermines the separation of church and state because most of the vouchers are used for religious schools.

A bill in the Se...

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Outspoken Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin will run for re-election listen

02/21/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: April Griffin, Hillsborough County School Board, education

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Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin will run for re-election despite previous claims that she wouldn’t. Her change of mind comes on the heels of a heated debate within the school district over transportation issues, a culture of bullying among staff and concerns by Griffin that Superintendent MaryEllen Elia isn’t a good leader. Griffin and f...

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Florida Polytechnic University opens first building for admissions listen

12/04/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Florida Polytechnic, JD Alexander, Lakeland, Florida, education, university

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Florida’s 12th public university is months away from teaching its first class of students, but Wednesday its first building was opened in Lakeland. Florida Polytechnic now has a sterile-looking building open for prospective students to speak with admission counselors. Scott Rhodes, executive director of enrollment services, says the goal is to enroll 500 students by the start of the school’s inaugural semester next August.

“It’s a 5,000 square foot facility. We have ten full time staff th...

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Teach your Children Well listen

12/04/13 Warren Elly with Ana Cruz
Last Call Wednesday
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Tags: Ana Cruz, Warren Elly, education, income and opportunity disparity

Today on Last Call we explore bad news for America in comparison to the rest of the world in our student’s math, science and reading scores. Florida scores are even worse and political analyst, Ana Cruz discusses this disparity.

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Pinellas County school officials call on legislature to make improvements to public ed listen

11/20/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Pinellas County Schools, Peggy O'Shea, Michael Grego, Dwight Dudley, education

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Pinellas County School Board members rubbed shoulders with state lawmakers Wednesday morning in hopes of getting some of their priorities heard in Tallahassee. During a breakfast served up by culinary students at the Clearwater PTEC campus, Pinellas School Board member Peggy O’Shea hopes to get additional resources to expand career-driven curriculum.

“Because then kids leave high school with job skills, true job skills that they can take into the workforce and come out with a better futu...

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Loans from private companies could increase costs of college education: FL-PIRG listen

11/01/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: education, loans, Student Loans, privatization, PIRG, FL PIRG, Dalyn Houser

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As the cost of college and university tuition goes up, so does the amount of debt students are left with when they graduate. But a new analysis of consumer complaints points toward another factor that could drive up the cost of education.

WMNF interviewed Dalyn Houser, a program associate with the Florida Public Interest Research Group, says costs often go up when students choose priva...

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RoboCon in Tampa is geek fest for Florida high school students listen

10/28/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: robots, education, robotics, STEM, engineering, Learning is 4 Everyone

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The University of Tampa hosted a geek extravaganza this weekend for high school students who build robots. During RoboCon, 50 teams from across the state showcased their engineering skills in what Terri Willingham, the regional director for First Robotics in Central Florida, says is more than just a competition.

“Celebrating science and technology like the way we celebrate sports and entertainment gives kids a reason to feel excited about science and technology.”

The convention feature...

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Public education advocates and Tea Partiers express displeasure with Common Core listen

10/16/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Common Core, education, tea party, Terry Kemple, HCC

Groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum are coming together to oppose Common Core State Standards being implemented in Florida public schools. Tea Party supporters and progressive-leaning liberal groups both rallied separately in front of the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus Tuesday night before a public forum about implementation of the new testing standards.

Michael Weston is a retired math teacher. He said Common Core is another shove to teachers to teach to th...

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