Christian Casale

Christian Casale

Christian covers education, politics, and whatever else interests him for the Florida Phoenix. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor with the Independent Florida Alligator.

FL mobilizes rescue services as Idalia’s eye passes over state; some roads still impassable

By: - August 30, 2023

As Hurricane Idalia’s eye has crossed into Georgia, parts of the state remain inaccessible as officials begin recovery and inspection efforts, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday. “The state is still being impacted by the storm’s bands, and we’re seeing that particularly in the northern part of the state,” DeSantis said at a press conference at […]

Idalia reaches hurricane status overnight; Florida to see effects Tuesday

By: - August 29, 2023

Hurricane Idalia is strengthening as it pushes north along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico as officials expect it to make landfall along Florida’s west coast Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed at a press conference Tuesday morning. “This storm is going to hit tomorrow morning,” DeSantis said at the State Emergency Operations Center […]


Florida schools are already closing as Idalia approaches

By: - August 28, 2023

As Tropical Storm Idalia expects to make landfall this week in Florida as a Category 3 storm, dozens of school systems and colleges and universities are planning to close starting Monday and beyond. So far, 34 public school districts in Florida — there are 67 traditional school districts — will be closed, with the vast […]

Florida’s Gulf Coast bracing for Idalia to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane

By: - August 28, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians Monday morning to prepare for Tropical Storm Idalia to make landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 Hurricane, with forecasts predicting the storm will strengthen as it moves up the Gulf of Mexico. “This is going to be a major hurricane, this is going to be a powerful hurricane, and […]

FL officials urge residents to prepare for a possible tropical storm on the Gulf Coast

By: - August 25, 2023

A day after Gov. Ron DeSantis said that a potential tropical system could impact Florida, the National Hurricane Center issued an advisory on Friday, saying a tropical depression will likely form within the next several days. The advisory characterized the system as “Disturbance 1.” The area of low pressure is currently producing showers and thunderstorms, […]

At FL’s community colleges, can students get in trouble if they use the wrong bathrooms?

By: - August 23, 2023

Under a new rule, Florida community colleges must restrict bathroom usage to the state’s definition of biological sex at birth. But it’s unclear what specific discipline students could face if they don’t use their assigned bathroom. At a Florida Board of Education meeting Wednesday, the issue of bathrooms and biological sex became contentious. Some public […]

FL Board of Education to rule on bathrooms and biological sex at birth, in private schools

By: - August 22, 2023

In what has become a contentious issue in the culture wars in Florida, the State Board of Education on Wednesday will decide on rules to cover the “Safety in Private Spaces Act,” in K-12 private schools, which would prohibit students from using bathrooms or changing facilities not assigned to their biological sex. The rules came […]

A bevy of Atlantic storms likely to miss Florida

By: - August 21, 2023

The National Hurricane Center is currently tracking two tropical storms Monday morning, while a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to become a Tropical Depression. Tropical Storm Franklin is seeing a sustained wind speed of 50 mph in the southern Caribbean. An NHC advisory early Monday morning said that heavy rainfall from the storm […]

Four Atlantic disturbances could be headed towards Florida

By: - August 18, 2023

While Hurricane Hilary has made headlines for its Category Four status in the Pacific, the National Hurricane Center also updated its map of four disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean Friday as Floridians brace for the fall storm season. Disturbance 4 was mapped just above Hispaniola and is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico early […]

Teacher in her classroom

State, education union, spar over the number of teacher vacancies across FL public schools

By: - August 16, 2023

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. announced this week that the Florida Department of Education has recorded 4,776 total teacher vacancies to begin the 2023-2024 school year, an 8% decline from last year. One year ago, their figure was 5,208.  However, the Florida Education Association, a statewide union, said there are 6,920 teaching vacancies statewide, according […]

Florida adds ‘pronouns’ to long list of education stressors

By: - August 14, 2023

“Pronouns” have joined the many other words and phrases that have been chewed up, spit out and stretched and folded to its limit into a buzzword on social media, the nightly news, and in political talking points. It’s now in Florida law as something for school districts to monitor and enforce, beginning this school year. […]

The state of K-12 education: Florida schools are under a microscope

By: - August 10, 2023

As the DeSantis administration continues to make headlines with its K-12 education policies and culture wars, an exodus from public school students to private education — with the help of a new voucher program — and thousands of teacher vacancies, it can be easy to forget that some 2.9 million public schoolchildren woke up early, […]