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 Education Department presents new K-12 assessment standards to Legislature

By: - October 10, 2023

In a presentation to the Florida Senate Committee on preschool through 12th-grade education, Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz’s annual recommendation for cut-off scores for the state’s progress assessments was presented by education official Juan Copa. The Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) began with the 2022-2023 school year after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an […]

Only one Florida school district still recognizes Columbus Day

By: - October 9, 2023

Christopher Columbus, the one who, in 1492 sailed the ocean blue with three ships and left from Spain, through sunshine, wind and rain, has found himself and his holiday increasingly out of vogue in the United States. Columbus Day remains one of eleven federal holidays and is recognized as an off-day for state workers in […]

Capitol chaos delays Florida farm bill listening sessions

By: - October 6, 2023

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson was meant to hold two listening sessions on the U.S. Farm bill with House members Scott Franklin (FL-18) and Kat Cammack (FL-3), respectively; however, in a Thursday statement, both sessions were announced to be postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.” Franklin and Cammack each represent large, mostly rural districts that […]

New College of Florida athletics gets admittance to NAIA; could carry 23 sports by 2027

By: - October 5, 2023

As part of a complete and controversial overhaul by the DeSantis administration, New College of Florida announced it will compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) – as part of The Sun Conference. “Our goal to become the nation’s top liberal arts college will be enhanced by joining the prestigious institutions in the […]

Patronis ratioed on X for post about emergency alert

By: - October 4, 2023

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has not learned the immortal lesson of the internet for politicians: You don’t have to tweet. Patronis was ratioed on X, formally Twitter, on Wednesday after complaining about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s nationwide emergency alert test – the reason Americans were suddenly startled by their cell phones around […]

Florida announces more locations, dates for Hurricane victims to receive federal benefits

By: - October 3, 2023

More than a month after Hurricane Idalia peaked as a Category 4 and made landfall at Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, wreaking havoc with strong winds and flooding across more than a dozen counties, many victims of the storm are still dealing with material and economic insecurity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture […]

How Florida teacher unions are coping with a new anti-union law

By: - September 28, 2023

As a “right-to-work” state, Florida’s Constitution says that the “right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization.” However, legislation signed into law in May by Gov. Ron DeSantis aims directly at unions for public employees, including one of his […]

Florida represented in Congressional Black Caucus’ history panel

By: - September 22, 2023

Politicians, academics, historians, and activists gathered at D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center Friday morning for a panel sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus to both celebrate the progress of Black history and bring light to what they said were attacks on the subject, especially in Florida. The Sunshine State was well-represented in a discussion […]

USDA will extend SNAP food assistance to Idalia victims in Florida

By: - September 20, 2023

Low-income residents in eleven Florida counties affected by Hurricane Idalia will be eligible for a new federal recovery program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. The USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) would give people in Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Suwanee and Taylor counties access to SNAP benefits […]

Mixed bag for FL national and top public universities, plus private schools, in latest rankings

By: - September 18, 2023

Florida universities, which have been in the center of national polarization for months, have seen a mixed bag in U.S. News & World Report college rankings, with both positive and negative views and some changes in the methodology. In a separate category in the rankings for public universities only, some Florida universities stumbled. For example, […]

FL public universities move to get rid of reports such as race and sex in student enrollment

By: - September 14, 2023

Florida’s public university system is preparing to eliminate reports related to “representation by race and sex in student enrollment, senior-level administrative positions, and faculty rank and tenure status,” records show. In other changes, a Board of Governors regulation would no longer be called “Equity and Access.” The name would be “Equal Access and Opportunity.” “Equity” […]

Joint letter asks Florida education head for transparency on universal vouchers

By: - September 13, 2023

As Florida rolls into its first school year with a universal voucher program, an estimated 300,000 students will use it for private schooling and 45,000 for homeschooling, according to the state’s primary scholarship program. It’s grown steadily while critics bemoan what will happen to the public school system when any family – rich and poor […]