Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.

School choice and vouchers: Should some FL middle class families attend private schools on public dollars?

By: - May 11, 2021

The traditional justification for using public tax dollars to finance school vouchers is that struggling families shouldn’t be locked into substandard public schools just because they can’t afford tuition at presumably better private schools. Should that privilege extend to solidly middle class families? The Florida Legislature answered yes during its recently concluded regular session. It […]

Restricting abortion access fizzled in the 2021 Legislature; reproductive rights advocates expect future battles

By: - May 7, 2021

On the abortion front, GOP lawmakers tried to restrict abortion access in Florida but various bills failed in the 2021 Legislature. “Every year there is an onslaught of anti-abortion bills,” Amy Weintraub, reproductive rights program director for Progress Florida, said in an interview with the Phoenix. “We expect those types of bills to be back.” […]

A controversial “Parents’ Bill of Rights”: What is it? And what does it mean for students and families?

By: - May 6, 2021

The Florida Legislature has signaled to parents of schoolchildren that they have a right to know how their children are educated. That’s been the case for decades, but a new, so-called “Parents’ Bill of Rights” approved by both the House and Senate, has become controversial, including  concerns that could put some LGBTQ students at risk. […]

DeSantis signs legislation to help improve early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness

By: - May 4, 2021

Florida’s early-education system will see significant changes in hopes of better preparing the state’s youngest learners, as Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills from the 2021 legislative session focused on improving pre-kindergarten accountability and early reading skills. DeSantis promised significant benefits for Florida’s students. “If you can make headway here, you will see a positive […]

high school classroom, school, education

COVID’s sad milestone: More than 100,000 cases related to FL public and private K-12 schools since September

By: - May 3, 2021

With the 2020-21 academic year nearly over, the state reached a troubling COVID milestone on the education front: More than 100,000 COVID-19 cases emerged in Florida’s public and private K-12 school system from early September to mid-April. To be exact, a Phoenix analysis of the most recent Department of Health data show at least 106,649 […]

Florida Capitol

Massive 2021-22 state budget for FL approved: Pitfalls for some struggling families but major gains for others

By: and - April 30, 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending people’s lives, many Florida families are struggling to make ends meet — hoping for financial relief to cope with health care, homelessness, housing, rent, mortgages, food and other bills. But Florida’s spending plan for 2021-22 reflects a budget that may or may not help Floridians. The overall state budget is […]

Gov. DeSantis will sign transgender student athletes’ sports bill: ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to protect our girls’

By: and - April 30, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to sign legislation that would bar transgender women from participating in women’s sports teams at public schools and universities. He said so on Thursday night during a discussion with GOP governors broadcast on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” “Oh, yeah, we’re going to protect our girls. I have a 4-year-old daughter […]

FL Legislature carves $550 million for goal to boost starting salaries for FL teachers to $47,500

By: - April 29, 2021

Florida House and Senate are finally on the same page on raising starting salaries for public school teachers. The 2021-22 state budget includes $550 million for the goal of boosting starting salaries to $47,500, an initiative launched in 2019 by by Gov. Ron DeSantis. That $550 million is $50 million more than the current budget […]

A cruel move against transgender student athletes or a way to ‘protect’ women’s sports? DeSantis to decide

By: - April 29, 2021

The Florida Legislature has approved a bill that, on paper, says will protect female athletics and promote fairness and competition in school sports games. The bill dubs itself as “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” applying to student athletes in public secondary and post-secondary schools. But for transgender students athletes, the wording means they could be […]

House Republicans reignite controversial legislation on trans athletes in final days of session

By: - April 28, 2021

UPDATE: The Senate voted 23-16 Wednesday evening on a transgender-related student athlete bill outlining that team members must be designated…based on their biological sex at birth, and females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex, among other measures. Controversial legislation on how transgender student athletes participate in school sports […]

State Senate Minority Leader Farmer pushed out by colleagues from his post, 2 days before 2021 session ends

By: and - April 28, 2021

2nd update: Sen. Gary Farmer has resigned his role as Senate Democratic leader. His announcement around 2 pm. said Orange County Sen. Bobby Powell, leader pro tempore, is the new leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus through the end of Farmer’s term in 2022, per Senate and Caucus rules. The Caucus later voted to elect […]

Boy sitting on the floor, sad

Seclusion, restraints, handcuffs: Lawmakers say schools must severely limit use of those techniques on kids

By: - April 27, 2021

Traumatic use of physical restraints and seclusion may no longer be a technique used on students, particularly those with disabilities, come next school year. That’s because the both the Florida House and Senate voted unanimously in favor of HB 149, which aims to prohibit the practice of secluding a student in an isolated room and […]