Politics & Law

high school classroom, school, education

“Bad Actor List” proposed for fly-by-night FL charter schools

BY: - February 11, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been in the spotlight over proposed education reforms such as revamping teacher bonuses and eliminating Florida’s Common Core academic standards, but he’s also pushing for other initiatives. One of them is called a “Bad Actor List” to ban what DeSantis has called “fly-by-night” charter schools. There’s not a lot of details […]

Elementary school class

Getting rid of Common Core: Huge undertaking to help kids or political move for adults?

BY: - February 11, 2019

This is one of those grade-school math problems about fractions: Isabel lives 3/4 mile from school.  Janet lives 2/3 mile from school. How much farther, in miles, does Isabel live from school than Janet? Is there anything wrong or worrisome about this 5th-grade-level math question? For parents, kids, teachers, state education officials, politicians and the […]

Florida Phoenix

Hillsborough State Attorney says current “stand your ground” law “emboldens violent criminals”

BY: - February 8, 2019

TAMPA – The Florida Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments next month on whether changes lawmakers made to the state’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to older cases. Two years ago, the Florida Legislature – with backing from the National Rifle Association – adjusted the law. The new law shifts the […]

Florida’s top financial regulator warns about “duffle bags of cash”

BY: - February 8, 2019

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis wants Donald Trump to do something about duffle bags stuffed with millions in cash. The bags, he says, are being transported all over the state due to the state’s growing medical-marijuana industry. It’s a serious problem, said Patronis, a Republican who oversees the state’s banking industry. He explains it […]

Ron DeSantis

DeSantis reforms for teacher bonuses will face obstacles

BY: - February 8, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing to revamp a multi-million-dollar bonus program for Florida’s best classroom teachers, but it may not be easy. The proposals will pit the governor against the Legislature on configuring the best way to recruit, retain and reward teachers. And educators will be looking for more than just a bonus or “scholarship” […]

Maybe this year the Legislature will stop swiping the money earmarked for Florida’s affordable housing

BY: - February 8, 2019

Scrambling to pay rent or find affordable housing is a daily reality for many of Florida’s poorest residents. According to 2017 data from the University of Florida’s Shimberg Center for Housing studies: –Over 1.94 million low-income households in Florida pay nearly a third or more of their income for housing. –Some 1.1 million of those […]

Really, Matt Gaetz? Congressman gets aggressive with dad who lost son to Fla. mass shooter a year ago

BY: - February 7, 2019

Pro-gun Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Northwest Florida created an uproar this week in a Washington hearing about gun control, pointing his finger aggressively at a parent who lost his 17-year-old son last year in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and then  asking Congressional colleagues how he could get the parent kicked out […]

Saying families are the first to spot troubling behavior, Democratic lawmakers propose changes to state gun-safety law

BY: - February 7, 2019

As part of a package of gun control legislation passed last year after the mass shooting  at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, state lawmakers included a so-called “red flag law.” It allows  police officers to ask a judge for permission to temporarily take guns from someone they believe poses a threat to themselves or others. […]

Miami Herald: Feds to investigate Trump Labor Secretary Acosta’s role in 2008 lenient deal for wealthy Palm Beach man’s sex crimes

BY: - February 7, 2019

The federal Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the role that Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary Alex Acosta played in negotiating a lenient 2008 plea deal for Palm Beach multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein in a shocking case involving the sexual abuse of at least 100 girls, the Miami Herald reports. “The probe is in response […]

Nobody likes going to the dentist. But imagine you couldn’t find one at all

BY: - February 7, 2019

Millions of Floridians live in places where it’s hard to find a dentist, and the problem is even worse if you are poor. Everyone knows there is stigma attached when people have to live with missing teeth because they can’t afford to get the problem fixed. It can affect employment, self-esteem, and cause serious medical […]

Meet Florida’s first Director of Cannabis

BY: - February 6, 2019

Florida has its first cannabis director. And her marching orders are to give more patients access to legal marijuana. State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Wednesday named Holly Bell as the cannabis director in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried has directed Bell, a Nashville consultant with extensive experience in finance and […]


Lawmakers are trying to limit how long local school board members can serve

BY: - February 6, 2019

How long should an elected official serve on a school board in Florida? That’s been an ongoing debate that won’t end soon. Last fall, the Florida Supreme Court knocked an education-related state Constitutional Amendment off the ballot, eliminating several proposals, including term limits for school board members. But the term limit issue is back –in […]