Wildlife
9:38 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Report: Wildlife Still Feeling Impact from BP Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig after the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:56 pm

Five years after the BP oil spill, the environmental impacts are still being felt.

According to a report released Monday by the National Wildlife Federation, animals such as dolphins were found dead at four times the historic rates in 2014. The group believes the oil spill may be to blame.

"Bottle-nosed dolphins in the places most-affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are very sick, their pregnancies are failing, and they're dying in large numbers," said Ryan Fikes, a restoration scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

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Social Services
1:42 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Count Finds Homelessness on Decline in Lee County

Credit Ed Yourdon via Flickr Creative Commons

The Lee County Homeless Coalition’s annual point-in-time census finds the number of homeless individuals and families declined from last year. 

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StateImpact Florida
10:31 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Despite Problems, Experts Say Computerized Testing Is The Answer For Florida Schools

Despite problems with Florida's new exam, testing experts say the state's emphasis on digital lessons mean schools should use computerized testing.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 6:48 am

Testing experts say so far Florida's problems with its new statewide exam, the Florida Standards Assessments, are likely not serious enough for the state to consider throwing out this year’s test scores.

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Government
10:30 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Lawmakers Want More Oversight Of High School Athletic Group

A House committee has approved a bill that overhauls the non-profit group which regulates high school sports. Eventually, the Florida High School Athletic Association could be replaced.

The bill creates a twelve-member board to oversee the group. Rep. Manny Diaz says state is responsible for schools - including athletics.

“I think it’s important that in the constitution, the State Board of Education and the commissioner of oversight of our entire education in the state", said Diaz, "And this fits in with that."

Another big change would require an outside group to review students accused of being ineligible. And athletes could continue to play while challenging FHSAA eligibility rulings - though their team could forfeit games if the decision is upheld.

Lawmakers have sparred with the organization for several years. The FHSAA opposes the bill. Some lawmakers worry the bill might encourage schools to recruit high school athletes.

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Classroom Size
9:00 am
Mon March 30, 2015

House Passes Bill To Reduce Class Size Penalties

Voters approved the class size amendment in 2002. Florida lawmakers are charged with implementing - and funding - the amendment. It limits the number of students per class to 18 through 3rd grade, 22 in 4th - 8th grade, and 25 in high school.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:17 am

School districts are likely to face fewer penalties for violating class-size requirements under a bill that passed the Florida House Friday on a vote of 107 - 3.

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