Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Author

Erin Clark

Erin Clark has 8 articles published.

Erin Clark is a Florida reporter for Watchdog.org. A graduate of the University of Richmond, Clark competed on the professional tennis circuit for several years before returning to writing. Her work has been republished on Townhall and other news sources. She can be reached at eclark@watchdog.org.

Florida cities closer to banning the bag

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With last year’s styrofoam ban upheld by a Miami-Dade judge, the city of Coral Gables, south Florida’s “City Beautiful,” is stepping into the eco-regulation fray with another initiative. This time, to “ban the bag.” At a March 14 meeting, the Coral Gables City Council gave initial approval to an ordinance prohibiting plastic bags being used by retailers or at special events – with a few exceptions.  A final vote, which would make the ban official, is expected on May 8. Coral…

Keep Reading

Florida child welfare providers do more with less, but how much less?

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

For the community-based care providers that perform the lion’s share of child welfare services in Florida, the proposed 2017 budget is a disappointment. A press release that accompanied the Jan. 31 release of Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s future” budget proposal touts “a  record $632 million to provide core services to children who depend on Florida’s child welfare system.” “Governor Scott and the Legislature have been exceptionally supportive of the child welfare system and [the Department of Children…

Keep Reading

Senate Education Committee talks testing tweaks

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Senate Education Committee dedicated most of its weekly meeting to tackling issues of assessment bloat running counter to students’ best interests. In the House, the motto has been “fewer, better tests.” Similarly, in the Senate, the bills that have spurred the most comment from committee members are those that address Florida’s testing protocols. At the meeting, representatives from the Florida Department of Education discussed current education accountability standards. Mary Jane Tappen, vice chancellor of K-12 education, laid out the high…

Keep Reading

Florida among several states confronting drug formulary questions

in Statewide by

Some of the largest states in the union are considering legislation that would block insurers and pharmacy benefit managers from dropping covered drugs outside the normal sign-up period. In Florida, HB 95 was introduced by state Rep. Ralph Massullo to prevent a drug being dropped from a formulary, or moved to a higher-priced tier, in the middle of the insurance plan year. Similar bans are under consideration in Illinois and New York, among other states. A formulary is a set of drugs that insurers and pharmacy benefit…

Keep Reading

Florida needs teachers, but high schoolers aren’t interested

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As Florida legislators consider ways to get more high-achieving charter schools into the state, school districts have another concern: getting more teachers into the state. The national teacher shortage is hitting Florida hard. Hillsborough County alone could use another 500 teachers. Advocacy group Teachers of Tomorrow identifies Florida as one of the top five states struggling to find educators, with a 5,708 teacher shortfall. The Florida Department of Education’s 2016-17 report on what subjects are in greatest need of more…

Keep Reading

Delray Beach steps in it with puppy sale regulations

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

If passing one ordinance isn’t enough to curb the sale of puppy mill dogs, try passing two. That’s how they roll in Delray Beach. Several years ago, leaders of Delray Beach got serious about cracking down on the sale of dogs bred in out-of-state puppy mills. In 2016, the City Commission passed an ordinance curtailing the retail sale of dogs and cats. In doing so, the city government found that once you stick your left foot into a situation, it’s pretty hard to pull it back out again.…

Keep Reading

Hurdles to school choice remain despite Florida’s open enrollment law

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida’s new open enrollment policies are still leaving students behind. Florida has one of the most robust school choice programs nationwide, with 45 percent of pre-K-12 students in the state having exercised some type of choice option in the 2015-16 school year. A new law seems poised to amplify that even more. HB 7029, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2016, will be effective for the 2017-18 school year. Under HB 7029, public schools are required to allow students to transfer in…

Keep Reading

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Go to Top