Today on Context Florida: Brain drain, open enrollment, electoral dysfunction and nurse anesthetists

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Today on Context Florida:

Small communities have always faced “brain drain,” says Mark O’Brien, as many of their most educated young people leave for big cities, bright lights and the promise of bigger paychecks. But the shift could be getting more extreme as highly educated and skilled people are focusing on a relatively few large cities while people who lack education are drawn to communities heavily dependent on tourism and the service industry.

Duval Superintendent of Schools Nikolai Vitti introduced an innovative, if short-lived, proposal to allow open enrollment district-wide to keep more students in the public system writes Julie Delegal. The public school district is losing too much money to privatized alternatives, including private-voucher schools and their public-private cousins, charter schools. Budget woes are coming home to roost.

Erectile dysfunction may be due to decreased blood flow, and is treatable, but“electoral dysfunction” is not easy to overcome. Stephen Goldstein notes that Florida suffers from repeated perversions of the political process, guaranteed to persist for four years — or longer. Partly, it’s because of pervasive, never-ending, draconian political manipulations in Tallahassee, like gerrymandering districts, scrubbing voter rolls, reducing voting times, making it hard to get a voter I.D., keeping felons who served their time from voting.

Although lawmakers failed to grant Florida’s nurse anesthetists the authority to administer anesthesia without physician supervision, Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists President Jorge Valdes says they can look forward to continuing to be a part of the solution to Florida’s health-care workforce crisis.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.