Today on Context Florida: Vouchers, punishment, student-athletes and weird Orlando

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Today on Context Florida:

The Florida Legislature just passed, and the governor expects to sign, yet another expansion of the voucher program. As a result, says Stephen Goldstein, Florida’s system of K-12 public schools now violates the state Constitution, which unequivocally states, “Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform … system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education …”

Those advocating for tough-on-crime policies suggest punishing all offenders to the full extent of the law, largely through extended incarceration. However, Bob Stork, vice-chairman of the nonprofit Florida TaxWatch Center, writes that while incarceration is often a necessary means to ensure public safety and punish violent criminals, it is the wrong approach for nonviolent offenders.

Joe Culotta suggests the NCAA should do a better job reminding student-athletes that playing sports is a hobby, not a career. They need to understand that they are there to get an education. Playing sports teaches people skills that will prepare them for the workforce, such as setting goals, teamwork, and discipline.

Florida, particularly Orlando, seems like a magnet for weirdness. It always has been. Nevertheless, Tom Cavanagh points out that real people with real families working at real jobs live here. And compared to a lot of other places, Central Florida has a lot going for it.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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.