Lynn Hatter

News Director

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has been a member of the WFSU news team since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Florida Department of Education

The Florida Department of Education has released a new ranking scale that rates school districts from highest-to-lowest.  Lynn Hatter reports the rankings are coming under fire from school district superintendents who say it’s not a fair way to look at how well students are doing.

Florida’s unemployment rate has fallen slightly to just under 10-percent, the lowest it’s been in more than two-and-a-half years. Lynn Hatter reports the state’s Republican leaders have wasted no time in claiming credit for the job gains.

In a conference call with reporters Friday, Governor Rick Scott announced the state’s unemployment rate is now 9.9-percent, the lowest it’s been since April of 2009. Scott also took credit for the more than 141-thousand private sector jobs that have spung up since January of last year, saying the rate is a reflection of his policies.

Over the last few years Florida has sought to increase accountability on its public schools. Just last year, legislators approved a new law that basis how much a teacher is paid on how well their students perform in the classroom. But public school officials have long complained that they aren’t the only factor to a student’s success. They say they need help from parents. As Lynn Hatter reports, at least two lawmakers agree with that statement, and have filed bills that put the spotlight on parents.

Florida lawmakers are preparing to crack down on facilities that abuse seniors and people with mental health problems.  Legislators unveiled two bills today (Thursday) that increase penalties and call for more training of staff at Assisted Living Facilities. Lynn Hatter reports the proposals come in the wake of reports of abuse and neglect at those centers.

Some students are voicing their opposition to proposals like increasing tuition for STEM degrees and a bill that would allow the governor to pick the student representative of the board that oversees all 11 public universities. Lynn Hatter reports the group took their complaints to the Board of Governors Thursday.

Lawmakers are continuing their review of higher education and talking with more of the state university presidents. The talks are happening in the House Higher Education Committee, where, as Lynn Hatter reports, differences between the schools are starting to emerge, especially when it comes to issues like tuition increases for STEM degrees. 

Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten and School Readiness programs are designed to help children get ready for kindergarten.  In order to give them an educational jump-start, the state spends more than a billion dollars a year to educate them using private providers. But a recent audit reveals the state may be losing millions to potential fraud.  Lynn Hatter reports a House education committee heard a damaging audit report from state officials that includes charges of financial mismanagement and poor oversight.

State Universities say they have no problem with the governor’s request to see more science and technology degrees produced. But they also note that they need more money to do it. Lynn Hatter reports Representatives from Florida’s 11 public universities spoke before a highly anticipated House Education Committee where recommendations- or legislation—could be produced.

State Universities say they have no problem with the governor’s request to see more science and technology degrees produced. But they also note that they need more money to do it. Lynn Hatter reports Representatives from Florida’s 11 public universities spoke before a highly anticipated House Education Committee where recommendations- or legislation—could be produced.

PECO money dries up

Jan 13, 2012

The state won’t have any money for new school building, maintenance or repair projects for the next two years. Lynn Hatter reports the news comes after Governor Rick Scott told all of the state’s public schools, including charters, to give back unspent allocations from previous years.

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