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 focusing on education and health care. She's an an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiatives.  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.

A physics teacher writes on his chalkboard in a classroom.
Photo by Tra Nguyen / UnSplash

Could Florida teachers get a long awaited raise this year? Governor Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Senate Budget Chief Rob Bradley have all discussed it, and the state’s largest teacher’s union is calling for it. But there are plenty of questions about how and whether teachers will get anything.

Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting.
PBS NewsHour screenshot

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis maintains suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel failed in his department’s response to the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This, despite a recent ruling by a special master that says DeSantis didn’t prove Israel’s policies and training were inconsistent with state law enforcement standards.

A large group of people assembled in front of a white, columned building with red and white banners on the windows
Kate Payne / WFSU News

State officials appear to be giving serious consideration to increasing teacher salaries next year. The Tampa Bay Times reports the Florida Department of Education recently met with six school district superintendents about the issue.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says its done processing more than 8,000 untested rape kits. The announcement comes three years after a state assessment first revealed the backlog. 

The Panhandle Crime Stoppers chapter is running out of tickets for its newest fundraiser. It’s down to less than 200 tickets remaining in its first “gun-a-day giveaway," and wants to make the fundraiser an annual event.

A man in a brown suit speaks at a podium. In back of him is a colorful wall.

Fed Ingram is President of the state’s largest teachers union, the Florida Education Association. Doug Tuthill is President of the biggest corporate tax scholarship program, Step Up For Students. For people usually on different sides of education policy, both are deeply invested in promoting equity in public education. But what does equity look like?  

A physics teacher writes on his chalkboard in a classroom.
Photo by Tra Nguyen / UnSplash

Florida’s largest and oldest tax credit scholarship funding organization is on track to top $1 billion soon. Step Up For Students has 200,000 applications for scholarships from families looking to send their kids to private schools. The organization has been at the forefront of Florida’s efforts to diversify school options, often putting it at odds with critics who see it as a drain on traditional public schools. It's undergone a big expansion in the past few years, and that's come with some growing pains. But the group's President, Doug Tuthill, says choice isn't going anywhere.

A man sits in front of bookshelves for an interview.
Leon County Schools / Leon County Schools

It’s been 18 years since the worst terrorist attack in U.S. History brought down the Twin Towers in New York City. Rickards High School Teacher Alejando Zapata was in the 7th grade and living in Queens when the towers fell. 

A group of people cut a large red ribbon on stage.
Kim Kelling / WFSU Public Media

Sabal Palm Elementary is Leon County’s first “community school”. The partnership between the Leon School District, Florida State and Florida A&M Universities and the Children’s Home Society was announced last year as part of an effort to increase support to underserved schools. The project has been years in the making. 

A three-tier foundain stands behind bold words that spell 'The Florida State University.'
Florida State University / Florida State University

Florida State University has accomplished a major milestone. It’s broken into U.S. News & World Report’s “Top 25” list of public colleges and universities, coming in at the number 18 spot.

From the left Appropriations Chairs Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, begin the compromise process as full conference committee met June 11, 2015, while finalizing key portions of the state's budget within Criminal and Civil Just
Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran isn’t shy about his support for charter schools and the state’s private school voucher program. He championed school choice policies during his stint in the legislature. But his placement as chief of the state’s education system, is beginning to worry public school leaders. Recent comments about the future of public education has raised alarm bells for supporters of traditional public schools. 

Florida Department of Education budget presentation 12/7/17.
Florida Department of Education

Florida’s largest teachers union is calling for a 10-year, $22 billion  investment into the state’s public schools. The Florida Education Association is calling its plan the "Decade of Progress."

A roadway near the Florida-Georgia line in Gadsden County collapsed early Wednesday morning sending two people to Tallahassee memorial hospital with injuries.

map of the southwood area
Tallahassee Online Police Statistics (TOPS) / City of Tallahassee

Florida State University’s Lab school was briefly locked down today as the Leon County Sheriff’s office looked for a person nearby. The incident happened shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday. 

FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees says President Larry Robinson is meeting or exceeding expectations. That, according to the board’s latest review of the president’s performance. 

School buses are parked in a row, ready for drivers.
Steve Harvey / Unsplash

The Leon County School District is no longer contracting with Edulog for its bus routing services. The company is behind a massive software failure last week that caused problems on the first day of school Monday. Students were left at bus stops in the morning, dropped off late, and left parents frantic over their children’s whereabouts.

Four men hold a massive brown and white snake
facebook / Big Cypress National Preserve

When Florida wildlife leaders effectively declared “open season” on iguanas, they called for the animals to be killed on private property. And just this week, they doubled down on python eradication. Both animals are considered invasive species in Florida, but recent and past issues with how the animals have been killed has led to accusations of animal cruelty. The state says all killings have to be done “humanely”. But, what does that actually mean? 

The Franklin County Sheriffs office has caught a man they say is accused of setting fire and burglarizing an Eastpoint home in late July. Charles Moses is facing charges of burglary, arson and larceny. 

Guns, parkland
Jae C. Hong / AP

In the wake of two recent mass shootngs, two local students, one from Leon and another from Wakulla County, have been arrested for making veiled threats of school violence. And an anonymous shooting threat temporarily closed a Gadsden County Walmart. 

allison tant headshot in front of royal blue background

Leon School Superintendent Rocky Hanna is backing Allison Tant’s bid to represent Tallahassee in the Florida House.

An aerial rendering of what a revamped Orange Avenue Apartments development would look like (2018).
Tallahassee Housing Authority

A previously stalled effort to bring a community revitalization program to Tallahassee’s South city recently appeared to get a boost. But one key stakeholder says without addressing affordable housing, the idea could grind to a halt.

Following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas President Donald Trump is calling on states to adopt laws temporarily preventing someone from accessing a gun. Florida already has such a law and is using it. Now two state lawmakers want to see the law expanded.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Former City Commissioner Scott Maddox and former Downtown Improvement Authority head Paige Carter-Smith  plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges related to a corruption investigation into the the City of Tallahassee.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

Florida’s state-run crime labs don’t have the ability to determine whether a product is weed, CBD or hemp and the issue is stopping law enforcement in its tracks.  The state’s new hemp law is creating a patchwork of enforcement efforts and will likely need the legislature to step in.

A green iguana lies in the grass
Brynn Anderson / AP

Last month the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission effectively declared "open season" on iguanas by allowing them to be killed on private property. Since then, the agency has had to backtrack a bit after reports of the animals being killed and mutilated. Now, FWC officials are investigating a disturbing video posted to Instagram of one iguana being killed in a way the agency head calls, "despicable."