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Capital Report: 07-19-2013

In the course of the average week, many visitors will come and go in the office of Governor Rick Scott.  But it’s seldom that people come and stay and stay and then stay some more.  That happened this week in the wake of last Saturday’s not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case.  As this edition of Capital Report went to air, several of those people were still camped in the outer office of the governor at the State Capitol.  Ryan Benk tells us why.

State Senator Dwight Bullard is wrapping up an attempt to live on minimum wage for seven days. He says his goal is to raise awareness about the difficulty those earning less than eight dollars an hour face in an effort to push for an increase in the state’s minimum wage.  But as Regan McCarthy reports, while activists praise the Miami Democrat’s efforts, they say his experience doesn’t come close to what those actually living life on minimum wage go through.

It’s been a rocky week for Florida’s education system. The State Board of Education has reinstituted a rule preventing school grades from dropping more than a letter. The move comes amid continuing efforts to transition to tougher learning goals for students, called the Common Core. Meanwhile, as Lynn Hatter reports, legislative leaders are expressing doubts about new Common Core-aligned tests and want Florida to create its own assessments.

A Florida appeals court is weighing whether the public should have access to data used in evaluating school teachers.  As Jessica Palombo reports, the data in question are part of the state’s controversial teacher assessments and the Florida Times-Union newspaper wants the public to be able to evaluate the state’s evaluation methods.

U-S Coast Guard Investigators are confirming that severe weather conditions and the boat’s closeness to shore were major contributors in a Panhandle parasailing accident in early July. As Sascha Cordner reports, the two girls injured in the incident are recuperating in Indiana, but their story is prompting Florida lawmakers to revisit regulating the state’s parasailing industry.