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August 19, 2022

The amounts of money raised in the local election cycle are unprecedented -- almost two million dollars for the city and county commissions alone. And that’s just the dollars we know about. As Margie Menzel reports, in the final week before Election Day, the money’s getting darker than ever.

With Florida’s primary election less than a week away, candidates have been ramping up their campaigns to increase voter turnout. As WLRN intern Ali Bianco reports, some candidates are using new – and unconventional – social media strategies to get out the vote.

Thanks to increasingly partisan redistricting in Florida and a closed voting system, the August primary is most likely going to decide several races in the state. The general election in November features some candidates with little or no previous political experience. So are some voters feeling left out of the democratic process? WUSF's Steve Newborn talked about this with Tara Newsom, a political science professor at St. Petersburg College.

It was a big week for education in Florida. A federal judge blocked part of a law that restricts how race, sex and history can be discussed in schools and businesses. The state Department of Education called on local districts to hand over their LGBTQ guides, and ongoing shortages of classroom teachers has Gov. Ron DeSantis seeking solutions. Lynn Hatter tells us more.

Orlando is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The public school district there is up by about 3-thousand students over last year — according to local news reports. But that’s an anomaly in Florida’s public education landscape. Here in South Florida, districts have lost thousands of students since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some families are homeschooling their kids or enrolling them in virtual learning programs — and others are choosing alternatives like charters and private schools. Alberto Carvalho recently weighed in during a panel discussion at a conference of education journalists in Orlando. Carvalho led Miami-Dade County Public Schools for more than a decade — and left earlier this year to become superintendent of the school district in Los Angeles. He spoke with WLRN’s Jessica Bakeman.

A grand jury report on the management of Broward County schools was released today (Friday) after months of delays. More on that story from Gerard Albert the Third.