July 22, 2014

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/24/2013

Gov. Scott calls for changes in Common Core

Gov. Rick Scott today directed state education officials to withdraw from a national testing consortium designed to evaluate how Florida students perform under the new Common Core standards for math and reading. Scott’s action comes following an education summit and after mounting criticism from conservative groups, including Tea Party activists, over the Common Core standards, which opponents say could lead to a greater federal role in state schools. More from the Times/Herald and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.


Coy Koontz
Coy Koontz Jr. persisted in a lawsuit against the St. Johns River Water Management District that his late father initiated. » Story here
[Photo: George Skene/Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Law: Developing Story

Coy A. Koontz was a Florida businessman who purchased 15 mostly swampy acres in east Orange County. In 1994, Koontz proposed a subdivision on 3.7 acres of the property. He was willing to deed the remainder of the land into a conservation area, but balked when the St. Johns River Water Management District imposed another condition. Koontz sued, setting forth a 20-year legal battle that’s still not over. Full story.


Legislators to consider expanded gambling along Florida line

Imagine Florida with slot machines at several dog tracks, intended to lure Georgians to Jacksonville, Alabamans to Pensacola, high rollers to Palm Beach and race fans to Daytona. That is one of the ideas gaining steam in Tallahassee as gaming promoters plan ways to expand Florida’s gambling empire in exchange for closing loopholes that have exploded over the past few years. [Source: Times/Herald]


As Florida jobless rate nudges lower, a closer look behind the numbers

Florida's monthly unemployment rate dipping in August from 7.1 to 7 percent is hardly a jawdropping change but at least moves us in the right direction. Here are 10 quick peeks behind these numbers to offer a broader sense of what's happening in the job markets. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


Explaining The Unusual Pressure On Florida’s Schools Chief

Florida’s education commissioner faces unique pressure. The position reports to the State Board of Education, but must also deal with the governor, lawmakers, school district leaders, education businesses and parents. [Source: StateImpact Florida]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Citing 'abuse,' Disney theme parks will change rules for disabled visitors
The Walt Disney Co.'s U.S. theme parks plan to stop offering unlimited front-of-the-line access to disabled park visitors, in a bid to prevent abuses by travelers who exploited the program by hiring disabled tour guides to pose as family members.

› In Florida, navigators will undergo state scrutiny
As the Oct. 1 rollout of the new health insurance marketplace draws near, the controversy over the insurance outreach workers known as navigators is building to a crescendo in Florida. But is the outcry warranted — or political theater aimed at hampering the Affordable Care Act?

› Broward high school culinary students hone their craft
South Florida hoteliers and restaurateurs want to spread the word to more high school students about a program that's helping students like James Graham realize his career goal. "I want to be a master chef," said Graham, 17, a participant in the ProStart School-to-Career food service curriculum offered in more than 20 Broward County high schools.

› Strong August for South Florida hotels
August brought big year-over-year boosts in business for South Florida hotels. According to data released recently by Smith Travel Research, hotels throughout the region posted gains in occupancy, rates and per-room revenue compared to August of 2012.


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