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State Leaders Look at Rising University Debt

October 26, 2016 - 8:30am

While state debt has declined 9.5 percent over the past five years, debt for Florida's state universities has risen by 41 percent, according to a report reviewed Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet.

State debt has fallen by $2.7 billion in that period, for a total debt of $25.5 billion at the end of 2015. In the same time, university debt has risen by $1.1 billion, for a total of $3.8 billion, the state Division of Bond Finance report showed.

University Systems Looks to Boost Online Classes

October 17, 2016 - 9:30pm

The Florida university system has set an ambitious goal of having the equivalent of 40 percent of its full-time undergraduate students taking online classes by 2025.

That would more than double the usage of online classes from the 2013-14 academic year, under a goal set by the system's Board of Governors.

A key factor in that transition will be cost, with the idea that students may have an incentive to shift to online classes if they receive breaks on tuition or fees.

Florida Mops Up after Hurricane Matthew

October 10, 2016 - 8:30am
Governor answers press questions Wednesday afternoon

President Barack Obama has made Florida eligible for disaster aid in eight counties as the state continues to recover from the impact of Hurricane Matthew.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved aid to the state and local governments for debris removal and emergency protective measures in Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Nassau, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia counties. A request for additional federal disaster aid for individuals and businesses and federal aid to repair roads and other public structures is pending.

Report Calls for Aiding Low-Income Students at State Colleges

September 28, 2016 - 10:00pm

While Florida has one of the best state college systems in the country, a new report from the LeRoy Collins Institute says the colleges can do better, particularly in helping low-income and minority students pay for their educations and complete degrees.

Among the findings from the non-partisan statewide policy organization, which is housed at Florida State University:

Universities Want Another $14.5 Million to Hire Mental Health Professionals

September 19, 2016 - 10:00pm

With a 48 percent increase in the number of students seeking counseling, Florida universities are asking for an additional $14.5 million in the coming budget year to hire more mental health professionals, including psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses and prevention specialists.

Don Gaetz, Three Others in Running for UWF Presidency

September 7, 2016 - 2:45pm
Don Gaetz

Former state Senate President Don Gaetz is among four candidates scheduled for on-campus interviews next week as the University of West Florida nears completion of its search for a new president.

Incumbents Fend off Challengers in State House Races

August 31, 2016 - 12:00am
Lorrane Ausley, Reggie Fullwood and Joe Gruters

Under federal indictment, state Rep. Reggie Fullwood was one of nine state House incumbents who successfully turned back primary challengers Tuesday.

Fullwood, a Jacksonville Democrat who is facing an October trial on wire-fraud and tax-related charges stemming from the alleged misuse of campaign funds, had about 45.3 percent of the vote to Tracie Davis' 42.5 percent with all precincts reporting in Duval County's House District 13. In the November general election, he will face Republican Mark Griffin, who won the GOP primary for the seat.

New District Shapes Webster-Grabelle Race

August 22, 2016 - 10:00pm
Dan Webster and Justin Grabelle

A political veteran with nearly four decades of experience and a first-time candidate are facing each other in the Republican primary in Florida's Congressional District 11.

U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, 67, is seeking a fourth term in Congress but is battling Justin Grabelle, 34, in the Aug. 30 primary.

Detert's Exit Leads to GOP Primary Battle

August 12, 2016 - 9:30pm

When Sen. Nancy Detert decided this year to run for the Sarasota County Commission instead of seeking another term in Tallahassee, it opened up a seat that Republicans have long controlled.

And as the Aug. 30 primary approaches, five Republicans --- including four current or former office-holders --- are competing to replace Detert.

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