Jessica Bakeman

Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.

Jessica first moved to the Sunshine State in 2015 to help launch POLITICO Florida as part of the company’s national expansion. She is the immediate past president of the Capitol Press Club of Florida, a nonprofit organization that raises money for college scholarships benefiting journalism students.

Jessica was an original member of POLITICO New York’s Albany bureau. Also in the Empire State, Jessica covered politics for The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. As part of Gannett’s three-person Albany bureau, she won the New York Publishers Association award for distinguished state government coverage in 2013 and 2014. Jessica twice chaired a planning committee for the Albany press corps’ annual political satire show, the oldest of its kind in the country.

She started her career at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. There she won the Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors’ 2013 first place award for continuing coverage of former Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision to pardon more than 200 felons as he left office.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and English literature from SUNY Plattsburgh, a public liberal arts college in northeastern New York. She (proudly) hails from Rochester, N.Y.

For the first time in the 61-year history of the Miami-Dade County school district police department, no cops were absent on the first day of school.

A new book will feature writing, photography and art from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and teachers.

The book — called “Parkland Speaks” — will include first-person accounts of the Feb. 14 shooting and perspectives from students and teachers about finding healing and hope in its aftermath. It will be published in January of 2019 by Random House, according to English teacher and yearbook adviser Sarah Lerner, who is the book's editor.

A student pulled a fire alarm on the second day back at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, prompting panicked feelings among survivors still recovering from the trauma of February’s fatal shooting.

About a quarter of Florida's nearly $90 billion state budget pays for public schools. The Democrats running for governor say that's not enough.

"We can never spend enough," former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine said during the first gubernatorial primary debate in April. His opponents for the Democratic nomination largely agree.

On the Republican side, the candidates have focused more on career training as their education priority.

At Camp Shine, the counselors are actually counselors — and not just in the typical summer camp way. They're therapists.

In an annual back-to-school address, the leader of Miami-Dade County Public Schools highlighted the district's star teachers and students.

Like Lois Kirns, an 80-year-old physical education teacher at New World School of the Arts, who has been in the classroom for more than a half century. And Ethan Levy, an budding scientist and student at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School.

You, you threw my city away

You tore down the walls and opened up all the gates

In the days following the massacre at her new high school, recent transfer Sawyer Garrity wrote these lyrics. It seems obvious who she's speaking to, who she's holding accountable for the deaths of 17 people and the destruction of an entire community's sense of safety and security and peace.

But she and the song's composer, her friend Andrea Peña, say there's not one specific person to blame for the events of Feb. 14 — six months ago.

After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, English teacher Sarah Lerner was displaced from her classroom. Now she’s going back.

Schools reopen in Broward County next week, and students are feeling anxious about returning after the deadly shooting that struck the district almost six months ago.

Therapy dogs — and even a therapy pig named "Patches" — were popular at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the Feb. 14 shooting.

Parkland mayor Christine Hunschofsky said she was concerned students might feel isolated over the summer. So she invited the animals and their owners to attend "Therapy Dog Thursdays" at the Parkland recreation center.

Several current and former students and their parents describe Miami Country Day School as a place where white children mock and dehumanize their black peers and the adults in charge do little to stop it.

Broward County schools Superintendent Robert Runcie on Wednesday showed off a new system of fences and locked doors at Miramar High School — an example of the "single point of entry" standard that will eventually be in place at all schools in the county.

Here's how it works: During arrival and dismissal times on school days, there will be three or four doors students can use to enter or exit. But during school hours, several fences will funnel visitors to only one entrance. The door will be locked, and there will be police or security staff posted there.

Two South Florida community colleges are in the running for a prestigious national award — and the biggest share of a $1 million prize.

A woman who was separated from her two sons at the U.S. border paid $15,000 in bond to be released from detention. But the federal government did not make arrangements to send her from the West Coast to Florida, where her children were being held, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said after meeting the woman on Friday.

Property owners in Miami-Dade County are one step closer to absorbing a tax increase that would pay for public school teachers and campus police officers.

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