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Capital Report: October 27, 2023

Florida lawmakers are looking for ways to help homeowners save money on insurance. Insurance prices are climbing. Some families can’t afford it and are dropping coverage. Meanwhile, the industry is struggling, and some insurance companies have left the state. Now, as Adrian Andrews reports, lawmakers are meeting in yet another special session where they’ll discuss hurricane recovery and rising insurance costs.

The story of North Florida’s Apalachicola River Basin is full of heartbreak. Once the source of livelihood for families throughout the community, the Bay collapsed in 2020, and with it the wild oyster industry. But as Margie Menzel reports, a group of kayakers found hope on a recent trip down the length of the river.

Florida is one of the top states in the nation for book bans in schools. WMNF’s Chris Young reports one initiative is sending banned books to Floridians for free.

Videos by the group PragerU Kids can now be shown in public schools in Oklahoma and Florida. PragerU is not an accredited educational organization, and its videos have drawn criticism for skipping over certain historical facts. The nonprofit Americans United for Separation of Church and State is looking into how Florida and Oklahoma approved the videos. WUSF's Kerry Sheridan spoke with Rachel Laser, the group's president.

It’s not only elementary, middle and high school curricula that’s become a flash point in Florida. Florida officials are outlining how they will cut spending on diversity, equity and inclusion programs at the state's colleges and universities. New regulations also limit types of political and social activism on campuses. The Florida Board of Governors drafted the guidance in response to a law that took effect in July, prohibiting spending on the programs, known as DEI. If the board approves the regulations at a November meeting, a final vote could happen in January. WUSF's Meghan Bowman spoke with United Faculty of Florida president Andrew Gothard about his concerns and what the regulations could mean for higher education.

A unique homeschool program based in Broward County aims to teach science through surfing and skateboarding. The program's enrollment has nearly quadrupled since before the pandemic — growth that mirrors the popularity of homeschooling statewide. WLRN's Jessica Bakeman introduces us to the founders of Surf Skate Science.

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