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Florida Roundup

Vaccine Mandates; COVID-19 Data; FSA Testing; Inspiration4

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AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at the Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. DeSantis was there to promote the use of monoclonal antibody treatments for those infected with COVID-19.

This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis leveled a new threat against Florida municipalities, saying that any city or county that requires its employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $5,000 fine per employee.

DeSantis says that it's wrong that first responders and other public employees could get fired for not getting vaccinated. 

Orange County already has a vaccine requirement. Mayor Jerry Demings is requiring that all county employees receive the first vaccine by September 30 and the second by October 31.

Guest:

COVID-19 Data

A coalition of local and national media organizations are suing the DeSantis administration for more transparency from the state regarding COVID-19 data.

The outlets include The New York Times, Washington Post and Miami Herald.

Guests:

The End of FSA Testing?

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week proposed legislation that could do away with end-of-year testing in Florida public schools. Under the proposal, this current school year would be the last one for the Florida Standards Assessments (FSAs).

DeSantis said, “I think it’ll be something that’s very friendly to parents. I think it’ll be something that the teachers will appreciate because they’ll be able to make adjustments and really focus on the unique needs of each individual student.”

Schools would replace FSA testing with “progress monitoring” throughout the school year. Former Gov. Jeb Bush implemented standardized testing here two decades ago. The argument then was it was essential to improve educational outcomes. 

Guests: 

  • Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union 
  • Leslie Postal, K-12 education reporter at the Orlando Sentinel

Inspiration4

This week, a historic space mission launched from Kennedy Space Center. The all-civilian crew will spend three days orbiting Earth aboard the Crew Dragon capsule. The private aerospace company SpaceX sent the crew into orbit as part of the Inspiration4 mission, in partnership with NASA.

SpaceX says the launch marks a new chapter for commercial space travel and promotes its mission to make humans an interplanetary species.

Guest:

Florida Roundup Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.