Lynn Hatter

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

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Florida won’t be moving ahead with a planned purge of the state’s voter rolls.  Secretary of State Ken Detzner discussed the change of plan Thursday with local elections supervisors.

A sweeping purge of suspected non-citizens from the state’s voter rolls two years ago was thwarted by lawsuits. The state eventually got permission to cross-reference a federal government database but now that won’t be happening.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner says he’s delaying the purge until next year because that federal database is currently changing.

Thirty or so attendees at St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered on a recent evening to hear a presentation by the Obamacare Enrollment Team on their options to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

"If anybody is interested in getting enrolled, we can get you enrolled tonight," they were told.

Signs outside the church looked official: A familiar, large "O" with a blue outline, white center and three red stripes.

Parts of the federal government are closed starting today after Congress failed to reach a deal on a budget extension bill. Meanwhile Florida Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz is making media rounds blasting House Republicans for the impasse. 

After Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order pulling back Florida’s support of nationwide education standards called Common Core, the state will no longer have a say in the development of new exams aligned with those standards. Still, that does not mean the state is dropping out of the multi-state testing consortium known as PARCC.

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities recently got itself back on sound financial footing after nearly a decade of budget deficits that had agency officials under a legislative and gubernatorial microscope.  Now the agency is facing two lawsuits challenging its budgeting process, and  the outcome of those legal challenges has the potential to throw the agency’s future, and those of the more than 30,000 disabled Floridians it serves, into doubt.

It’s been nearly two years since the sound of Florida A&M University’s band was last heard. Now the ensemble is back, and  band and university leaders say it’s going to take a lot of work to prove to the world that times have changed.

This time around, FAMU’s Marching 100 band is closer to its official name—with a current roster of 198 musicians. That’s about half the size the band that, in 2011, was placed on suspension following the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Also new is the terminology.  there are no more “drum majors” in the Marching 100.

House's Weatherford Calls For 'Stand Your Ground' Law Review, But Change Unlikely

Aug 4, 2013

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says he’s open to a legislative panel reviewing the state’s Stand Your Ground Law. Weatherford’s comments came in an editorial for the Tampa Tribune.

House Speaker Will Weatherford has said he does not support a repeal of the state’s Stand Your Ground Law, but says he will direct a legislative committee to consider whether the law should be tweaked.

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is facing calls to resign from state Democrats. Bennett is accused of changing school grades during his tenure as Indiana’s schools chief, but the story in Florida seems more about politics than policy.

As head of Indiana’s public schools, Tony Bennett implemented a school grading system similar to Florida’s. The first year Indiana schools received a report card was 2012. But before the report cards were released, Bennett says he and other Indiana officials were made aware of problems:

The Florida Democratic Party is launching a campaign to expose who they say is the “Real Rick Scott”. Party officials say defeating Scott will be a challenge, especially since no big name Democrats have officially declared their candidacy for next year’s race.  

The Dems are taking to Twitter and Facebook in an effort to reach out to key independent voters.

It’s been a rocky week for Florida’s education system. The State Board of Education has reinstituted a rule preventing school grades from dropping more than a letter. The move comes amid continuing efforts to transition to tougher learning goals for students, called the Common Core. Meanwhile, legislative leaders are expressing doubts about new Common Core-aligned tests and want Florida to create its own assessments.