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Protesters also plan to knock on doors. Photo by Amy Green

Half-Penny Tax for Schools Draws Opposition

A half-penny sales tax in Orange County for school construction is drawing opposition. A small group of demonstrators gathered Monday on the first day of school at Washington Shores Early Learning Center to protest the tax. The demonstrators gathered at the former campus of Richmond Heights Elementary School, which closed last spring. Community activist Marcus Robinson says the district is building new schools “yet the schools in our community aren’t at capacity. They got one-way busing where they bus our kids out, but they don’t bus in any kids. It creates a deficiency in funding for our schools, but then they turn around and they don’t even zone our schools to capacity.” The half-penny tax is on the Aug. 26 …
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Bureau of Labor Statistics chart of unemployment rate by state

Florida Gains 208,500 Jobs in a Year

Florida’s job gains and unemployment rate drop over the past year are statistically significant – and positive.  A report out Monday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compares state changes from July 2013 to last month.
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OCPS logo

School Officials Reach Out to Hungry Students

Many of the thousands of students heading back to school across Central Florida are classified as ‘food insecure’. In Orange County, officials are reaching out to those students on the first day of school to make sure they have enough to eat. Last year, 65% of Orange County students qualified to receive free or reduced cost school meals. That’s more than 100,000 students. Orange County Public Schools senior director of food and nutrition services, Lora Gilbert, says even as the economy improves, the number of kids who are food insecure keeps going up. “We had about 57%  about 3 years ago, so it’s definitely trending up,” says Gilbert. “It’s very troubling. We do a lot of focus groups with students who …
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