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  • NAACP Says No To Confederates 1, February27, 2015
    Should Confederate soldiers from Florida be recognized as Veterans enshrined in the state’s hall of fame? Matt Galka first told us about the story earlier this month, and now tells us the NAACP is saying no. We first brought you the unique story of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans asking Florida’s Governor and Cabinet […]
    Matt Galka
  • Solar Wars 1, February26, 2015
    A dust up between solar advocates and a state Senator is erupting on the eve of the annual legislative session. The fight is a window into the often unintended consequences in state politics. At the center is legislation that would allow greater use of solar resources, but advocates worry utilities could end up being the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Ray Sansom Gets Day in Court 1, February26, 2015
    Former House Speaker Ray Sansom of Destin spent the day in a Tallahassee courtroom. He and his lawyer are arguing they deserve more than 817 thousand dollars in legal fees stemming from criminal charges later dropped that alleged Samson misrepresented a six million dollar item in the state budget when he was appropriations chairman. The […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Housing Funds Getting Slashed Because of Amendment 1? 1, February26, 2015
    Affordable housing funds could be taking a hit this year, and as Matt Galka tells us, it could be because of environmental amendment 1. But both sides say that isn’t fair. Theo Anderson was down on his luck, inured, and living with two children in a run down home before state housing assistance helped him […]
    Matt Galka
  • Test Anxiety Take Two 1, February26, 2015
    Despite complaints from School Superintendents, teachers and parents, the state says new statewide testing that begins Monday will count toward school grades and teacher evaluations. This is not the first time testing changes have been an issue. The Florida Student Assessment test replaces the FCAT this year. Some testing begins as early as Monday. And […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Tax Dodging 1, February25, 2015
    Who’s really paying for Florida. As Matt Galka tells us, a new report about the state’s biggest companies says its not them, and they’re dodging taxes.   Florida’s Governor makes his agenda pretty clear. “The most important thing you can do to change lives is give someone a job,” said Rick Scott at January’s inauguration. […]
    Matt Galka
  • Testing Anxiety Hits Home 1, February24, 2015
    Florida’s testing scheme is getting a “D” or an “F” from a majority of parents, teachers and school employees. The results of the online survey sow the frustration of parents as Governor Rick Scott cancelled one test and is asking lawmakers to  consider eliminating others. Rick Scott’s executive order suspends the Florida Standards English Assessment […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • A New Retirement Problem Down the Road? 1, February24, 2015
    New data suggests that Florida could have another crisis for retirees on its hands. As Matt Galka tells us, it goes beyond local pensions and into the world of healthcare. Pension problems have been ongoing in the state. Unfunded liability for local governments have put future benefit burdens on taxpayers.  The problem is so bad […]
    Matt Galka
  • Big Sugar Buy? 1, February23, 2015
    Everglades advocates opened up what could be a legislative session – long fight over funding.  As Matt Galka tells us, the push is on for the state to make a land buy…and time is running out. Environmentalists are making a full court press and will attempt to get the Governor and the legislature to buy […]
    Matt Galka
  • Pennsylvania Paper Declares War on Rick Scott Jobs “Poaching” 1, February20, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott will spend Monday and part of Tuesday in Pennsylvania, his first trip since being reelected to try and recruit businesses to move here, But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, he’s getting a cold reception in more ways than one. One of the major themes of Rick Scott’s second inaugural was his continuing […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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Online State University

January 7th, 2013 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Florida leads the nation in online education. Four out of every 10 Florida college students have taken at least one online course. There are 700 degrees programs available entirely online and now, as Whitney Ray tells us, there’s a push in Tallahassee to create a state university existing completely in cyberspace.

This laptop is the only tool FSU Freshman Seth Russell needs to complete one of his main courses this semester.

“Having an online class frees up a lot of time for other classes,” said Russell.

For the second consecutive semester Seth is taking an online class. It allows him to learn from home at his own leisure.

“It’s really convenient, just pull up my laptop. I don’t have to walk to class,” said Russell.

Florida leads the way offering more than 700 degrees online and thousands of classes.

The University System Board of Governors is exploring the creation of a state university existing completely in cyberspace.

“It’s not about keeping everybody online it’s about getting the state in a position to have the best online modality experience,” said Robert Lytle with Parthenon Group.

The board hired a research group, which priced the creation of an online state university at 70 million dollars.

And even though there’s a hefty upfront cost, in the long run the move could save the state and students money.

Ed Moore, the president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, says how much savings depends on the quality of the product offered.

“It depends on the institution. It depends on the degree program. It depends on the market. A lot of it is market driven,” said Moore.

Moore is against the state creating a new online university. He says creating an oversight board would be quicker and cheaper.

“My mantra is to use the assets that Florida already has first and then figure out what else we need,” said Moore.

The state legislature will also review the options when it convenes in March. Creating a stand alone state university is just one of four options being considered. The state could appoint one university to take the lead on online, encourage collaboration among the schools or just focus on improving online course at all Florida colleges.

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