Jessica Bakeman

Reporter

Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.

Jessica first moved to the Sunshine State in 2015 to help launch POLITICO Florida as part of the company’s national expansion. She is the immediate past president of the Capitol Press Club of Florida, a nonprofit organization that raises money for college scholarships benefiting journalism students.

Jessica was an original member of POLITICO New York’s Albany bureau. Also in the Empire State, Jessica covered politics for The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. As part of Gannett’s three-person Albany bureau, she won the New York Publishers Association award for distinguished state government coverage in 2013 and 2014. Jessica twice chaired a planning committee for the Albany press corps’ annual political satire show, the oldest of its kind in the country.

She started her career at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. There she won the Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors’ 2013 first place award for continuing coverage of former Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision to pardon more than 200 felons as he left office.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and English literature from SUNY Plattsburgh, a public liberal arts college in northeastern New York. She (proudly) hails from Rochester, N.Y.

Ways to Connect

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Nearly 10,000 students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enrolled in Florida’s public schools since hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean.

Education leaders haven’t yet quantified the financial impact of absorbing them into schools. But it’ll likely take a combination of funding from the state and federal governments to cover the costs.

While visiting a Coconut Grove elementary school late last month, Gov. Rick Scott said the state has reserves that could be used to help.

Charles Trainor, Jr. / Miami Herald

Miami math teacher Dale Adamson filed into his middle school’s auditorium on Friday for what he thought would be a typical assembly. He left with a $25,000 check.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

An elementary school near Liberty City is about to get a new neighbor — not just next door but in the same building.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott is on a statewide tour touting his budget proposal for next year. But the Legislature is distracted, he said Thursday afternoon during a visit to a Miami elementary school.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Lady Gaga is bringing more than just entertainment to Miami this week.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The leader of Miami-Dade County public schools sharply criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies Tuesday morning during a keynote that sounded like part stump speech, part sermon.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho delivered an impassioned address opening a bipartisan summit on immigration reform at the University of Miami, relating his own “journey” as a Portuguese immigrant who was once in the U.S. illegally.

New York Times press release

The Miami Herald’s top political reporter will soon have a bigger platform.

Patricia Mazzei — who has worked at the Herald for a decade, most recently as its lead political writer — starts early next month as the Miami bureau chief for the New York Times. She’ll be based here in South Florida, after first working for a few months in New York City.

“We’re going to tell the story of Florida for people not just elsewhere in the country but elsewhere in the world,” she told Luis Hernandez, host of Sundial, WLRN’s new daily news show.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade County Public Schools wants to push back state testing after the district lost seven days of instruction to Hurricane Irma.

In a letter to Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho asked if the district could get an extra week before state English language arts and math tests take place this spring. (Read the letter below.)