The big story: National reports recently showed Florida among the leading states when it comes to removing, banning, or censoring books in schools.
The State Board of Education, which has encouraged schools to consult others in Florida for guidance on which books to use, set the stage Wednesday for continued scrutiny and possible action on titles in classrooms and libraries.
The board adopted rules directing districts on how to prepare and disseminate lists of objections to the books they received, along with the decisions they reached and the reasons why. The standardized reporting mechanism “continues to provide transparency to our families. It will also give us a way to post that material, which is required,” said board chairman Ben Gibson. Read more from the Florida News Service.
Critics of the book bans have raised concerns that more could be coming as Florida expands its laws, making it easier to challenge titles, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
In related news, the Santa Rosa County chapter of Moms for Liberty has asked schools to remove 65 books, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. The district had not previously received any book reconsideration requests.
Additionally, education commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. defended a Miami school’s decision to restrict access to Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb” after receiving a complaint from parents, reports WLRN. “The process was put in place and it worked where the proper placement of the books was considered. And students still have access to the right level,” Diaz said. “And no book was banned.”
DeSantis Schedule: As has long been expected, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he will be running for President. • His aggressive educational agenda has received a lot of attention. Education Week considers what it could mean at the national level. • Florida Education Association leaders said DeSantis’ “authoritarian” tendencies would destroy US public education, reports Yahoo News.
Cell towers: The Pasco County Commission rejected plans to place a cell tower on joint property at a K-8 school, after hearing complaints from parents at the school. The school board narrowly gave its blessing to the tower in April, signaling that the commission would have the last word.
Employee Pay: Pasco County school district negotiators and the employees’ union have reached an agreement on how much money the district’s 2022 property tax referendum workers will be paid. Officials said the plan rewards veteran employees and should also help the district recruit new employees.
Teacher discipline: The Hillsborough County School District has launched an investigation into a high school teacher accused of demeaning and ridiculing students for several years.
Race Relations: Miami-Dade County black community leaders are demanding an apology from two Hispanic school board members who excluded a black member from participating in a meeting about minority participation in district contracts, reports the Miami Herald. • The Indian River County School Board repealed its three-year racial equity policy, citing requirements in new state law, reports TC Palm.
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Superintendents: Duval County Superintendent Diana Greene faces scrutiny when she leaves her job three years before her contract expires, Jacksonville Today reports. • Ousted Escambia County Superintendent Tim Smith said if the district skyrockets after his removal, it will be worth it, reports the Pensacola News-Journal.
student growth: The Miami-Dade County School District is experiencing enrollment growth for the first time in two decades, largely due to a massive influx of immigrant families, reports WLRN.
school sports: The State Board of Education adopted a resolution deploring the Biden Administration’s plan to allow transgender athletes to participate on teams aligned with their gender identity, Florida News Service reports. • Governor DeSantis signed legislation giving charter school students the ability to play sports at voluntary private schools, reports Florida Politics.
From the police diary… A Brevard County paraprofessional has been arrested on charges of possession of child pornography, Florida Today reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here is a link to yesterday’s recap.
Before you leave … Have you ever thought about playing with the crows in your neighborhood? You can pass.
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