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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What they want to do



With all the school districts closed for vacation, it seemed like a good time to take a look at all the things that lawmakers want to do to education in the coming year. A couple of relatively new ones have popped up, so here's the scoop.

Pe Now that the state is requiring elementary schools to offer 150 minutes of weekly physical education, why not push the middle schools to get kids off their duffs, too? Sen. Lee Constantine, the Altamonte Springs Republican who once headed the Senate Education Committee, has filed SB 610 to do just that. Rather than simply encouraging middle schools to provide 225 minutes of weekly P.E., Constantine would mandate it. (Times photo, Chris Zuppa)

Declarationofindependence Former governor Bob Graham has complained for more than a year now that Florida students don't know much about American civics. He and former Congress member Lou Frey Jr. urged lawmakers last spring to require civics lessons in the state curriculum. No takers then. But Duval Republican Rep. Charles McBurney, vice chair of the Committee on Education Innovation, has put in HB 393 to take up Graham and Frey's challenge. The bill would require civics education at all grade levels, and create a Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, on whose board Graham, Frey and a host of others would sit.

Several Florida school districts lately have battled over the sex education curriculum and what should (and shouldn't) be in it. The St. Lucie debate is but the most recent and most heated. Then there are all the reports that abstinence-only sex ed doesn't work. Into the fray comes Sen. Ted Deutch, a Delray Beach Democrat, with SB 848, which he calls the "Florida Healthy Teens Act." It would require that any public school that offers sex education of any sort must provide "comprehensive, medically accurate, and factual information that is age-appropriate." (Sorry, no picture for this one.)

None of these bills have companions yet. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:31am]


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