What's not there
As you check out the calendars for this week's action in Tallahassee, you might be struck by two glaring absences.
First, the Senate Education Pre-K-12 committee isn't scheduled to convene. All the other education-related Senate panels are getting together, but check under Don Gaetz's committee notices and it says "04/08/2008, 03:15 P.M., Not Meeting."
There's plenty of unsettled business here. What's going on?
Consider this: Much of that unfinished business is coming from the House, where members have not taken up all of the Senate's education pet projects or, if they have, they've got different specifics in play. This could be the first round of political gamesmanship, where they start trading this idea for that one. Wait and see.
Second, the House Schools and Learning Council has not placed Rep. Alan Hays' "academic freedom" bill (HB 1483) on its agenda, which is expected to be its last of the session. If the bill doesn't get a vote coming out of the council, it can't go to the House floor. (Though that doesn't stop the House from taking up the Senate version, if it ever gets sent over.)
One key education lawmaker in the House tells the Gradebook that many council members think the State Board of Education's action of adding evolution to the science standards as a "scientific theory" is quite sufficient and no further action is needed. (For more on that whole matter, see our many past posts here.) But recall Speaker Marco Rubio said back in February that he expected the battle to go on in the House.
Has Rubio relented? Is the fight over evolution in the school curriculum over (for now)? Again, wait and see.