Florida lawmakers look at changes to textbook adoption
When they're not getting bombarded about parent trigger, the members of the Florida Senate Education Committee on Monday will take up several other substantive education issues. They'll be talking about whether to let public school districts create their own charter schools, for instance, and they'll also take up a proposal to let districts pick their own instructional materials.
SB 1388, which has an identical companion in the House, would give school districts more direct control over the textbooks that teachers use in their classrooms. Among its provisions, the bill would and state adoption of instructional materials and the requirement that districts spend at least half of their book budgets on state-adopted texts.
It would end the mandate that districts purchase their materials from the state textbook depository in Jacksonville, not require that new materials be purchased within the first two years of their availability, and allow districts or the state to charge publishers for the cost of reviewing their materials to ensure they meet state standards.
This idea comes from the State Board of Education, which agreed to promote the proposal back in December. Former state board member Roberto Martinez led the charge, saying that as teachers must meet all the new requirements of the Common Core and their associated tests, the teachers should have the flexibility to use whatever textbooks and other materials they find best meet those demands.
What are your thoughts about this proposal?