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Florida state leaders say they want intellectual diversity in schools

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Florida Republican leaders say the state's university campuses need to become more welcoming to a broader range of ideas and viewpoints.
Florida Republican leaders say the state's university campuses need to become more welcoming to a broader range of ideas and viewpoints. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Jun. 23
Updated Jun. 23

Attention shifted Tuesday to Florida’s higher education system, where legislative leaders and the governor had some choice things to say about the intellectual diversity at the state’s 12 university campuses. (They suggested it’s nonexistent.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, university leaders and faculty members disagreed. The officials then turned their attention to K-12 curriculum, where they spoke of the need to reshape some of the ideas taught there. Read on for that story and more Florida education news.

Gov. DeSantis signed legislation aimed at ensuring conservative voices are not silenced on campuses. He said the current status at the universities is a repressive environment for ideas — a notion that university officials reject. More from Florida Politics, Associated Press.

Other Tallahassee action

DeSantis also approved measures to revamp K-12 civics lessons. One measure would create a ‘portraits in patriotism’ curriculum to explain why the U.S. form of government is better than communism and other models, Florida Politics reports.

There’s a database for that. Earlier in the week, DeSantis signed into law a measure to create a do-not-hire list of teachers whom the state has disqualified, WFLA reports.

School news

Moving on. Three Pinellas County schools will get new principals.

City of Lake Worth leaders want their local schools to perform better. They created an Education Task Force to explore new ideas, WPEC reports.

Bay County schools have struggled to find top-notch teachers. Officials say the pool of candidates for this year’s vacancies is better than expected, the Panama City News Herald reports.

Mask mandates are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The Seminole County school district became the latest to drop the requirement, WKMG reports.

Third-grade reading test scores are in. The state issued a press release saying that children who attended school in person performed better than those who remained at home. Treasure Coast school district officials said they were pleased with the overall results, given the pandemic effects, TC Palm reports.

The Indian River County School Board tentatively adopted new K-5 language arts curriculum. Its decision came after months of debate with community members who argued some of the proposed material was not age appropriate, TC Palm reports. More from WPTV.

What’s in a name? A Manatee County middle school, recently taken over by the school district after a run as a charter school, will get its previous name back as it again becomes a traditional district school, the Bradenton Herald reports.

‘We got a lot of love.’ A Leon County middle school built a new visual arts program during the pandemic, with an outpouring of community support, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Legal matters

From the court docket ... Advocates for minority and disabled students sued the Palm Beach County school district over its use of the Baker Act, the Palm Beach Post reports. More from WPEC. • The perjury case against outgoing Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie will not be dismissed, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Ousted Alachua County School Board member Diyonne McGraw has asked a judge to require Gov. DeSantis to explain his authority for removing her from her post, the Gainesville Sun reports.

From the police blotter ... A former Palm Beach County high school athletic director was arrested on allegations she stole thousands of dollars from the school, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... Not to be repetitive, but really, which is better? The shot? Or the save?