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Florida works on ‘parental rights’ rules as fights over the law rage on

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Students at Hillsborough High School participate in a statewide school walk-out in March to protest legislation to limit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. Battles over the measure, which takes effect Friday, continue across the state in courts, school board sessions and political campaigns.
Students at Hillsborough High School participate in a statewide school walk-out in March to protest legislation to limit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. Battles over the measure, which takes effect Friday, continue across the state in courts, school board sessions and political campaigns. [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]
Published Jun. 30

The big story: In the face of ongoing opposition, the state of Florida continued to defend the adoption of legislation that limits instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation.

Arguing the state showed no animus toward the LGBTQ community, lawyers for the state asked a federal judge to toss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, which takes effect on Friday.

“Falsely dubbed by its opponents the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, HB 1557 is nothing of the sort,” the motion said.

Read more from the News Service of Florida.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education on Wednesday held a rule making workshop to discuss how it wants school districts to implement the law, WTSP reports. The Leon County School Board adopted a new LGBTQ Inclusive School Guide after three hours of heated debate, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Students across the state say they already have felt the effects of the new law and the atmosphere it has created, the USA Today Florida Network reports.

Hot topics

School board politics: In the race for a Pasco County School Board seat, two candidates are questioning whether a third belongs on the ballot. At issue is whether Al Hernandez lived in District 1 at the time of qualifying.

Civics lessons: Controversy continued to swirl around Florida’s new civics teacher training materials. Here’s the slide show that is being presented around the state. “It feels like politics invaded more than it should have into our civics training,” Leto High teacher Michelle Stover said.

Employee pay: Brevard County schools will begin paying the $15 an hour minimum wage three months earlier than anticipated, Florida Today reports. • The Monroe County School Board agreed to increase its starting teacher pay to $51,800 a year. the highest in Florida, Key West Citizen reports.

Taxes: The Flagler County School Board will begin touting its sales tax extension referendum after the County Commission placed it on the November ballot, Palm Coast Observer reports.

Student data: Some Hillsborough County parents are opposing use of a new school bus tracking system, raising fears of how children’s bus riding data might be compromised, WFTX reports.

Teacher vacancies: School districts across the nation, including Osceola County in Florida, are turning to staffing companies to help fill classrooms. There are pros and cons to the approach, Education Week reports.

Home schooling: Growing numbers of South Florida families that took advantage of home schooling during the pandemic are not returning to traditional schools, WLRN reports.

Academic freedom: The State University System Board of Governors discussed suing the University of Florida’s accrediting agency over what former education commissioner Richard Corcoran called a “reputational attack,” Politico Florida reports.

Other school news

Brevard County’s charter review commission contemplated changes to School Board composition and superintendent selection. In the end, it left the district alone, Florida Today reports.

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Where teachers assign students to sit matters. A new Florida Atlantic University study indicates the decision influences friendships as well as academic performance, Science Daily reports.

Orange County’s newly selected superintendent aimed to address growing controversies in the district. Maria Vazquez focused on providing all students a safe, secure learning environment, WKMG reports. More from Spectrum 13.

The Osceola County school district is suing one of its former insurance consultants over compensation issues. A judge ruled the case may proceed despite the consultant’s objections, Florida Politics reports.

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

Before you go ... It’s been a while since we shared Carpool Karaoke. Here’s Lizzo.

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