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New Florida education laws — including controversial ones — take hold today

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
An unidentified family attended Gov. Ron DeSantis' signing of legislation that places new requirements on school book selection, at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University on March 25, 2022. DeSantis said the new law provides additional rights for parents in their children's education.
An unidentified family attended Gov. Ron DeSantis' signing of legislation that places new requirements on school book selection, at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University on March 25, 2022. DeSantis said the new law provides additional rights for parents in their children's education. [ The Florida Channel ]
Published Jul. 1

The big story: It’s July 1, so it’s the day that many of the laws the Legislature approved in the spring take effect.

Several will have widespread effects on students, teachers and schools. Among them:

• A federal judge won’t stop implementation of Florida’s new law restricting lessons about race. It takes effect today, ABC News reports.

• The state’s new law on teaching about gender identity also takes hold Friday. Several districts already have begun rewriting their policies with the law in mind, NBC News reports. Some of the things that are rumored to be happening, such as requiring teachers to remove photos of their same-sex families, are not accurate, WTSP reports.

Others include changes to how schools select books, a high school financial literacy course requirement and limits on school board member terms. In all, Florida will enact 144 laws today, Florida Politics reports. More from Associated Press.

Hot topics

School leadership: Tarpon Springs High School in Pinellas County has seen four assistant principals resign in a year. Some School Board officials want to know what’s going on.

University leadership: State University System chancellor Marshall Criser won’t ask the Board of Governors to renew his contract, which expires in December, the News Service of Florida reports. Talk has circulated that Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to see retiring state Sen. Ray Rodrigues, a strong ally, in the post. • The Board of Governors approved Moez Limayem as the next University of North Florida president, Florida Politics reports.

Civics lessons: DeSantis pushed back against accusations that the state’s new civics instruction is biased, as some teachers have stated, the USA Today Florida Network reports. “You’re learning the real history, you’re learning the real facts, but it’s not going to be done in a way that’s trying to indoctrinate students with whatever modern agenda that somebody may have,” he said.

School security: Active shooter drills are popular among Brevard County parents and teachers. Questions remain about their effectiveness, Florida Today reports.

Testing: The Florida Department of Education released the remainder of spring testing results, announcing students had closed achievement gaps in science and social studies. It also emphasized an increase in the percentage of students passing the middle school civics end-of-course exam. Still, large percentages of students did not meet grade-level or course expectations, as the Miami Herald reports. This is the final year for Florida Standards Assessments in language arts and math, as the state transitions to new standards and testing. See the latest results here.

Salaries: Florida Gulf Coast University faculty rejected the school’s latest pay proposal, calling it insulting, WBBH reports

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Other school news

After talking about it for months, the Citrus County School Board approved athletic trainers for all high schools. The agreement with the University of Florida Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute also will provide service to middle schools, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.

A Broward County man with a felony conviction isn’t eligible to volunteer in schools. He’s running for School Board to help govern them, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

The St. Johns County School Board agreed to borrow up to $90 million for new school construction. The district projects building three K-8 schools to handle booming enrollment, the St. Augustine Record reports.

A grand jury report is anticipated to recommend removal of some Broward County School Board members over the 2018 Parkland shooting. Board member Lori Aldaheff, whose daughter was killed in the massacre, said she supports accountability of this sort, WLRN reports.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you go ... Are you ready for the 4th of July? Yep, it’s already upon us. Here’s a stirring clip from “Independence Day” to get you in the mood.

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