Florida schools face increased book challenges under new state law

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Florida schools face a growing number of challenges over the books in classrooms and libraries, as new Florida law governing book selection takes hold.
Florida schools face a growing number of challenges over the books in classrooms and libraries, as new Florida law governing book selection takes hold. [ DREAMSTIME | Dreamstime ]
Published July 26, 2022

The big story: Florida’s new law adding requirements for schools as they place books in classrooms and libraries is getting a workout less than a month after it took effect.

A Sarasota County man is among the latest to test the rules, filing a civil complaint that calls for books to be removed and also alleges criminal activity by district officials.

The Sarasota School Board is pushing back. Its attorney is calling the move an assault on public education, with this man’s effort an improper attempt to subvert existing practices.

“This gentleman needs to avail himself of those procedures, and stop wasting the taxpayer’s money with this crazy jihad and this ridiculous sham pleading,” attorney Dan DeLeo told WUSF. Read more here.

The Polk County school district spent months reviewing a list of books challenged by a conservative community group. Superintendent Frederick Heid announced Monday a new policy that will require parents to opt in if they want their children to have access to some of the more controversial titles, Lakeland Now reports.

Hot topics

Parental rights law: The Florida Department of Education published a proposed rule describing how parents may pursue complaints against school districts over the state’s new “parental rights” law, the News Service of Florida reports. See the proposed rule here. It is scheduled for State Board of Education consideration on Aug. 17.

School board politics: Candidates for the Broward County School Board are getting their funding from all sorts of sources, from political action committees to their own bank accounts, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Tax referendums: The Orange County school district is asking voters to renew a local-option property tax that supports sports and arts education, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Sex education: Former Miami-Dade County superintendent Alberto Carvalho is calling on his previous district to reverse course on its decision to reject its sex education curriculum, WLRN reports. Sex education is required in state law.

School supplies: Some Central Florida teachers are turning to online wish lists to help them supply their classrooms for the new year, WKMG reports.

Shooting threats: A 12-year-old Charlotte County boy was arrested on allegations of making an online threat to shoot up his school, WINK reports. The boy reportedly said he had no intention of following through.

Employee pay: St. Lucie County teachers and school staff reached an agreement providing raises and one-time bonuses to all employees, WPTV reports.

University housing: Florida Atlantic University is relying on hotels to help house students as off-campus rents have risen and applications increased by more than 25%, WPLG reports.

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

Before you go ... How about those U.S. women out-sprinting the Jamaica squad.

Follow what’s happening in Tampa Bay schools

Follow what’s happening in Tampa Bay schools

Subscribe to our free Gradebook newsletter

We’ll break down the local and state education developments you need to know every Thursday.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

• • •

Sign up for the Gradebook newsletter!

Every Thursday, get the latest updates on what’s happening in Tampa Bay area schools from Times education reporter Jeffrey S. Solochek. Click here to sign up.