The big story: Florida is poised to implement an historic expansion of its private school voucher and scholarship program, if Gov. Ron DeSantis signs off.
Along party lines, the Senate joined the House in approving a measure to offer all K-12 children in Florida a voucher or education savings account, which could be used on private or home schooling expenses. It would be the equivalent amount to what the state spends per student in the public schools.
DeSantis has signaled his support for offering more publicly funded education choices, saying the money should follow the students. He also has questioned the need to provide vouchers to high wealth families, and has not said whether he will sign the bill into law.
Although the chambers agreed on the policy, they have yet to come to terms on how to pay for it. Read more here.
Diversity: The University of Florida faculty called on their administration to oppose legislation that would eliminate diversity programs in higher education and ban majors associated with critical race theory. • State College of Florida fired its diversity, equity and inclusion director, a tenured faculty member who had worked at the school since 1984, the Herald-Tribune reports.
Gender lessons: Florida educators predicted problems will arise if the State Board of Education carries through with a proposed rule to place limits on the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation through 12th grade. • Education commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said the proposed rule aims to clarify what the state means by “age-appropriate” lessons, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • A Florida House committee combined three bills into one that have a potential to create a hostile environment for LGBTQ students and staff, Florida Phoenix reports.
Classical education: The principal of Tallahassee Classical Academy, a Leon County charter school, was forced out amid controversy over showing students a photo of Michelangelo’s David sculpture, WFLA reports. • Board chairperson Barney Bishop explained why to Slate.
Social-emotional learning: The Miami-Dade County School Board is placing increased scrutiny on the district’s mental health curriculum after receiving criticism that students are receiving sensitive information without adequate oversight, the Miami Herald reports.
New College: The New College Foundation, charged with raising money to support the school’s new interim president, is Sydney Gruters, wife of state Sen. Joe Gruters, Florida Politics reports.
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Superintendents: Still waiting for her School Board to decide whether to extend her contract, Flagler County superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt gave herself a strong self-evaluation, Flagler Live reports.
Board politics: Targeted for defeat by Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sarasota School Board member Tom Edwards filed papers for a reelection bid, the Herald-Tribune reports. “Our students need to have the other voice that doesn’t represent a political agenda,” Edwards said. • The Escambia County School Board is sparring over which of its members would best represent the board on the county’s Children’s Trust, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.
Turnaround students: The Marion County school district is partnering with an alternative school to give teens a new chance to complete high school, the Ocala Star Banner reports.
Civics: Gov. Ron DeSantis called for improvement in the way children learn about civics, Jacksonville Today reports.
From the police blotter ... A Seminole County high school student was arrested on allegations of bringing a gun to school, WESH reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.
Before you go ... These Duval County second graders’ celebration over getting a math problem correct has gone viral, the Florida Times-Union reports. Share the joy.
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