The big story: Florida lawmakers said they intended to improve the lot of public school teachers with their latest legislation.
Many educators called SB 256 a union-busting bill aimed at dismantling their contracts and hindering their ability to collectively bargain as provided in the state constitution.
The Florida Education Association sued to stop the measure. In the meantime, local chapters are doing all they can to ensure that they remain relevant.
“I do want to be very clear,” said Jeff Larsen, operations director for United School Employees of Pasco. “We will comply with the law, and we absolutely will continue to advocate for our members. We are not going anywhere.” Read more here.
New College: Graduates attended a politically charged official commencement a day after holding their own more laid back event. • Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed his former general counsel to serve on the New College Board of Trustees, Flagler Live reports.
School books: California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat with presidential aspirations, has asked textbook publishers that provide books to his state have made any changes to comply with Florida’s curriculum demands, Business Insider reports. “California will not be complicit in Florida’s attempt to whitewash history through laws and backroom deals,” Newsom wrote. • An Orange County parent is pushing to have the graphic novel “Assassination Classroom” removed from local high schools, WOFL reports.
Board politics: The Hernando County school district has chosen a different, larger location for its May 30 board meeting in anticipation of bigger than normal crowds, Suncoast News reports. • A Flagler County school board member said she feels unsafe at board workshops and has asked for a deputy to attend them, Flagler Live reports.
Race relations: The NAACP issued a travel advisory for Florida, saying the state’s laws regarding education about race, diversity and inclusion have made it unwelcoming to people of color and LGBTQ+ people. • USA Today offers a look back at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ battle with College Board over its new African American studies course, and the backlash that ensued.
Student discipline: The Lee County school district wants to amend its student code of conduct to allow school officials to search students’ cell phones if they have reasonable suspicion of illegal or harmful activities, WINK reports.
Employee departures: An audit recommends that Broward County schools adopt non-disclosure language for employee exit packages, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Superintendents: Five additional candidates have applied for the Broward County superintendent position, WLRN reports. • The Pensacola News-Journal offers insights into the activity that led to the school board’s surprise decision to fire superintendent Tim Smith.
Teachers: A Pinellas County teacher is retiring after 40 years at Tarpon Springs High, the same school she attended, WFTS reports.
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Before you go ... Ed Sheeran played two shows in the Tampa area this weekend. Before hitting the stage, he visited two Hillsborough County high schools, where he performed with the band, donated some instruments and handed out some tickets.
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