The big story: Book selection. AP psychology. Gender identity lessons.
School district officials and educators across Florida say these subjects, like many others, share one similar trait: Vague rules on how to comply, paired with threats of penalties for failure to follow them.
It’s a recipe for what some say is the worst relationship between districts and the Department of Education in memory. It’s possible that presidential politics has become a factor. Read more here.
At least one of the topics — instruction about gender and sex — has been the subject of lawsuits, as students, parents and teachers have been trying to prevent its implementation. A settlement looks to be in the works, News Service of Florida reports.
Districts continue to interpret the new laws and rules. The Bay County School Board attempted to be as restrictive as possible when adopting a new policy for students to self-administer headache medications, WJHG reports.
Budgets: The Pinellas County School Board approved a $1.77 billion budget. Two members opposed the tax rate, saying county residents can’t afford it. • Two Collier County School Board members voted against their district’s budget, saying they did not understand it well enough, WGCU reports. • The Citrus County School Board approved its $323 million budget, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • The Alachua County School Board approved a $599 million budget despite lingering concerns about the accounting for federal pandemic relief funds, the Gainesville Sun reports.
Books: The Osceola County school district is ending its practice of providing automatic student access to the public library system, WFTV reports. • The U.S. Senate held a hearing on school book banning. Florida laws got featured during the discussion, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The Indian River County school district removed dozens of titles from its libraries recently. Data showed not many students had been reading them, WPTV reports.
Black history: An Orlando church is offering the Advanced Placement African American studies course that the DeSantis administration has prevented public schools from providing, WESH reports. It’s open to students across the state.
Diversity, equity and inclusion: The Hernando County School Board split over its participation in the Equal Opportunity Schools program, Suncoast News reports.
Superintendent searches: Duval County residents say they want their next superintendent to have integrity, an education background and an ability to work with a diverse community, WJXT reports. The School Board plans to have its next leader in office by January, Jacksonville Today reports.
Teacher shortages: Hillsborough County schools are looking for 60 more special education teachers, Bay News 9 reports.
From the police blotter ... A Broward County teen was arrested on accusations of stabbing a teacher with scissors, WTVJ reports. • A Manatee County teen was arrested on allegations of bringing a gun and ammunition to school, the Bradenton Herald reports.
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From the court docket ... The Pinellas County School Board agreed to join a multi-district lawsuit against social media companies, saying it is seeking damages from dealing with mental health issues caused by the online entities, WTSP reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.
Before you go ... Some people say this is the best lip sync of all time. Agree?
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