The big story: Parents have for years been able to opt their children out of school lessons and events that they didn’t want them to experience.
Schools have offered alternative assignments and other activities, to ensure families have choices.
More recently, though, some Republican officials and conservative activists have argued that opting out isn’t enough. In the name of what they view as parental rights, they have pushed for parents to opt in for a growing number of things that schools provide.
They argue it’s the best way to make sure that parents really have a say in what their children get in the public schools. Some observers suggest that requiring permission slips can have some negative consequences for children and for schools. Read more here.
Advanced Placement: Some Palm Beach County high school students whose Advanced Placement tests were lost have three weeks to prepare for a retake, the Palm Beach Post reports. • Some Orange County high school students might have to change their AP Research projects as the district deemed some topics too controversial under state law, WFTV reports.
Black history: What do Florida’s new African American history standards say about slavery? Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott sparred over the issue during the GOP presidential debate, the Miami Herald reports.
Book challenges: About 30 Seminole County residents read explicit passages from library books during a school board meeting, aiming to get them removed, WESH reports. Board members said they would consider written objections only. • The Clay County School Board considered expanding its definition of prohibited content, which could lead to more books being removed from schools, WTLV reports.
Cell phones: About 97% of students ages 11 to 17 use their cell phones in school, according to a new study. Florida is among the states trying to reduce the use, K-12 Dive reports.
Community relations: The Brevard County school district kicked off a series of public town halls aimed at improving relations with the public, Florida Today reports. • Broward County’s superintendent is hosting “community conversations” to discuss the district’s future, Tap Into Parkland reports.
Gender issues: The Orange County School Board adopted a resolution marking LGBTQ+ History Month, after one of its members criticized the measure as condoning “sexual ideologies and perversions,” the Orlando Sentinel reports. • The Polk County school district is revamping its anti-discrimination policy to remove terms such as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” WFLA reports.
School zones: The St. Johns County school district made another round of revisions to its proposed attendance zones as it attempts to ease crowding, WJAX reports.
Teacher pay: Lee County teachers have rejected the school district’s latest contract offer as not good enough, WINK reports.
Follow what’s happening in Tampa Bay schools
Subscribe to our free Gradebook newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
From the court docket ... A Flagler County student with autism who attacked a teacher had all charges against her dropped as she was found not competent to stand trial, Flagler Live reports.
In higher ed
New College: Alumni and former students have launched Alt New College as an online option for students seeking access to courses that the school’s new leadership have limited or ended as “woke,” WUSF reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here’s a link to yesterday’s roundup.
Before you go ... Which way do you think the electrical plug should go? It’s actually a debate.
• • •
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.