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FLORIDA: Bills introduced empowering parents to ‘review, object to and approve instructional materials’

On February 23rd and 24th, 2017 critically important Instructional Materials companion bills were filed in the Florida House and Senate. These curriculum bills will restore local control, empowering parents and taxpayers a meaningful place in the process for reviewing and acquiring of all textbook and online materials used to teach public school children.

Sen. Tom Lee and Rep. Byron Donalds are the sponsors for SB 1210 and HB 989. Think of them as “fixit” companion bills to a very “well-intentioned Senate Bill passed into law in 2014. However, the 2014 law was not implemented by a single school district.  The original intent was to establish each school board to be constitutionally responsible for the instruction materials used in their respective districts and to establish an open, transparent process for reviewing, raising objections to and approving instructional materials used with K-12 students.

When passed these “fixit” bills will restore the original intent in 5 key ways:

  1. Require each school district shall implement a transparent Policy/Process within their District whether they acquire from the State list or create their individual acquisition program.
  2. Provide a definition of quality materials and requirement for providers to meet Florida existing laws.
  3. Tighten the definition of instructional materials to include “on-line” materials.
  4. Give each District School Board greater flexibility to use instructional materials that meet or exceed current Florida Standards.
  5. Expand a parent’s right to object to include the rights of all taxpayers.

At the heart of these fixit bills are the enhanced definition of “quality materials”. Every product you buy as a consumer has an explicit set of quality standards. Obvious examples: the car you drive and the cellphone and computer you use. Not so with the 100’s of millions of dollars Florida spends on textbooks.

Today, the materials are provided by Pearson PLC and one or two other large publishers. They are riddled with political and religious indoctrination; revised history teaching our children they are victims of oppressive and outdated founding principles; and age inappropriate sexually explicit materials aimed at destroying family values.

See the documentation at www.floridaCitizensAlliance.com – Search for “Objectionable Materials Report”


Background

SB 864 (FS 1006.283) was the K-12 Curriculum Bill signed into law by Governor Scott in July of 2014.

Its purpose was to:

  • Assign each school board the constitutional responsibility to select and provide adequate instructional materials.
  • Require each district to create a transparent review policy/process allowing parents to review instructional materials and raise objections if the material was not accurate or was objectionable.
  • Allow School districts to implement their own selection and acquisition programs as an alternative to buying from the State approved lists.

NOTE: It contained numerous loopholes that resulted in many School District ignoring the law.

2017 Companion bills SB 1210 and HB 989 fix the loopholes:

  • Require that each District School Board shall implement a transparent Policy/Process within their
  • District whether they acquire from the State list or create their individual acquisition program.
  • Provide a definition of quality materials and require all materials meet Florida existing laws (notes).
  • Tighten the definition of instructional materials to include “on-line” materials.
  • Give each District School Board greater flexibility to use instructional materials that meet or exceed current Florida Standards.
  • Expand a parent’s right to object to include the rights of taxpayers.

Bottom Line: This law will empower parents and community taxpayers a meaningful seat at the table to significantly improve the quality of instructional materials in public schools.

Note 1: Florida has a very good statute FS 1003.42 2a-f that requires the teaching of our founding principles and “historically accurate materials”. This statute is not being followed today in Florida as many textbook providers distort and reconstruct our history to promote a political agenda.
Note 2: FS 847.011 and FS 847.012 clearly prohibit age inappropriate sexually explicit material in K-12 public schools.

Definition of quality materials spelled out in SB 1210 and HB 989

When passed into law, these Instructional Materials companion bills will restore local control of curriculum to each school district, give a meaningful voice to parents and the local community in the selection process for instructional materials, and require instructional materials used in the classroom meet the following criteria:

a. Be research-based, and be proven to be effective in supporting student learning

  1. Provide a non-inflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues
  2. Be appropriate to the students’ ages and varying levels of learning
  3. Be accurate and factual
  4. Be of acceptable technical quality
  5. Shall strictly adhere to the requirements of Florida Statute 1003.42(2) US Constitutional Founding values and principles
  6. Not contain pornography or sexually explicit content as is otherwise prohibited by Florida Statute 847.012(3).

The Detailed 11 page report of objectionable materials in Florida Schools documenting extensive political and religious indoctrination, revisionist history, issues with APUSH, pornographic material and destructive math pedagogy can be found at http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/?s=objectionable+materials+report

flca logoABOUT THE FLORIDA CITIZENS ALLIANCE (FLCA)

Florida Citizens Alliance is a grassroots Alliance working with 80+ grassroots organizations committed to dramatically improving the outcomes for our Florida children. FLCA helped draft this legislation and we are strong citizen advocates for its passage. Our Goal is simple- to unleash the individual learning potential of every child! We invite your support. Subscribe to our website. Adding your voice makes our collective voice louder!

4 replies
  1. Johnathan
    Johnathan says:

    This is great I don’t want anything except good old fashioned American values reached to my children NO SHARIA LAW NONE OF THIS NONSENSE

    Reply
  2. Horn Blower
    Horn Blower says:

    May I add to ‘Johnathan’ all materials our kids use and we pay for (school board salaries too) have a date prior to 1950. It was around the late 50’s, early 60’s that classroom materials began to change bit by bit over the years leaving out our history.

    Reply
  3. Johnathan
    Johnathan says:

    Write thanks for the info this common core must end. And the advancement of shariah law needs to stop! My one daughter goes to imagine elementary and my other goes to Alta vista here in Sarasota! We must get these fix it bills passed along with the crazy fsa testing my daughter whom goes to Alta vista is in advanced classes and gets straight As but does not do well in timed standardized testing. So even though she makes nothing but straight As. If she fails the language arts/reading part she automatically fails the third grade THIS I FIND TO BE COMPLETED BS

    Reply

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