March 24, 2023
Why some Florida schools are removing books from their libraries

Florida Trend Education

Why some Florida schools are removing books from their libraries

| 2/9/2023

Why some Florida schools are removing books from their libraries

Some Florida teachers and parents are grappling with how to explain disappearing books to their students, under sweeping, inconsistent book policies school districts have implemented in response to new state rules. State education officials insist the “book ban” narrative, bolstered by national coverage of empty classroom shelves in Duval County, is overblown. But some local teachers say state guidance, not just the district’s reaction to it, has contributed to mayhem. More from Jacksonville Today, the Tampa Bay Times, ABC News, and the New Yorker.

Which Florida counties might be interested in more school vouchers? Geography may play a part

As lawmakers work to pass a massive expansion of school “vouchers” or “scholarships” — to allow families to use public dollars for private education — where would the demand be for the program? The Florida Phoenix ran some numbers to look at the current situation in Florida, seeing how many private schools are in a county compared to public schools, including public charters. Keep in mind that in Florida, a county represents a school district. The Phoenix analyzed 2021-22 data from the Florida Department of Education. Overall, as it turns out, South Florida as well as Central Florida and areas on the Atlantic Coast have the highest percentages of private schools within their counties. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

Public education hits $2.3 billion jackpot from lottery players

Scratch-off tickets accounted for 75% of sales, helping The Florida Lottery to an 11th consecutive year of breaking records and sending $2.3 billion into public education. The population in Florida is projected to increase by at least 1.4% in 2023 and another 1.3% in 2024. Lottery officials want to capitalize, a release says, with plans for initiatives to increase the player base using new products, technology and diversifying retailers. [Source: The Center Square]

‘I’m afraid to be in a classroom’: Florida teachers discuss rise in student violence

In 2020, kids across Florida went home for spring break and did not return to school. Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Florida shut down schools until the following year. By the fall of 2021, most kids in the state had returned to class, but that return has been marked with what educators call a disturbing trend. “Student behavior is pretty much spiraling,” says former teacher Kiauna Sharmetta Izliah. “Twenty years ago, you didn’t see those behaviors so much as you see now. And the behaviors can range from anything from just verbal disrespect to a student physically grabbing a teacher, throwing things at teachers.” [Source: WFTV]

Florida high school board to hold emergency meeting after menstruation question controversy  

The Florida High School Athletic Association will reconsider a controversial proposal that could have required female students to reveal their menstruation history. Its board of directors will hold an emergency meeting Thursday morning to discuss participation paperwork that recently drew widespread attention. The association’s executive director is recommending that students only submit one page to schools — a page where a medical professional verifies that an athlete is healthy enough to compete, or only able to participate partially. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Doctors raise concerns over Florida possibly requiring student athletes’ menstrual info


› University of Florida students, faculty offer opinions on UF President Ben Sasse as he takes office
Tensions ran high on the University of Florida campus on Monday as the state’s flagship higher education institution welcomed President Ben Sasse on his first day in office. The former U.S. senator officially became the top-5 university’s 13th president to start the week, taking the reins from predecessor Kent Fuchs after being chosen in the fall as the sole finalist for the position.

› College credit for suspected criminals? New Broward program swaps the courtroom with the classroom
A new program will allow those accused of nonviolent first offenses in Broward to take college courses instead of going to trial — as long as the victim of the alleged crime agrees. Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor, Public Defender Gordon Weekes, and Broward College President Gregory Haile announced the new pre-trial diversion program, a collaboration between their three offices called “Court to College,” at a signing ceremony Tuesday. The Broward State Attorney’s Office currently offers six other diversion programs, but State Attorney Harold Pryor said in his speech that this one will be “far more than a diversion program.”

› Publishing company will offer free Black history e-books, especially in Florida
A Chicago-based publishing house will offer free e-books focused on Black history after the College Board revised its Advanced Placement African American studies course earlier this month. And Haymarket Books has Florida, specifically, in its sights. The College Board’s revisions came after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) refused to allow the class in Florida high schools.

› Florida name, image and likeness repeal clears committee hurdle Wednesday
Florida inched closer to effectively repealing its name, image and likeness (NIL) law during a Senate committee meeting Wednesday. The bill — SB 200 — would eliminate state regulations around college athletes earning money off their name, image and likeness. It would get rid of provisions requiring deals to be “commensurate with the market value” and ensuring that deals are not inducements for players to attend or stay at a certain school. It would also allow coaches, schools or support organizations to facilitate deals, which is prohibited under current law.

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David Denor at the 2022 Florida Southern College Winter Commencement
David Denor at the 2022 Florida Southern College Winter Commencement

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