February 29, 2024
Florida officially limits gender, sexual orientation instruction in all school grades

Florida Trend Education

Florida officially limits gender, sexual orientation instruction in all school grades

| 4/20/2023

Florida officially limits gender, sexual orientation instruction in all school grades

The State Board of Education on Wednesday voted to bar Florida middle school and high school teachers from “intentionally” teaching students about sexual orientation or gender identity, unless the lessons are part of a reproductive health course or are “expressly required” by the state’s academic standards. Teachers who do otherwise could be suspended or their teaching license could be revoked. More from the Miami Herald and Reuters.

A judge has rejected a challenge to Florida's intellectual freedom surveys

A federal judge has tossed out a challenge to a controversial 2021 Florida law that includes requiring surveys about “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” on state college and university campuses. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a 22-page decision Monday that said plaintiffs, including the United Faculty of Florida union and individual professors, did not establish legal standing to challenge the law. The plaintiffs argued, in part, that the law violated First Amendment rights because it would chill speech. [Source: News Service of Florida]

What time should students start school? Florida lawmakers are considering a time change

Research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 indicates the average teenager has difficulty falling asleep before 11 p.m. and should wake up at 8 a.m. or later. About half of public high schools in Florida begin before 7:30 a.m., so high school students who want to catch the bus often must wake up as early as 5 a.m. [Source: Miami Herald]

Graduating seniors ask: Would I have attended a Florida school if DEI was banned?

With a proposed bill that would restrict DEI initiatives at public colleges and universities in Florida, some current students are asking if they'd have chosen their schools if this had happened before now. The bill in question would ban public colleges and universities from using state or federal dollars to promote DEI initiatives. It would also make it easier to remove majors or minors that teach about race, gender and sexuality. [Source: WUSF]

Florida for-profit school excluded from federal aid program

The U.S. Department of Education is locking a Florida for-profit college out of a federal student aid program, saying it saddled students who might not have needed postsecondary education with unnecessary debt. Federal ability-to-benefit regulations are at the heart of the decision striking Miami-based Florida Career College from aid eligibility. For students who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent — a point of commonality for students at Florida Career College — receiving public aid money first requires passing a test to determine if a postsecondary education would benefit them. [Source: Courthouse News Service]

Trend Mention

Mention ImageThe 2023 Talent Strong Florida Summit is Empowering All Floridians for Education and Career Success

Register today for two days of inspiration, collaboration, and lessons learned at the Florida College Access Network’s annual Talent Strong Florida Summit April 27-28 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay! The Summit will feature nearly 40 sessions related to FCAN’s “Seven Conditions that Create a Resilient Workforce and Spark Economic Mobility.” Visit www.fcansummit.org to register.


› John Nicklow named next president of Florida Tech
John Nicklow is the next leader of Florida Institute of Technology. Board of trustees chair Travis Proctor announced today on behalf of the board that Nicklow, president of the University of New Orleans in Louisiana, has been appointed as the sixth president in Florida Tech’s 65-year history. Nicklow, with a background in engineering and higher education teaching, research and administration, will bring a student-centered focus to his new role. He takes office July 1.

› New College struggling with enrollment after overhaul
New College is in the middle of a major transition after Gov. Ron DeSantis initiated a conservative transformation of the state's liberal arts honors college, appointing six new board members on Jan. 6. The college has long had a progressive campus culture, and the overhaul is causing considerable backlash. There are big questions about how that turmoil could impact enrollment.

› From a small town in China, engineer helps lead UF/IFAS AI programs to new heights
Changying “Charlie” Li comes from humble roots. He was born in the tiny town of Balikun – population about 10,000 – in northwestern China. Now, he’s a new UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and he’s taking on an administrative role as UF/IFAS artificial intelligence (AI) administrative coordinator. Li serves as an example that a person from a small town and with a modest background can work to change the world in big ways. He credits his parents for inspiring him to always learn.

› Hillsborough School Board votes to close Tampa’s Just Elementary School
The Hillsborough County School Board has voted 4-3 to close West Tampa’s Just Elementary School, effective at the end of this school year. The decision will become official if it survives a second vote on May 9. Students now at Just will be transferred to Tampa Bay Boulevard and Booker T. Washington elementary schools.

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