DeSantis weighs in on school safety, supports letting trained school employees carry guns

With a state commission saying classroom teachers should be allowed to be armed “guardians,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday backed the possibility of more school employees being able to carry guns — while also calling for other steps to avoid mass shootings.  DeSantis told reporters that his upcoming budget proposal will include money for school security…

Florida bill would allow schools to teach alternatives to evolution, climate change

Florida could teach alternatives to evolution and man-made climate change if a new bill passes the state legislature. State Senator Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Ocala, filed Senate Bill 330, which adds a provision to state science standards requiring schools to teach controversial theories in a factual, objective and balanced manner. Read More

Education Department aims to cut wait time for teacher certification

Citing a 55 percent decrease in teacher certification approvals since 2017, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran announced on Tuesday steps to speed the process and get more educators approved.  In an after-hours press statement, Corcoran announced he had moved six employees to the Bureau of Educator Certification to reduce the backlog of unprocessed applications. Read…

‘One size doesn’t fit all.’ Should Florida widen the path to high school graduation?

Twenty-four credits. A grade-point average of 2.0 or better. Passing scores on the state’s Algebra I and 10th grade reading tests, or their alternatives.  Most Florida teenagers know that list: They’re the requirements to earn a standard diploma from a public high school.  But are they the right ones? Read More

FSBA Session Spotlight — January 25, 2019

Most of the 3rd week of Legislative Interim Committee Meetings provided presentations on the implementation of legislation that passed during the 2018 Legislative Session.  Of particular interest were presentations to both the House and Senate Committees on the implementation of SB 7026 – last year’s school safety bill.  Please click on the files below for a summary of…

Senator “disturbed” by claims of Pinellas County Sheriff in regard to school safety law

The chairman of the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is making some claims about local school districts that one state senator calls “disturbing” if they are true.  Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who chairs the commission, testified before the Senate and House Education committees on Tuesday and accused school districts of…

Gualtieri to lawmakers: schools need more armed staff, punish districts that move too slow

When Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stood up to give his presentation to the House Education committee on Tuesday, he had harsh words for school districts whom he said are “not moving fast enough” and are “playing games” with SB 7026, the law passed last year in response to the Parkland shooting that mandated sweeping…

Ron DeSantis calls to end private school scholarship waitlist for low-income students

Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for an end to the waitlist for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, which offers private school scholarships to low-income K-12 students throughout the state.  The scholarship has a waitlist in 2019 of nearly 13,000 students.  “I would like to eliminate the waitlist so every parent has the ability to make…

Florida legislators want to filter public school drinking water

A trip to the water fountain after lunch or recess may seem innocuous for students. But Florida legislators are concerned with what may be in the water.  A bill introduced by Sens. Janet Cruz, Lauren Book and Annette Taddeo would require public schools to filter drinking water at the source on campuses built before 1986. The filters would…