Today, HB 921 and its Senate companion SB 864 relating to Adoption of Instructional Materials will be considered on 2nd Reading by the full House of Representatives. As we have reported, when these bills were originally filed, both would have repealed the state-level instructional materials review and adoption process and mandate, rather than authorize, the transfer of these duties to the district school board. However, the House bill — HB 921 — has been amended to retain the state level process, retain the school district OPTION to take on these duties, require school districts to provide opportunities for public review and comment on any instructional materials used in the school district, and provide additional guidelines for those school districts that choose to exercise the local adoption option. Meanwhile, the Senate version of the bill – SB 864 – still contains the original provisions that would repeal the state process and mandate a local adoption process. The bill narrowly passed the Senate and is now been sent to the House for consideration.
FSBA strongly prefers the House bill over the Senate bill. When the House takes up these bills today, it is expected that one version will be laid on the table and the other will move on to 3rd Reading. FSBA strongly prefers the House version – HB 921 – over the Senate version – SB 864 — but the concern is that the House may accept and pass the Senate version.
Please contact your House member(s) TODAY and urge them to support the current House version of the bill – HB 921 – and oppose the Senate version – SB 864. Tell your House members that SB 864 imposes a tremendous unfunded mandate and operational burden on school districts, deprives school districts of the state’s “economy of scale” in textbook purchasing power, reduces Florida’s national influence over textbook content, opens the adoption process to social and political bias, and threatens the constitutional requirement for a uniform system of free public schools. Also, please stress that the preferred HB 921 addresses the issue of local accountability by requiring school boards to provide meaningful public review and input of all instructional materials used by the school district.
You may access a full list of House member email addresses by clicking HERE.