Florida textbooks close as challenges continue

The big story: The content of books in Florida schools has come under scrutiny.

It’s not just state-adopted math textbooks. They are also books on the library shelves that are not part of any assignment, but that students can take home.

Some parents have complained that the presence of certain books is inappropriate, suggesting that they are pornographic. The Polk County School District is one of many that is deeply involved in the debate.

After a group challenged 16 titles, the district convened two review boards to determine if the books belonged to the schools. The panels recently recommended retaining three other titles, all of which deal with LGBTQ topics, the register reports.

The job is almost done. But the controversy is not. Learn more about WUSF.

Hot topics

Taxes: The Pasco County School Board was planning to hold a property tax referendum in November. He moved the vote to August, prompting some residents to cry foul.

HB 1557: A Duval County school board member wanted the board to pass a resolution fully supporting the state’s new law that governs gender identity education and revises the district’s LGBTQ support guide. About 300 members of the public have registered to speak for and against the proposal, reports WJXT. No more WTLVs. • A Lee County art teacher was fired after discussing sexuality with students, days before Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 1557, reports WBBH. • Louisiana’s version of Florida’s law has been rejected by a legislative committee, with lawmakers saying the issues should be left to local school boards to decide, New Orleans Public Radio reports.

School Board Policy: The Miami-Dade County School Board is set to have more Governor Ron DeSantis allies at a time when the governor seeks to further shape the education program, the Miami Herald reports. • Leon County School Board member Dee Dee Rasmussen resigned midway through her fourth term, citing health issues and also noting that the political pendulum has swung away from her, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Superintendent selection: Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure creating a referendum for voters in Lee County to decide whether their principal should remain appointed or be elected, WINK reports.

Student demonstrations: The Flagler County School Board discussed proposals to clarify the district’s sparse rules regarding student protests and walkouts, the Palm Coast Watcher reports. Some members want to ban protests, while others have spoken of protecting student rights.

Parent involvement: The Sarasota County School Board was considering a policy prohibiting parents from recording IEP meetings. The council backtracked after some parents protested, the North Port Sun reports.

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Other school news

The Bay County School District holds job fairs for students to find work. Attendance was strong, Panama City News Herald reports.

How’s your garden? Students at an elementary school in Orange County are receiving lessons in agriculture and nutrition at their school’s learning garden, reports WJXT.

Wakulla County students will have more career training opportunities. Triumph Gulf Coast Council gave the school district $20 million to create a new career academy, the Wakulla News reports.

Flagler County school and government officials were discussing an interlocal agreement regarding new construction and its impact on schools. The county commission abruptly killed the initiative, Live flagging reports.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you leave … Grace, 9, is battling cancer but doesn’t want it to interfere with her school experience. This includes singing in the school concert. His school in Pasco County did.

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