Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is continuing his battle, along with the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, to return accountability to public school education as well as ensure parents have more control over what their children are exposed to.
In addition, the GOP leader who has been mentioned as a future presidential contender is also taking aim at breaking up little power fiefdoms within school boards.
DeSantis signed HB1467 into law on Friday which establishes term limits for Florida school board members while also giving residents and parent greater access to educational materials being presented to students.
“We believe parents not only have a role, they have the fundamental role to be involved in the education of their kids, and that’s how it’s going to be in the state of Florida,” said DeSantis, echoing his long-held position of being committed to parental rights, WFTV-ABC in Orlando reported,
According to a press release from DeSantis’ office, the new law puts a 12-year consecutive term limit on school board members in the state and “requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of instructional materials, including library and reading materials.”
“As a part of the Year of the Parent, this legislation aims to preserve the rights of parents to make decisions about what materials their children are exposed to in school,” the press release also says.
The Blaze described the crux of the legislation:
This new law requires school districts in Florida to hold public meetings for the purpose of selecting instructional materials and provide the public with ample notice of when and where the meetings will be held.
It also stipulates that the school districts must provide access to all materials no-less than 20 days before the school board takes official action on proposed instructional material.
The state Department of Education is also compelled by law to publish a list of materials that have been removed or discontinued by the school board and disseminate the list to school districts within the state.
“In Florida, our parents have every right to be involved in their child’s education. We are not going to let politicians deny parents the right to know what is being taught in our schools. I’m proud to sign this legislation that ensures curriculum transparency,” DeSantis said, according to the press release.
Wilton Simpson, Florida Senate president, praised the new legislation and explained the need for it.
“While teachers, school administrators, and school board members have a tremendous amount of authority over what and how our kids are taught in school, at the end of the day, parents — not schools — are responsible for raising children,” Simpson noted.
He continued, “Florida parents are seeking greater involvement in many aspects of our education system, and this legislation speaks to that effort. The books our kids are reading in schools need to have proper vetting. Parents have a right, and a responsibility, to be involved in that process,” he added.
“Not all books are appropriate for every grade level. This legislation makes sure that we have a transparent and consistent process for public participation in the review of books and other materials used in school lessons and in the school library,” he said.
Richard Corcoran, the state’s education commissioner thanked DeSantis.
“Governor DeSantis has shown time and time again that he is not afraid to fight for the rights of parents and understands the importance that they have a seat at the table when it comes to their child’s education,” he said. “I’m grateful for the Governor’s guidance and the voices of many parents, who have come forward and demands that parents be seen as a partner in their child’s education.”