HomeEducationGovernor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill that Requires Curriculum Transparency
Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill that Requires Curriculum Transparency
March 25, 2022
Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1467, which 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. Additionally, the bill sets 12-year term limits for school board members. For more information about the bill, click here.
“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,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
“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,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “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. 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.”
“We depend on our K-12 schools to teach facts and age-appropriate subject material. We expect them to be transparent about the contents of the curriculum in our classrooms and to value parent feedback,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “This legislation will improve accountability, curriculum transparency, and trust, and it will ensure that Florida continues its tradition of maintaining the highest expectations for our education system. The addition of term limits helps to weaken any political motives and shifts the focus of school boards back to the best interests of our children, as it should be. Thank you, Rep. Sam Garrison and Chair Chris Latvala for your hard work on this good legislation.”
“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,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “I’m grateful for the Governor’s guidance and the voices of many parents, who have come forward and demand that parents be seen as a partner in their child’s education.”
The bill will require school districts convening for the purpose of selecting instructional materials, to notice the meetings and have them open to the public. The school districts must also provide access to all materials at least 20 days prior to the school board taking official action on instructional materials. The Department of Education (DOE) will be required to publish a list of materials that have been removed or discontinued by school boards as a result of an objection and disseminate the list to school districts for their consideration.
School district library media center materials and assigned school or grade-level reading lists must also be reviewed by a district employee holding a valid educational media specialist certificate, and DOE will be required to develop an online training program for librarians and media specialists. The superintendent of schools in each district must certify to the DOE Commissioner that all school librarians and media center specialists have taken this training.
“I hadn’t been involved with the school board prior to COVID. It got us paying attention,” said Rebecca Sarwi, Parent, Volusia County. “Our first time showing up in person at the school board meeting, I, along with 6 other mothers, were trespassed from the location for a whole year due to not wearing a mask, and they silenced our voice from public comment. It has been an eye-opening experience to the lengths that they would assert their power. But since COVID restrictions made us acutely aware of the power behind the school board, we are now paying attention to their meetings, agendas, and curriculum, and so many other concerns are coming to the surface now that we are paying attention.”
“Recently I discovered one of the most disturbing, pornographic books in my child’s high school in Orange County,” said Alicia Farrant, Parent, Orange County. “After some research, I learned that an alarming percentage of high school and middle school library books contain similar material. It is appalling that removal of pornographic and sexually explicit books has even been cause for debate. I am thankful for a Governor that has the courage to lead with integrity and to partner with parents as we strive to raise the standard of excellence in our education system. Our students deserve to have high quality, academically rich books at their fingertips, and under no circumstance should they have access to graphic, pornographic material at school.”
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