around last year”Parents’ Rights in Education“The law has reached new heights this past week.
The school districts in Manatee County are covered bookshelf. In Sarasota, they are Freeze Book Donations For fear of accepting something too radical.teacher is under threat of felony If they don’t comply.
Now, as i wrote before, I am not as panicked and fanatical about this legislation as many Democrats are. Calling it a “don’t say gay” bill is a misnomer; it doesn’t go that far. Students and schools do need some rules about what is and isn’t appropriate for children.
But does the law actually provide that guidance?In all the examples above — and one reported last year by a school threatening to Nix Hanukkah Speech Before backing down — the law, as of now, seems to only provide confusion.
Activists who think schools are rife with inappropriate sexual content (I’m not sure which schools they went to!) may be confused as long as they get what they want. Better to err on the side of deleting or banning too much than allow this wave of so called filth to reach the eyes and ears of their poor children.
But I can’t stress enough how crazy this is for the rest of us. This includes people like me who, as I said, don’t immediately object to stricter restrictions on what is and isn’t allowed in schools.
However, these limitations do need to be clarified. And the main problem with the bill, from the start, was not an ostensibly abhorrent piece of legislation, as its most strident critics claimed. Rather, the measure was too vague, leading to unforeseen consequences and, by extension, opening the door to more extreme criticism.
There is no doubt that those activists who supported this legislation will support it to the end because their side won, and that is the most important thing in politics today. But if anyone really cares about constructing effective legislation and proper governance, and winning over skeptics or middlemen, then legislators really need to spell out more clearly what’s allowed and what’s not, or provide more clarity. More money to allow local school districts to navigate legal ambiguities.
Otherwise, proponents of the law will spark more concern and criticism about widespread book bans.
Now, we start our weekly game of winners and losers.
Honorable Mention: FacultyParental Bill of Rights confusion aside, teachers got at least some good news this week on pay.
governor ron desantis Announced a legislative proposal for an additional $200 million in pay increases aimed at bringing teachers in the state to a starting salary of $48,000.
The news follows reports of teacher vacancies this month aloofdespite previous salary increases and other efforts to bring more educators to Florida (ahem, I don’t think the confusion over books and curriculum matters helps).
Now, this proposed legislation is not without some caveats. DeSantis is floating a provision that would prevent union dues from being automatically deducted from teachers’ salaries. Past efforts to do so have been condemned by Democrats. But with Republicans now holding absolute majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats don’t have much say in the matter.
The legislation also adds stricter term limits for school board members, down from the current 12 to eight years.
Democrats argue the legislation is just an attempt political victorywill not actually have a substantial impact on teacher recruitment.
It remains to be seen whether these competing provisions will do more harm than good in attracting more people to the field. But teachers appear to be winning the upcoming legislative session, at least when it comes to salaries.
Almost (but not quite) the biggest winner: Southwest Florida voters. As Secretary of State, Residents of Southwest Florida Receive Some Good News This Week codbird Authorized Lee County Elections Supervisor Tommy Doyle arrive make it easier for residents Vote in local elections in March.
the area is still recovering Hurricane Ianmaking it difficult for some in Estero and Sanibel to show up in person for the upcoming election.
Current law restricts mail-in ballots from being sent to new or non-permanent addresses. But Byrd’s decree allows Doyle to ignore those restrictions and send ballots wherever residents might live as they look for new homes.
“Displaced residents in Lee County, Florida, have experienced long-term impacts as a result of Hurricane Ian,” Byrd said in announcing the move. “In order to help voters in Lee County, the State Department wants to ensure that we provide the accommodations necessary to give displaced voters an adequate opportunity to vote.”
That’s good news for a region that’s still shaky. Both Estero and Sanibel will hold elections on March 7, with several elected positions up for grabs.
Biggest Winner: O Lake. it took 18 years and $1.5 billionbut workers have completed renovations to the Herbert Hoover Levee around Lake Okeechobee.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.
“Beginning in 2005, this construction project has been a monumental undertaking. Legion members and construction contractors, along with support staff from federal, tribal, and state agencies, have dedicated significant portions of their careers to this project, and I thank the their efforts,” Colonel James Booth saysUS Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander.
“Herbert Hoover Dike has never been in better shape. This is great news for the Lakeside communities. Brighton Reservation and Clewiston, South Bay, Belgrade, Pahokee, Okeechobee and Moore Cities like Port Harbor are safer and more protected than ever. These communities are why we repaired the levee. Thanks to our combined efforts, the Herbert Hoover Levee is now better suited to protect lakeside communities for many years to come.”
Levees help manage water flow and prevent flooding outside Lake O. Engineers sometimes had to lower water levels before the repairs were completed, fearing heavy rainfall would stress the levee and cause it to collapse.
With repairs complete, Army units will have greater flexibility to keep the lake at a higher level as Army units move to new bases O Lakes Regulatory Timeline. Having more water in the lake helps ensure that even in times of drought, water remains available to the communities that use the source.
Shameful Mention: Rocky Hanna. Earlier this month, Hanna announced his intention to running for a third term As Leon County Magistrate. Last week, it was revealed that he could be the subject of a state investigation.
what for?Well, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is investigation his”personal opinion“It’s affecting his job performance.
according to Tallahassee ReportingThe investigation stems in part from a recent email Hannah sent to staff that appeared to scoff at the state’s efforts to more closely monitor school activity.
“I will always have your back!” Hannah wrote.
“Continue teaching standards as usual and don’t worry for a minute about political naysayers and others trying to mislead people and control what you can and can’t say in class. If anyone wants to come to you, they’re going to have to go through us and our lawyers.”
Of course, there is backstory here too. Hanna is one of a dozen superintendents who have defied the state’s ban on wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While other superintendents are appointed (and may be removed) by the school board, Hannah is elected. That means he could lose his job if voters oust him, or if the governor steps in and removes him.
The fact that the FDOE is investigating Hanna certainly does not bode well for his tenure. But Hanna reportedly received a letter on Dec. 22 acknowledging the investigation. He announced his decision to run after that, making it clear that he intends to keep fighting.
Almost (but not quite) the biggest loser: Curt Anderson. United States Senator Rick Scott’s Key advisers may be salivating over a possible 2024 presidential run. But this week’s news has seriously dampened that possibility.
Scott has publicly stated that he intends to run for re-election in the Senate, even as he acts as chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee and challenges the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Shows that Scott has bigger ambitions.
But on Thursday, Scott officially announced, Tell NBC News He will run for a second term in the Senate.
Of course, Scott’s re-election will ensure that Anderson and other familiar names There are steady gigs in the upcoming cycle. But Anderson could have built two beach houses with the money he earned running for president. Now, he has to wait until 2028 — or later.
Biggest Loser: Vickie CartwrightWell, on the plus side, at least Cartwright’s wild ride as Superintendent of Broward is over.
Cartwright agree the past week leave Superintendent of the Broward School District.That was after the majority appointed by DeSantis fire cartwright On the last day of its control, only the newly elected school board can cancel that shot. Then, after further criticism of the country, Cartwright was Rumors of getting an ax againbefore she finally stepped aside.
In this era of school reform, the state’s superintendent has been swinging left and right. While Broward’s school district deserves a great deal of criticism — mostly related to the 2018 Parkland shooting — it mostly happened before Cartwright’s tenure.
Ah, but she did create a mask mandate in defiance of the DeSantis administration. That puts her on her back a target that the governor’s allies are more than willing to fire on her.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that, as the school board was preparing to vote Tuesday on whether Cartwright should leave, the FDOE sent a letter Monday night alleging that Cartwright had not complied with the state’s required school safety messages. Of course, the timing was not intentional to weaken Cartwright’s support the night before the final vote.
Cartwright was supposed to be a reformer after ex-superintendent’s bumpy end robert runcie’s term of office. That task will now be passed to others, and they should be well aware that, as in Lyon County, Tallahassee will be watching their work closely.
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