Florida limits professor tenure, citing ‘indoctrination’ concerns

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The big story: Florida Republican state officials continued to attack what they’re calling indoctrination in education. This time, they focused their attention on public colleges and universities.

In a news conference where he also touched on textbooks and Twitter, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would sign into law a measure placing limits on professors’ tenure. The goal, he said, was to hold the educators accountable for their performance, so they don’t fall into “intellectual orthodoxy.”

Standing beside DeSantis, House Speaker Chris Sprowls said the legislation intended to stop faculty members from smuggling “radical political agendas” into courses rather than teaching students what they need to know. Here’s what education commissioner Richard Corcoran had to say about the need for this law:

The head of United Faculty of Florida suggested the lawmakers and governor did not understand how universities operate. Read the rest of the story here.

Hot topics

Tax referendums: Citing the need to bring in more money for employee salaries, among other expenses, several school boards considered calling referendums to raise local property taxes. The Hillsborough County board narrowly approved a motion to hold its vote in August. The Pasco County board unanimously agreed to have a vote in November. The Broward County board unanimously decided to hold a referendum in August, WSVN reports. The Duval County school district’s planned measure moved closer to the ballot, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Textbooks: The sole publisher to have its K-5 math textbooks for Florida schools has connections to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • Some of the rejected books received high marks for math content, Florida Phoenix reports. • State officials released an overview of the book review process, but still offered no specific examples why books were kept off the approved list, WPTV reports. • Florida Education Association leaders alleged the textbook decisions play into DeSantis’s larger political agenda, WJXT reports.

Book challenges: The Walton County school district removed 58 books from school shelves, citing concerns for student welfare, WJHG reports.

Federal funding: The Florida Department of Education has asked school districts to return unused coronavirus relief funds, despite districts having another year left to spend the money, WFTS reports.

School boards: The Nassau County School Board divided on whether to join the Florida School Boards Association, Florida Politics reports. • Alachua County School Board member Tina Certain was selected FSBA president-elect, WGFL reports.

Other school news

Hearings on the penalty phase of the Parkland school shooter have been rescheduled into June. Lawyers for both sides said they wanted more time to interview expert witnesses, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

A Miami-Dade County parent was arrested in February after fighting with another parent at a school. The charges are now dropped, and the arresting officer is under investigation, the Miami Herald reports.

The Alachua County school district plans to launch a new STEAM education program. Students at three participating schools will receive technology to allow them to complete work at home, WGFL reports.

The St. Lucie County school district is expecting thousands of students to attend summer school. It is offering teachers extra pay and bonuses if they agree to teach in the summer, WPTV reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... Just when you thought you knew Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

• • •

Sign up for the Gradebook newsletter!

Every Thursday, get the latest updates on what’s happening in Tampa Bay area schools from Times education reporter Jeffrey S. Solochek. Click here to sign up.