Florida Senate bill gives local control over textbooks, instructional materials

schools kidsState Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, filed legislation Wednesday that would give public school districts more control over instructional materials and textbooks.

“Local school districts, not the state or federal government, are the most qualified to determine what textbooks are appropriate for Florida’s classrooms,” Hays said in a statement released by his office. “School districts have a constitutional duty to decide what materials best suit their classrooms, and by strengthening local control, Senate Bill 864 streamlines Florida’s bureaucratized instructional materials process and encourages the efficient and effective use of public funds. Additionally, parents, teachers and the community will have an active voice in what tools their children use to grow.”

The measure would no longer require districts to use textbooks and instructional materials chosen by the Florida Department of Education.

“Instructional materials should be tailored to the needs of our local classrooms,” Senate Education Chairman John Legg, R-Lutz, said in the statement. “Senate Bill 864 will ensure our students have the adequate and most appropriate tools to learn and succeed in today’s digital economy.”

The legislation would establish local review committees to recommend materials, while also creating open hearings to seek public input and a process to appeal a school district’s decision.


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