Education groups call on Florida to stop enforcing textbook rule

There’s a new twist to the book challenges and book bans that are making headlines across the state.

Three Florida educational organizations are calling on the state to stop enforcing rules requiring teachers to catalog all books and reading materials in their classrooms.


Think about all the books and other reading materials your children may have access to in their classrooms. A Florida Board of Education rule states that all such materials must be cataloged, as must all books in the school’s media center.

Now, a legal challenge says that rule goes too far.

“The essence of the petition is to question the Department of Education’s efforts to go above and beyond and effectively rewrite the law,” said Joanne Kintz of the Democracy Forward Foundation.

Kintz represents the Florida Education Association and others in a 90-page petition filed with Florida’s Division of Administrative Hearings.

He is asking that two Florida Department of Education rules be deemed invalid and no longer enforced.

According to the petition, the portion in question deals with a state rule that a library media center means any collection of books, e-books, periodicals, and videos maintained and accessible to students on the site of a school, including classrooms.

Read the petition here:

“If you look at the law that’s being implemented — HB 1467 — it doesn’t make any mention of classroom libraries,” Kintz said.

HB 1467 is the law that promotes transparency and parental rights, allowing parents to know what reading materials are available and to object if they feel the material is not appropriate, resulting in the removal of reading materials. books from the school shelves.

“If there are books in the classroom library, they just have to make sure they’re in the searchable database,” said former Florida Department of Education senior chancellor Jacob Oliva. at a meeting in Tallahassee in October.

When the Florida Board of Education approved the rule late last year, here’s why leaders said it was necessary.

“People feel like there’s a loophole that if they wanted to push an agenda and bring in material that could be harmful to children, that they could if we didn’t include classroom libraries “Oliva said.

Kintz argues that the rules lead to more censorship in the classroom.

“Our hope is that this will lead to the resumption of classroom libraries across the state of Florida. This will ease the burden on teachers as a result of these rules,” Kintz said.

Scripps content only 2023


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