Senator Bracy, District 11 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2014
Senator Hays Files Legislation to Strengthen Local Control of Students' Instructional Materials
Today, Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) filed SB 864 which strengthens local control of instructional materials and textbooks for K-12 students.
“Local school districts, not the state or federal government, are the most qualified to determine what textbooks are appropriate for Florida’s classrooms,” said Senator Hays. “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.”
“Instructional materials should be tailored to the needs of our local classrooms,” said Senate Education Chair John Legg (R-Lutz). “Senate Bill 864 will ensure our students have the adequate and most appropriate tools to learn and succeed in today’s digital economy.”
SB 864 eliminates the statewide adoption of textbooks and instructional materials for K-12 public school students by the Florida Department of Education and places control in local school districts. The legislation also establishes local instructional materials review committees to recommend materials to the district school board for final adoption.
The bill prioritizes transparency through open, noticed hearings that seek public input and by requiring local school districts to notify parents of their ability to access their children’s textbooks and instructional materials. A local process would also be established to appeal a district school board’s decision to adopt particular textbooks or instructional materials.
For more information on SB 864, please visit www.flsenate.gov.