College of the Mainland Library / https://www.flickr.com/photos/comlibrary/

Florida lawmakers want to make it easier for parents and residents to challenge school textbooks. Depending on who you ask, the bill is a slippery slope towards book burning, or a step towards community control. But with just days left in the Session, lawmakers face a tight deadline to pass the measure. At the time of publishing, the Senate was scheduled to consider the measure, but had not yet taken it up.

FSU Trying To Drop Textbook Prices

Sep 28, 2016
Florida State University

New Florida legislation requires universities to analyze the cost of required textbooks and materials. The Florida State University Board of Trustees is now searching for ways to cut those costs.

Brian Herzog via Flickr

Textbooks, and more specifically the way the Leon School Board buys them, has become a debate point in district elections this year.

Capital Report: 04-11-2014

Apr 11, 2014

The House has moved ahead with its plans to expand the state’s corporate tax scholarship program, over the objections of the Senate. Lynn Hatter reports the lower chamber hopes by tying the expansion to another bill and watering it down, the Senate will be more likely to take it up.

Brian Herzog via Flickr

The Florida Senate narrowly passed a bill Friday giving school districts sole control over selecting textbooks and curricula and taking that power away from the state education department. The local-selection option has been available to school districts since last year, but none of them has chosen it so far.

The Senate passed the bill 21- 19, with five Republicans siding with Democrats in voting no. Sen. Alan Hays (R- Umatilla) says his bill is for parents.

Brian Herzog via Flickr

Grade school textbooks would be chosen by local school districts rather than the state education commissioner under a bill filed in the Florida Legislature. Almost 60 percent of U.S. states use the local textbook selection model already.

Florida Education Association spokesman Andy Ford says the state’s largest teacher’s union doesn’t yet have an official position on the proposal. But he says he’s scratching his head as to what problem the bill is meant to solve.

“That shows you right there why this is a good bill," says the bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla).

Workman Photo (www.myfloridahouse.gov)/Textbook (PearsonSchool.com)

A Florida lawmaker is considering legislation that would give the public input on the content found in Florida school textbooks. His overall aim is to cut down on what he calls the “Islam-bias” in state schools.

Melbourne Republican Representative Ritch Workman says Prentice Hall’s “World History” book not only puts an inaccurate spin on Islam, it also dedicates a whole chapter to the religion…


A dispute over whether certain Florida schools should ditch their history textbooks could become a larger statewide issue. Critics say certain textbooks are biased towards Islam at the expense of other religions, and they hope to remove what they call “Islam-bias” textbooks from Florida schools.

A group called Citizens for National Security wants to have more input over some history books used by Florida schoolchildren.  President William Saxton says he’d like to remove what he calls “Islam bias” in history texts.

LHatter / WFSU

In Cindy Smith’s 10th grade math class, there is no chalkboard. There isn’t even a dry-erase board. There’s a screen that connects to the internet. But, it’s turned off right now. Students sit at their desks, heads down and focused intently on the slim, black screen lit with equations, functions, and word problems i front of them. There are no pens, pencils or paper. Instead, these kids are using iPads, and they say they prefer the tech, to the textbook.

Paper-based textbooks in Florida classrooms could soon be a thing of the past. The State Board of Education is considering asking lawmakers to do away with the requirement that school districts purchase new books every few years.

“I would like to see the state of Florida eliminate entirely textbook adoption. The purpose being to allow our students to have the best learning materials in the classroom," said State Board Member Roberto Martinez, who put the idea before the board.