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June 11, 2021

Florida’s State Board of Education has adopted controversial changes to how public school teachers approach subjects like history and government. The new rule states teachers can’t “indoctrinate” students. Or persuade them to adopt points of view that are “inconsistent with the state’s academic standards.” Robbie Gaffney reports it’s meant to keep discussions about critical race theory out of K-12 classrooms.

There were other bills being signed by Governor DeSantis this week. One was a new property insurance measure. Blaise Gainey reports the goal behind the bill was to cut down on litigation and stop rising insurance rates. But some still question if the change will actually benefit consumers.

Charlie Crist would like another term as Florida Governor. As we hear from Steve Bousquet, Crist was criss-crossing the state this week and ramping up his campaign to unseat incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis.

Transitioning from being an active duty service member to living as a civilian can be hard. Florida lawmakers say they want to help ease that process as part of a larger effort to make Florida a more veteran-friendly state. Regan McCarthy reports the legislature passed a number of measures this session aimed at supporting veterans and military families.

Tampa Bay is experiencing multiple algae blooms. Toxic red tide has made its way north to the Pinellas County coast from Collier County. But there are also Lyngbya-like (ling-BEE-uh) blooms, which are stringy green mats, floating north of Port Manatee. That’s near where more than 200-million gallons of nutrient-rich wastewater was dumped from Piney Point back in March. And scientists think the nutrients from that spill are feeding both types of algae blooms, although results are pending to scientifically confirm this. WUSF’s Jessica Meszaros spoke to Maya Burke with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, which is part of a large group monitoring the bay’s water quality.

A federal appeals court recently dealt a second blow to Florida citrus growers’ efforts to expand the use of the pesticide Aldicarb. The court rejected the U-S Environmental Protection Agency’s January decision to register Aldicarb for use on 100-thousand acres of citrus crops across the state. That prompted environmental and farmworkers’ groups to sue the E-P-A. They say the pesticide poses a threat to wildlife and people. Valerie Crowder interviewed Jeannie Economos [Eee-coh-noh-mos], who’s the pesticide health and safety project coordinator with the Farmworker Association of Florida. The association was one of the plaintiffs challenging the E-P-A.