Just 30 seconds? Despite complex bills, Floridians are limited on public testimony in Legislature

BY: and - March 14, 2023

“This Florida government makes us students feel like you are our No. 1 bully–” a transgender Floridian started to say in front of more than a dozen Florida lawmakers Tuesday in opposition of a bill that would limit the use of certain pronouns in public schools. But before the speaker could finish the thought, Rep. […]

Tensions boiled over in higher education meeting Monday in the Legislature

BY: - March 13, 2023

More than 150 people came to a committee meeting Monday to express their concerns and fears related to changes in college majors and minors for students and concerns about tenure for professors in Florida. The three-hour meeting was tense from the start, when Rep. Lauren Melo of Southwest Florida, who chairs the subcommittee, let the […]

GOP lawmakers plan to ban more college majors in FL like ethnic studies, ‘radical’ feminist theory

BY: - March 13, 2023

Update: The House Postsecondary Education and Workforce Subcommittee approved a proposed committee substitute for HB 999 Monday, replacing the language of the original bill. Republican lawmakers are proposing to expand legislation that would further limit majors and minors available to Florida university students, which would exacerbate concerns from faculty and other opponents of the bill […]

Should wealthy golfer Tiger Woods’ kids be able to attend private schools on public dollars in FL?

BY: - March 10, 2023

The question of whether families of millionaires and billionaires should benefit from an expanded taxpayer-funded voucher program to send their children to private schools has become a sticking point as state lawmakers and even Gov. Ron DeSantis grapple with whether the very wealthy should qualify. In a House committee Friday, the debate centered on a […]

Some FL GOP lawmakers want school boards to be partisan; would there be consequences?

BY: - March 10, 2023

With the growing spotlight on school board races in recent years, some Florida GOP lawmakers want to see if voters think local school boards should be partisan — meaning school board members could be Democrats, Republicans, or another signifier of political alignments. For at least two decades, the status quo has been nonpartisan school boards. […]

Iowa is DeSantis’ next stop on a still-silent but sure campaign run

BY: - March 9, 2023

After his State of the State address this week, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will make his debut in Iowa on Friday — ahead of an expected run in the upcoming 2024 presidential race. Democrats aren’t keeping silent about GOP presidential hopefuls. Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart hosted a Thursday 20-minute virtual press conference to […]

GOP bill mandating federal Parents Bill of Rights passed by U.S. House committee

BY: - March 9, 2023

WASHINGTON —- A national “Parents Bill of Rights” is headed for a full U.S. House vote after the House Committee on Education and the Workforce early Thursday approved the measure designed to empower parents to inspect books and other teaching materials in schools. Lawmakers on the committee debated the GOP-backed bill that would federally mandate […]

FL teens shouldn’t start school too early; lawmakers want to do something about it

BY: - March 8, 2023

Almost half of public high school students in Florida start their school day before 7:30 a.m., despite years of studies showing later start times are better for teens. Now, lawmakers want to make changes to the school-day hours. House Speaker Paul Renner mentioned the issue during his opening remarks on the start of the 2023 […]

FL university system under siege as state lawmakers convene for 2023 legislative session

BY: - March 7, 2023

Two years ago, a GOP Florida lawmaker wanted to discourage students from pursuing liberal arts degrees to promote more lucrative careers. It didn’t pan out, but there was far more to come: University of Florida professors were told they couldn’t testify in a federal court case. Lawmakers pushed through a bill to undercut tenure protections. […]


‘Parental rights’ advocates don’t really trust parents

BY: - March 6, 2023

We’ve been hearing often from Iowa Republicans that they “trust” parents. Gov. Kim Reynolds spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic saying she trusted parents (more than school administrators) to decide whether their kids should attend classes in person and wear masks to protect themselves and others. The centerpiece of her agenda this year was giving […]

Alabama bill would ban school boards from interfering with student-led prayer

BY: - March 2, 2023

A state representative has filed a bill that would ban school boards from stopping public prayers and require schools to allow students conducting prayers to use school-owned property. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tracey Estes, R-Winfield, would insert language into a 1993 law that says that no organization, including a local school board or athletic […]

DeSantis’ trajectory of takeovers: Gov replaces FL board members with ‘extremist idealogues’

BY: - March 1, 2023

In mid-February, a Republican lawmaker made a quick change to a piece of legislation: Allow Gov. Ron DeSantis to take control of Florida’s high school athletics association, an organization that had been independent for a century. It wouldn’t be the first time DeSantis would take control over a state or local board, or another entity. […]