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Florida Senate Eyes Changes On School Books, Term Limits

The Florida Senate could be poised to move forward with a controversial House proposal that would increase scrutiny of school library books and instructional materials and impose eight-year term limits on school board members.

The Senate Rules Committee is scheduled to take up the bill (HB 1467) on Wednesday. If it clears the Rules Committee, the bill would be ready to go to the full Senate.

The House this month passed the bill along almost straight party lines, with Democrats describing it as a “culture war” issue. Republicans nationally have made school boards and parental involvement in schools a high-profile issue this year.

Among other things, the bill would require that parents of students be included in committees that make recommendations to school boards about the “ranking, eliminating, or selecting” of instructional materials.

Also, the bill would give the public increased access to review books and other reading materials. Republican lawmakers have long considered the possibility of trying to impose term limits on school board members.

A Senate version of the bill (SB 1300) would limit school board members’ salaries but does not include term limits. That bill has not been heard in the Rules Committee.

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