Florida grapples with new education laws as their effective date nears

Lisa R. Parker

The big story: Florida’s new law governing how race may be discussed in schools and businesses remains on track to take effect at the end of the week.

A group of teachers and students had challenged the law in federal court, contending it would violate their First Amendment rights. They asked for an immediate stay while the court considers the merits of the measure.

Judge Mark Walker refused to issue the injunction, saying the majority of the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to pursue the action. He left room for further consideration of the complaint by a University of Central Florida professor, who argued a pending State University System rule demonstrated potential injury.

The attorneys have until Tuesday to file additional briefings. Read more from the News Service of Florida.

More new laws

College costs: Students seeking Florida Bright Futures scholarships will now be able to submit paid work experience toward their eligibility, the Associated Press reports. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law in Tampa.

Gender issues: Orange County teachers raised red flags as their district unveiled new restrictions, such as a ban on wearing rainbow clothing, in an effort to comply with the state’s new law regarding instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation, WFTV reports.

And more: Friday marks the date that several other new Florida education-related laws also go into effect, including changes to state testing and the requirement of a high school financial literacy course, the News Service of Florida reports.

Other hot topics

Teacher pay: A year after tumultuous bargaining, Orange County teachers stand to receive $3,325 raises, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

School safety: Alachua County middle and high school students will be limited to clear book bags and backpacks for the coming school year, the Gainesville Sun reports. • The Pinellas County school district is seeking a federal grant to conduct its own violence threat assessments, Bay News 9 reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

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