DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill setting term limits for school board members and adding transparency to school materials Friday morning during a press conference at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University
School board members now have a 12-year term limit, starting after November’s elections. It is a consecutive year term limit, so even if a school board member hits the 12-year limit, they would just have to sit out for one term before running again. A school board term in four years.
“There’s no greater accountability than telling a politician your career ends, dead certain, this point in time,” outgoing Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said. “Having term limits for school board members is long overdue.”
It also gives parents the chance to contest materials available to their child in classrooms and libraries. The room was full of signs passed out by the governors team that said “Year of the Parent.”
“Parents want education for their kids, they’re not interested in indoctrination,” Gov. DeSantis said.
School districts now must have a system for selecting educational materials, including library books, by a “certified media specialist.” Those materials are only allowed to be picked by the specialist. Each school district must employ at least one.
The certification process for the specialist and applicants will start Jan. 1, 2023.
Additionally, schools districts must submit reports outlining how lessons were taught and how materials were used.
All school materials and the process for picking them must be posted online in a searchable format for parents to review.
If parents do object to the material available to their child, the districts must give them a chance to contest the material and prove it doesn’t follow state standards. At least one “open public hearing before an unbiased and qualified hearing officer” that is not affiliated with the school is required for any objection.
Any contest must be submitted on form provided by the district within 30 days of the material’s adoption.
“We not only believe parents have a role, they have a fundamental role to be involved in the education of their kids,” Gov. DeSantis said.
The bill goes into effect on July 1.