TAMPA, Fla. — Two major education bills approved in the Florida House are now making their way through the Senate.
A bill banning Critical Race Theory in public schools, and the Parental Rights in Education bill are now on the way to a third and final Senate committee before a full vote on the house floor.
What You Need To Know
- Two controversial education bills approved in the Fla House are now in the Senate
- Bill banning Critical Race Theory in public schools and the Parental Rights in Education bill are now being debated
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If the Senate approves the bills, they will head to Governor Ron DeSantis’s desk for signing by this coming Summer.
CRT, Gender Studies and classes on sexual orientation aren’t sanctioned in Florida public schools currently, which means if the bills pass they will have little to no effect on what is being taught in the classroom.
However, political science professor Dr. J. Edwin Benton from the University of South Florida says both bills could curtail any topics from being introduced into public schools in the future.
Speaking about Florida Republican Legislators, Professor Benton said, “They could be proactive by trying to head them off before they creep into the school system and create a problem. But I think it all revolves around what it is going to do to motivate the base."
Both Republicans and Democrats have been battling heavily over both bills that critics say would put a stranglehold on teachers and public schools, and put both at risk of lawsuits from parents that believe schools haven’t honored the bills.
“It's hurting other students that aren't part of this fray,” said Dr. Benton. “Here's a parent that is creating havoc and discord in the school, is effecting the education of other students. It is effecting teachers and the ability to teach."
But those supporting the bill argue that’s the entire point of the bills, to rein in teachers and schools that they say are overreaching into the personal and social lives of students.
The Florida Legislative Session ends on March 11.
The full Senate is expected to vote on both bills in the coming week.