Florida governor Ron DeSantis has moved swiftly to make his mark upon the Florida landscape, including education. Within the last 40 days, since taking office, he has set in motion the following:
- 21.7 billion dollars for state education funding in his proposed budget.
- A new set of standards that would, among other things, address complaints about unfamiliar math procedures in the early elementary grades.
- A streamlining of standardized testing required under Florida law.
- An emphasis of Civics instruction in Florida schools.
- $23 million in additional funding for Gardiner scholarships, a voucher program for students with IEPs (Individual Education Plan) to find a school best suited for their disability.
- A restructuring of the Best and Brightest program, which directs annual bonuses to teachers rated ‘highly effective,’ that eliminates the SAT/ACT score requirement but adds others.
- Selection of former House Speaker Richard Corcoran as Education Commissioner.
There is more to come. Now that he has compiled the list, GOT will add to it as what appears to be a very activist governor continues to issue directives about education.
UPDATE #1: (Eight) The state DOE will begin keeping a list of ‘bad actor’ charter schools.
UPDATE #2: (Nine) A review of all school disciplinary diversion programs (such as restorative practices), DOE and the Department of Juvenile Justice (!) to collaborate on school discipline, extension of Guardian program applications, and a ‘repository’ for school safety data maintained by the DOE. Another link here.
UPDATE #3: (Ten) A call for a grand jury investigation of school districts regarding their ‘school safety practices.’
UPDATE #4: (Eleven) Expansion of voucher programs to any parent wanting to send their child to private school using public money. DeSantis proposes diverting general revenues and local effort taxes to this purpose.
(Twelve) Executive Order mandating the DOE and Department of Juvenile Justice to investigate all ‘diversionary programs’ from traditional school discipline.