Chatbot tutors, teacher pay, book bans and more

Legislation:  Universal school choice is a top priority of House Speaker Paul Renner and Rep. Ralph Mussullo, chair of the House Education and Employment Committee, supports multiple education bills, including changing high school start time to no earlier than 8 a.m. The 2023 legislative session begins this week. Florida Politics. Sen. Bryan Aliva is backing several new bills this legislative session, including one that would revamp the teacher recertification requirements and cut down the time it takes teachers to complete the process. Florida Politics. A series of proposed laws would transform the state’s public K-12 education system. Critics say the state has too much control over the classrooms. Tampa Bay Times. Politico. Washington Post.

Opinions: Paula Montgomery of the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area opposes charter schools and school vouchers, claiming that charter schools are not required to employ certified teachers, that private schools accepting vouchers are not required to test students and that public schools must accept everyone. However: Charters schools are required to employ certified teachers unless the school is approved under the “Schools of Hope” law that passed in 2017. Private schools have been reporting scholarship student test scores to state researchers since 2007-08. Finally, public schools can exclude students from attendance through zoning and deny students due to lack of accommodations for children with special needs. Pensacola Daily News Journal.  Could chatbots be part of the future of education? Anne Trumbore, the Chief Digital Learning Officer at the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of Virginia believes that chatbots could be effective and affordable private tutors. The 74. Teacher pay could be higher, says Chester E Finn, Jr. but the teacher unions and parents want smaller classrooms instead. Education Next. Parental backgrounds can have major impacts on their children’s educational trajectory. For example, children living in a one-parent household are significantly more likely to be suspended from school or required to repeat a grade. Anna J. Egalite, a professor at North Carolina State University, offers some policy prescriptions to help students overcome these disadvantages. Education Next.

Book bans: Collier and Lee County public schools have banned or restricted 42 books. Naples Daily News published a list of these books. Flager County public schools will hold a hearing today over the request to ban or restrict Patricia McCormick’s book “Sold.” Flagler Live. Students in Pinellas County Public Schools are pushing back against efforts to ban books in school libraries. WUSF. Alachua County Public Schools says it has catalogued books in the libraries for years and has already established a process for parents to express concerns about books. Gainesville Sun.

Elections: Florida Republicans are looking to oust several school board members in 2023. WPTV.

Sarasota: The Sarasota County School District removed Duane Oakes, the chief of the district’s police department from his role late Friday afternoon. No reason for the abrupt departure was given. Herald-Tribune.

Palm Beach: A Lake Worth High School AP math teacher was removed from the classroom after posting pictures of three students and comparing their skin color to shades of coffee. Palm Beach Post.

Polk County: A Lakeland mom wants Spessard L. Holland Elementary School renamed. She says the school is named after a man who supported racial segregation in schools. Bay News 9.