ABOVE VIDEO: Governor DeSantis Champions Legislation to Support Florida’s Turnaround School Program and Parental Rights in Education

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted parts of HB 1285, a bill that further enhances Florida’s top-ranked education system.

Today’s highlights from the bill included simplifying the process to convert failed “turnaround schools” to charter schools, streamlining the book objection process to limit those from individuals without children in the district, and the establishment of Purple Star School Districts.

“Florida is number one in the nation for education, but there’s always more to be done,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We won’t stop working for Florida’s students and parents. HB 1285 codifies several great enhancements for education that will keep Florida #1.”

“Governor DeSantis has made it clear: we are committed to ensuring our students receive a high-quality education and we will not tolerate those trying to score cheap political points at the expense of our educational system,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “Because of Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida remains the beacon of educational opportunity and I am proud of the work we are doing across the state.”

In part, HB 1285 does the following (more to be announced tomorrow):

◾ Provides a clear and concise process for a struggling school to convert to a charter school.
– – If a school receives consecutive low performance evaluations, it is deemed a “turnaround school.” If the district’s plan to turn the school around does not succeed, the pathway for the school to find new direction and leadership should be simple and efficient.
– – These changes will eliminate lengthy and drawn-out negotiations between the incoming charter school and the school district, to ensure no student is trapped at a failing school in Florida.
– – A charter school must give preference to kids in the previous school zone and must serve the same grade levels as the previous school.
– – The charter school cannot be charged rent for the facility and the school district cannot charge an administrative fee.
◾ Ensures that book challenges are limited for individuals who do not have children with access to the school district’s material.
– – Unlimited objections remain for parents with children in the school district, which includes homeschooled students accessing district materials.
– – Individuals without children in the district will be limited to one objection per month.
– – Protects schools from activists trying to politicize and disrupt a district’s book review process.
◾ Continues to support military families with the Purple Star Schools of Distinction Program.
– – Institutes Purple Star School Districts, which recognizes districts with Purple Star Schools making up 75% of schools in their district.
– – Helps to ensure a seamless transition for military families moving into Florida by requiring schools to provide them with support and resources.
– – For more information on the Purple Star Schools of Distinction program, click here.