Rick Scott about to be sued again, this time regarding new policy on school textbooks

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The group suing the state is called Citizens for National Security, which is somewhat ambiguous in terms of understanding their political perspective.

According to the attorney representing the group, Barry Silver, they want to ensure that no religions are being sponsored, promoted or inaccurately characterized in violation of Florida law which guarantees all children in the state a proper education.

"At a time when religious fanatics pose a grave danger to our country, and when the separation of church and state is increasingly under assault, we should seek more oversight over textbooks, not less, in order to protect our children from religious indoctrination,” says Silver.

There are others in the public education community in Florida who have their doubts. The News Service of Florida quoted Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin expressing these concerns:

"We are going to see what happened in Texas, with curriculum being challenged and changed,” said April Griffin, a school board member from the Hillsborough County School District who also served on the state adoption committee for high school mathematics textbooks more than a year ago. “We are going to see favoritism shown for certain companies. I think we are going to lose the voice of the front lines in this process.”

Citizens for National Security has a PDF copy of the lawsuit accessible on their website. Interesting though, that the way you access that is by hitting the link embedded on the site that reads,"Islam based textbooks."

The lawsuit is at least the fourth filed against Governor Scott; previously the ACLU sued him over the elections law and drug testing law on state employees, and the Florida Education Association on changes to the state retirement system.

A group out of Boca Raton said today that they will file a lawsuit on Thursday in Palm Beach County against the state of Florida, the state's Department of Education, and Governor Rick Scott, challenging the new law passed earlier this year by the Legislature regarding the selection of Florida public school textbooks.

That new law eliminates the current process of using statewide committees of teachers, school board members, administrators and ordinary citizens to select textbooks, and instead gives more power to the Education Commissioner.

The bill requires the commissioner to select three state or national “subject matter experts” to review books for each subject, with only two reviewing the books and the third acting as a tie-breaker.

Then, school districts can appoint one teacher or district curriculum specialist to review a handful of the recommendations by the state reviewers. Ultimately, school districts have to spend 50 percent of their textbook budgets on books approved by the state reviewers, giving districts the ability to stray beyond the list.

In its lawsuit, CFNS accuses the FDOE and the Governor of gutting the provisions that previously called for a large cross-section of educators and community members to voluntarily serve on a committee to review the content of all textbooks used in the Florida public schools, and has replaced it with three people who are handpicked by politicians who will operate without any public oversight.

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