The Miami Herald says that districts have the final say over which textbooks are used in their classrooms. However, Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to compel all districts to adopt only the textbooks approved by the state.

Sommer Brugal writes that under current law, the districts will decide.

Despite the chatter among district leaders about the announcement, and confusion about why certain titles were omitted from the state’s approved list, however, Florida’s law remains clear: Individual school boards — not state officials — ultimately have the responsibility for selecting instructional materials. Furthermore, a district may spend up to 50% of its state funds for books that are not on the department’s list of recommended titles.

Rachel Thomas, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education, on Wednesday doubled-down on the notion: “The department does not dictate curriculum decisions,” she said in a statement. “But we hope those decisions are made by all states and districts in consultation with parents around the issues their children are actually facing.”

In other words, regardless if a book or curriculum is on or off the state’s list of approved materials, a school board still has the authority to purchase it for the district. (The list is the “initial adoption list,” according to the state education department, and has yet to be finalized.)

Earlier this month, district staff presented to the School Board the recommended textbooks, which a review committee had selected. The list included K-5 math books from publishers such as Big Ideas Learning and Savaas Learning Company, neither of which are included on the state’s approved list…

In other counties, such as Orange and Pinellas counties, the list of unapproved texts is important because they’ve already selected their new math books for the 2022-23 school year. None of the books either district picked for elementary math classes were on the state-approved list.

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