Textbook Bill Has Districts Worried

Apr 9, 2014

Credit Clint Tseng via Flickr

Florida School districts are fighting a bill that would change the way textbooks are reviewed. Right now, if a school district in Florida wants to pick out a textbook, it has two options. 

It can turn to the state’s list of pre-approved books and pick one, or a district can do the work of vetting a bunch of textbooks from vendors, making sure they’re aligned to state standards, and come up with its own list of acceptable textbooks.

That second option requires extra resources—according to one lobbyist for Palm Beach County schools—it could cost up to $600,000 just to come up with a K-5 reading list. Which is why school districts have asked to amend a bill that would make districts completely responsible for reviewing textbooks.

In its original form, the Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education bill would have stopped the state from recommending textbooks altogether.

A House version of the bill has been amended to give the districts the choice. But the version of the bill making its way through the Senate keeps the onus on school districts.