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Collier County School Board votes unanimously to adopt state approved school textbooks

New Florida law expected to increase textbook challenges
Posted at 10:51 AM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 20:08:52-04

COLLIER CO., Fla. — During a special board meeting this morning, members of the Collier County School Board voted unanimously to adopt state approved school textbooks for the next school year.

The school board held its special meeting to address recent decisions made by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) on April 15, relating to the state adoption of mathematics instructional materials. School curriculum, notably textbooks for mathematics, have made recent news after FLDOE rejected dozens of textbooks calling them "publishers' attempts to indoctrinate students."

Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in math. Five people stood up during the public comment portion of this morning's meeting, all expressing their concern over the teaching and mention of CRT in textbooks.

The Board voted to pause the objection window and the process of those seven titles that are currently not on the state adopted list. Textbook publishers have the opportunity to appeal the decision by the state committee. Once that appeal process takes place, the school board will be notified on whether or not those school materials will be placed back on the list.

The school district provided the following statement to Fox 4, saying:

Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) is currently engaged in the instructional materials adoption process. Guided by School Board policy, an instructional materials work group — comprised of parents, community members, teachers and administrators — reviewed all the materials on the State’s instructional materials bid list and provided recommendations for adoption. The School Board adopted instructional materials from Florida’s bid list at the March 29 School Board meeting. On April 15, the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) released its initial adoption list, which excluded numerous instructional materials from the original bid list, including several that CCPS selected. 

FLDOE has an established process for publishers to appeal and revise their instructional materials for reconsideration. CCPS is waiting for additional information from the FLDOE regarding instructional materials that have been added to the State’s adoption list, as a result of publisher appeals and revisions.

Elizabeth Alves, the Associate Superintendent for Teaching & Learning with Collier County Public Schools, says the school board has been told that it will be around 21 days from the state receiving their revisions before a final decision is made.

Should those titles be placed back on the state adopted list, the Board will then move forward with a 30-day objection window. Alves says the board will then reinstate that process for the community to review those materials and make any rejections they would like to make.

Here is a link to the CCPS Instructional Materials webpage, which explains the process and provides those materials for review by the public.