The Florida legislature seems to be afflicted with some kind of mental disorder. Not only do they have bills pre-filed in both houses to require teaching “controversial theories,” as we last reported in Florida Creationism Bill for 2018 — Update, but now there’s more.
Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted A new instructional materials bill in Florida.
Lordy, lordy — a new one? It was only five months ago that we wrote Florida School Board Harassment Bill Is Now Law. As we said then:
The bill allows either parents of students in the local schools, or residents of the county where the school board functions, to complain to the school board about instructional materials or books in the library, and the board has to conduct a hearing on the complaints. In other words, any creationist drooler can harass his local school board merely for having a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species in the library. However, after giving the drooler a hearing, the decision of the school board is final.
Okay, let’s find out what new madness NCSE is reporting. Here are some excerpts from their post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Florida’s House Bill 827, prefiled on November 28, 2017, would, if enacted, revise the procedures for adopting instructional materials to permit members of the public to recommend instructional materials for consideration by the state or their district school board, which would then be required to get in touch with the publisher of those materials and allow it to submit a bid for evaluation.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That means any drooler can recommend materials from any creationist outfit — they all offer “educational material” — and the school board would then have to expend the effort necessary to evaluate their material.
This is the legislature’s page for the new bill: HB 827. It was introduced by Byron Donalds from Naples — that’s his page at the legislature’s website. They list his occupation as “Financial Advisor” — whatever that means.
Here’s the text of his bill. It adds to the already long and tedious process for reviewing recommended material, which now provides for public hearings and the selection of reviewers. One new section in Donalds’ bill says:
[District school board rules must] Establish the process by which parents and residents of the county, as defined in s. 1006.28(1)(b), can recommend instructional materials for consideration by district instructional materials reviewers. The district school board shall contact the publisher of any instructional material recommended for consideration and provide the publisher with the opportunity to submit a bid for evaluation in accordance with this section.
The sole sponsor of HB 827, Byron Donalds (R-District 80), was the main sponsor of HB 989 in 2017, which, as NCSE previously reported, was intended to make it easier for creationists and climate change deniers to pester their local school districts.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Donalds was also the brains behind Florida’s earlier creationist bill.
Well, that’s the news. If this thing becomes law, it will add even more time and expense to the already clumsy procedure for selecting school texts. And of course, it will give every creationist drooler an opportunity to participate. Nothing in this new bill — or in Donalds’ last one — will contribute to the education of kids in school, but it will provide a forum for creationists.
However, as we pointed out in our discussion of Donalds’ last bill, those who take advantage of his new bill aren’t required to be creationists. For every creationist title some idiot demands the school board must review, someone else can propose a book — perhaps one titled “Creationism is a Pile of [Bleep]” — that the board should also consider. But on second thought, that’s not a great idea. School boards have enough to do as it is. Let’s hope that if this new mess becomes law, they’ll somehow be able to deal with it.
Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.