Florida Rep. Marlene O’Toole and Senator John Legg kill Instructional Materials Bill

For Immediate Release, Feb.1, 2016                                                                                          

marlene-otooleleggFlorida Rep. Marlene O’Toole and Senator John Legg, despite overwhelming support of 21 sponsors and co-sponsors in the legislature and the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, have decided unilaterally to kill Instructional Materials bills SB1018/HB899 without even holding a single hearing. They are abusing their power and bowing to the pressure of publishers and lobbyists. This proves the undercover Project Veritas videos – it is never about the children and always about the money!

Instructional Materials SB1018/HB 899 are companion clean-up bills. In 2014, the Legislature and Governor signed a law restoring local curriculum control to the School Boards, parents and communities of all 67 counties. Its intent was brilliant and based on the premise that Tallahassee could not effectively manage the Instructional materials used to teach our children.

At the time, most school board associations requested this responsibility. The Legislature and Governor fully supported this premise and passed this law. However, most Florida school districts have chosen to ignore this law, known as FS1006.283 and associated laws. These include a law defining what founding principles and values must be taught (FS1003.42.2) and defining obscene material FS847.011.

Senator Alan Hays was the champion of this original bill and is now the champion of this clean-up bill along with Rep. Pilon. This bill puts local parents, teachers and taxpayers in charge of the materials used in our public schools.

Should anyone object to Instructional Materials SB1018/HB899 requiring student materials:
“a. Be of high quality, research-based, and proven to be effective in supporting student learning;
b. Provide a non-inflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues;
c. Be appropriate to the students’ ages and varying levels of learning;

  1. Be accurate and factual; and
    e. Be of acceptable technical quality.”

Today, materials are laced with revisionist history, religious and political indoctrination, pornography and even math methodologies that boggle common sense. Florida buys most materials from Pearson, PLC (over 80%) and Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt. However, these national publishers provide no warranty their materials meet any of the above criteria. These bills would provide the tools for all FL school districts to build indemnification into their purchase contracts to protect the use of your tax dollars from these greedy publishers who today have no incentive to follow Florida law.

Project Veritas, who did the undercover videos about Planned Parenthood, has just released four very powerful videos documenting the greed and arrogance of these two big publishers – short link goo.gl/8cSutZ.  Executives from these companies saying “I hate kids”, “it is all about the money”, “Dead white guys didn’t create this county” and a $1.3 billion fraudulent contract award to Pearson.

Legg and O’Toole’s actions are unconscionable and the unacceptable abuse of power at the expense of our children’s future!

Contact: Keith Flaugh, 239-250-3320 or Rick Stevens,239-849-3775 for an interview or more details.