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Chaplains, communism, child labor: Florida education laws that take effect July 1: The 2024 legislative session saw approval of divisive education-related laws, several of which take effect on……Read our run-down on what will change

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Chaplains, communism, child labor: Florida education laws that take effect July 1: The 2024 legislative session saw approval of divisive education-related laws, several of which take effect on......Read our run-down on what will change

 

The 2024 legislative session saw approval of divisive education-related laws, several of which take effect Monday. Read our partial run-down on what will change in Sunshine State schools in the new fiscal year: Despite queasiness on this score in other GOP-controlled states, a Florida law implementing volunteer chaplains in schools will take effect Monday.

 

Chaplains, communism, child labor: Florida education laws that take effect July 1: The 2024 legislative session saw approval of divisive education-related laws, several of which take effect on......Read our run-down on what will change

The law has generated concern regarding the qualifications required of chaplains and separation of church and state. Volunteer chaplains must pass a background check — the law specifies no other qualifications. Applicants must submit their name and religious affiliation to the school for public disclosure.

Members of the Satanic Temple have indicated they would participate in the program, the prospect of which stalled the program in some states but not Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a bill signing in April, “You don’t have to worry” about satanists participating in the chaplain program because “that is not a religion. That is not qualified to be able to participate in this.”

The group claims to be recognized by the IRS as a church. The bill faced pushback on ground of religious indoctrination from the ACLU, Interfaith Alliance, and National Education Association. Teacher preparation programs in Florida, effective Monday, may not include instruction on “theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.”

A sponsor of the bill, Rep. Berny Jacques, a Republican from Pinellas County, said the law allows the government to “take out the trash once and for all,” arguing that diversity, equity, and inclusion; critical race theory; and “all of that stuff is simply trash.”

DeSantis said of teacher preparation programs, “There’s not going to be any of the bogus history. It’s just going to be standard teacher preparation without having an ideological agenda.” Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar said the bill takes “valuable tools away from educators” and will deprive students of critical life skills.

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