A controversial bill regulating teacher prep programs in Florida advances in the state Senate

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A bill that seeks to keep “identity politics” out of teacher preparation programs is ready for consideration by the full Senate.

The Republican-dominated Rules Committee on Monday approved the proposal (SB 1372), which has been one of the most controversial education bills of the 2024 legislative session.

Under the bill, teacher-preparation programs at colleges and universities could not teach “identity politics” or be “based 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.”

Senate bill sponsor Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, said the measure is an effort to ensure “future teachers who are taking teacher-prep courses in colleges and universities are not mandated to take classes or curricula that push theories” that are prohibited in the bill.

But Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel for the ACLU of Florida, criticized the measure as a “government censorship” bill.

“The First Amendment protects our right to read and learn and debate and discuss popular and unpopular views, regardless of whether they align with the viewpoints of the majority in power,” Gross said.

A similar House bill (HB 1291) is ready for consideration by the full House.

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