The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

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Tumultuous Hernando County School Board meeting

Removing a book from school libraries, classroom indoctrination, and the future of its superintendent were among the points of contention during a Hernando County School Board meeting. Tuesday night’s tumultuous session lasted over eight hours.

DeSantis kicks off presidential campaign

Governor Ron DeSantis is set to begin his first full day of presidential campaigning with a four-stop blitz through Iowa. DeSantis is trying to prioritize personally connecting with voters while proving he has the mettle to take on former President Donald Trump. He has appearances in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Pella, and Cedar Rapids today. DeSantis is packing in early events in the state whose caucus kicks off GOP White House primary voting as part of a leadoff sprint that will eventually take him to 12 cities across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina before Saturday.

New legislation could limit environmental growth

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation that environmental groups say will make it harder to limit sprawling development in Florida. But supporters of the measure say it will reduce frivolous lawsuits in Florida.

New College could receive new mascot

The New College of Florida Board of Trustees will weigh the selection of a new mascot. The small liberal arts school in Sarasota launched an athletics department in March, following sweeping changes on campus. Governor Ron DeSantis in January appointed a slate of conservative allies to the trustees’ board. The board replaced then-President Patricia Okker on an interim basis with Richard Corcoran, a former state House speaker and education commissioner. The campus community has been surveyed about replacing the longtime mascot, the Null Set, an empty set of brackets long embraced as a placeholder since the school has never wanted a mascot with only student groups offering intramurals for athletics for the last 60 years. The school also in March announced the hiring of Mariano Jimenez, a former coach for Team USA Baseball, as New College’s athletic director and baseball coach.

Teacher unions v. Florida

Central Florida unions are helping teachers and support staff sign up for an alternative payment platform for paying their union dues. It’s now illegal in Florida to take these dues directly out of a person’s paycheck.

Governor Ron DeSantis says the bill gives more power to teachers, while the Florida Education Association says the measure was punishment for opposing his policies.

Information from the Florida Public Radio network, News Service of Florida and Associated Press was used in this report.