TALLAHASSEE, FL—A Republican-led education bill prohibits teacher prep courses from including a curriculum on "identity politics" or that "systemic racism, sexism, or oppression" is inherent in U.S. institutions.
Proposed by Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, SB 1372 blocks theories of social, political, and economic inequity from being taught in educator prep courses. The sponsor said the bill is meant to allow teachers to "think critically,".
"Some of these courses tell [future teachers] how to be social justice warriors in the classroom," Ingoglia said during Thursday's Senate Appropriations Committee on Education. "It goes into political stuff on how they become activists in the classroom. It's a lot of theory behind oppressor vs. oppressed, anti-racist ideals...it's just littered throughout the courses,"
Last session, Gov. DeSantis signed SB 266 removing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives from Florida schools. In late January, the state Board of Governors hammered another nail into the DEI coffin, banning state or federal dollars for these or activities. Now, with the removal of these teachings from prep courses for future educators, Ingoglia's bill takes another step toward eliminating the possibility of "systemic" or "theoretical" discussions taking place in college classrooms.
Democratic Sen. Tracie Davis voiced her opposition to the bill, claiming it both removes and ignores historical context in education.
"Context matters. It matters in history and reality and practice," She said, moving into a discussion on the often-overlooked "Ax Handle Saturday" in Jacksonville 1960. "It is historically relevant and undistorted and unproblematic that white people who served the Confederacy in the city of Jacksonville were to blame for violence against African Americans,"
SB 1372 passed Committee down party lines, and will head to its final stop before reaching the Senate Floor: the Rules Committee. Its House companion bill has only the House Floor left in its path.