HomeFlorida NewsGovernor DeSantis signs legislation to support students working through school, military recruitment,...

Governor DeSantis signs legislation to support students working through school, military recruitment, and classical teaching


Jacksonville, Florida – In a significant move to enhance educational opportunities, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law House Bill 1285, aimed at providing high school students with varied pathways to success, including military service, while strengthening the state’s higher education system.

Building on a Legacy of Educational Excellence

Governor DeSantis praised Florida’s educational achievements during the signing ceremony. “Florida is the number one state in the country for education,” he declared. “By focusing on core academic subjects and rejecting indoctrination in the classroom, we have become a standard-bearer for educational excellence. The legislation I signed today continues to build on Florida’s previous accomplishments.”

This new legislation is designed to provide students with the tools and opportunities needed to explore a range of educational and career paths. Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr., highlighted the state’s commitment to maintaining high standards and innovative academic pathways. “The teaching certificate in classical education bolsters our efforts to increase the teacher pipeline,” Diaz noted, underscoring Florida’s reputation as a leader in educational innovation.

Key Provisions of HB 1285

HB 1285 introduces several critical measures to broaden educational opportunities and improve accountability within Florida’s school system:

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  • Requires that school districts and charter schools provide 11th and 12th grade students with the opportunity to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Test and the ability to consult with a military recruiter.
  • Ensures postsecondary institutions allow students to work their way through school.
  • Protects from conflicts of interest between a postsecondary institution and its trustees.
  • Empowers aspiring teachers to obtain a classical teaching certificate developed by the State Board of Education.
  • Enables classical schools to prioritize enrollment for families moving from one classical school to another.

Charter School Innovations and Parental Rights

Further bolstering educational options, the bill simplifies the process for converting struggling schools into charter schools. “If a school receives either two straight Ds or an F on their school grade, it is deemed a ‘turnaround school,'” explained Governor DeSantis. The new provisions streamline negotiations for charter school transitions, ensuring that students are not left in failing schools.

Additionally, the bill modifies how book challenges are handled, limiting objections from individuals without children in the district to one per month, while allowing unlimited objections from parents with children in the district, including homeschooled students using district materials.

Military Family Support and District Recognition

The legislation also continues to support military families with the Purple Star Schools of Distinction Program and introduces Purple Star School Districts. This initiative recognizes districts where 75% of schools are designated Purple Star Schools, providing comprehensive support to military families transitioning into Florida.

With these robust measures, Florida aims to reinforce its educational framework, making it more inclusive, accountable, and supportive for all students. Governor DeSantis and state officials are confident that these enhancements will solidify Florida’s position as a leading state for quality education, driving forward both academic success and practical, career-oriented outcomes for students across the state.

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