NIL proposal for preps, DeSantis mulls social media bill, book challenges, and more

NIL for high schoolers: A proposal to allow high school athletes be paid for use of their names, images and likenesses will be discussed at today’s meeting of the Florida High School Athletic Association. At least 30 other states have rules allowing prep players to cash in on money-making opportunities. Florida’s plan would include multiple restrictions, including barring transfers from benefiting in the season they change schools; requiring players and their families to arrange deals without involving the school or its employees, district, FHSAA and boosters; forbidding the use of school logos and uniforms; and prohibiting deals with adult entertainment, vaping, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or other drugs, gambling and firearms companies. Tampa Bay Times. Palm Beach Post. Sports Illustrated.

Social media bill: Gov. Ron DeSantis has received the bill that would restrict children under 16 from having social media accounts on platforms that uses “addictive” features and said, “We’ll be processing that … through the weekend and let you guys know, very, very quickly” if he’s going to veto it. He has until March 1 to decide. Last week he said he wouldn’t sign a bill unless it included parental consent for 14- and 15-year-olds. But the Senate and House both overwhelmingly passed HB 1 without including any provision for parental supervision, which many lawmakers considered non-negotiable. “If you accept these addictive features are causing our children harm, parental consent is not an option,” said Rep. Tyler Sirois, R-Merritt Island. News Service of Florida. Florida Politics. In addition to DeSantis’ skepticism about the bill, groups as disparate as Moms for Liberty and the Florida PTA oppose the bill. Florida Politics. USA Today Florida Network. Does the Legislature’s approval of a bill the governor openly questioned an indicator that DeSantis’ influence is on the decline? Miami Herald. Orlando Sentinel.

Also in the Legislature: A bill making it more difficult to increase property taxes is up for a vote Tuesday in the House. HB 1195 would require a two-thirds vote by any government authorizing body, such as school boards, to increase millage rates. The Senate’s version, SB 1322, has to clear one more committee before a full Senate vote. Florida Politics. Other taxing ideas for the future are gaining attention in Tallahassee. A study to determine the feasibility of replacing property taxes was proposed in this session, though it has not moved. And state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, has said he would like to cut or even eliminate the sales tax. News Service of Florida. A bill that would allow schools to have volunteer chaplains to provide services for students has one last committee stop today before it hits the Senate floor. Florida Politics.

Around the state: Hernando’s school board votes to remove two more book titles from school, Alachua has removed seven books this year and the school board will review three more in March, Broward does not expect any high schools to be considered for closing as a way to save money, an eighth measles case is confirmed in Broward, an 11-year-old Volusia student died last week of meningitis, and an Orlando program is being credited with cutting behavioral referrals in five middle schools since last fall. Here are details about those stories and others from the state’s districts, private schools, and colleges and universities:

Broward: Superintendent Peter Licata said he doesn’t expect any high schools to be affected by the district’s discussion about closing five schools because of enrollment declines. About 58,000 fewer students attend public schools now than they did 20 years ago, and Licata has advocated closing or repurposing five schools to cut costs. He expects to narrow the list of the 67 most underenrolled schools by March 20, the discuss the plan at a workshop May 14 before making decisions by June. Miami Herald. The number of measles cases in the county rose to eight children over the weekend, including six confirmed at Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has come under increasing criticism for advising parents to decide for themselves whether to send unvaccinated students to school. WSVN. WTVJ. WPLG. Palm Beach PostNBC News. Associated Press. KFF Health News. Broward Health is interested in buying a 10-acre property in Parkland from the school district to build a medical complex. The district bought the land in 2005 for $5.85 million with plans to build an elementary school, but never moved ahead with those plans. Sun-Sentinel.

Hillsborough: A multicultural museum is opening at Jefferson High School in Tampa to help teach students about the cultures of Latin America. District officials partnered with the nonprofit Nuestra America Foundation to develop the museum, which will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays. Spectrum News 9.

Orange: A city program started last fall in five Orlando middle schools is being credited with cutting behavior referrals by 42 percent. The My Brother’s Keeper program hired advocates in the five schools to serve as mentors for at-risk students. The results prompted the city to allocate another $750,000 to the $1.7 million it invested originally so the program can expand to Edgewater and Jones high schools. WKMG. Florida Virtual School has spent $2.4 million while losing and now appealing a trademark case against a competitor. In mid-January, a federal judge ruled that FLVS’ suit against a Virginia company for trademark infringement was “feeble” and dismissed it. Orlando Sentinel.

Osceola: Two students were hospitalized with minor injuries after a school bus collided with a county LYNX bus Friday afternoon in Celebration. Forty students were aboard the school bus. Troopers said the school bus driver turned in front of the county bus. WESH.

Volusia: An 11-year-old 4th-grader at Burns Science and Technology Charter School in Oak Hill died last week of meningitis, school officials told parents of other children at the school in an e-mail sent late last week. Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and is considered contagious. Daytona Beach News-Journal. WKMG. WESH. WOFL.

Manatee: Speed detection cameras are coming soon to school zones in unincorporated areas of the county. Commissioners recently authorized their use. Bradenton Herald. A 14-year-old freshman at Palmetto High School was arrested Friday and accused of having a fully loaded pistol at school. The boy said he needed the gun to defend himself at school. Bradenton Herald. Carlos Paez, the director of the before- and after-care programs at Lakewood Ranch Preparatory Academy, died last week after an epileptic seizure. He  was 32. Your Observer.

Escambia: A district school bus driver is under investigation for going to a student’s home and demanding that he return a project that belonged to another student. A doorbell video shows Mervin Grant, a bus driver at Jim C. Bailey Middle School in Pensacola, arguing with the 13-year-old. The boy said the other student left it on the bus and he took it so he could return it the next day. “We are still in the process of investigating some other details of the incident,” a district spokesperson said. “As we wrap that up … we will take the appropriate action with our employee, within the confines of our contractual obligations.” WEAR. Clint McCrory, an employee, assistant football coach and boys weightlifting coach at Mosely High School in Lynn Haven, died of a heart attack Friday while attending a coaching clinic in Atlanta. He was 59. WMBB.

Alachua: Of the 18 school books challenged since last September, seven have been removed. They are Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, Tricks by Ellen Hopkins, The Duff by Kody Keplinger, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson, and The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Three others are awaiting school board hearings: My Maddy will be reviewed March 7, When Aidan Becomes a Brother on March 21, and PET on March 27. Gainesville Sun. Eastside High School in Gainesville recently added a barber shop class. The instructor is Johnny Mallary, who is a basketball coach at Lincoln Middle School but also cuts the hair of a lot of Eastside students. The class mostly has seniors and juniors, Mallary said, but he wants to attract freshmen so they can become certified barbers by the time they graduate. WUFT.

Hernando: Two more school library books have been ordered to be removed by the school board. All the Things We Do in the Dark, by Saundra Mitchell, was recommended by a book review committee to be removed, and the board agreed in a 5-0 vote. Fade, by Lisa McMann, was removed on a 3-2 vote even though the committee recommended it be kept. Both contain sexual material. Being retained was The All-American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, on a 3-2 school board after the committee recommended it remain in libraries. It tells the story of how two teens handle racism and policy brutality in their community. Suncoast News. Superintendent John Stratton received positive evaluations from a majority of the school board in his recent review. Board member Shannon Rodriguez was the most critical of the five, saying Stratton “has failed to make appropriate and timely notifications to school board members, staff, and parents” during serious controversies. Hernando Sun.

Indian River: The school board member who announced his resignation last week under the mistaken impression that he was moving out of the district he represented said he hopes it can still be withdrawn. Brian Barefoot said he’s sent letters, e-mails and faxes to state elections and appointment officials to try to rescind the resignation. “I’ve done everything I can,” he said. “There’s still a degree of uncertainty.” Regardless, he said he will not run for re-election to a second term this fall. David Dyer and Kevin McDonald have already announced their candidacies for the board seat. TCPalm.

Flagler: Attorney Vincent Sullivan has announced that he’s a candidate for the District 5 school board seat in this year’s election. He’s challenging Cheryl Massaro, who is seeking a second term on the board. Flagler News Weekly.

Columbia: Columbia High School students recently won $5,000 for finishing first in a taste test sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture. The school will use the money to buy kitchen equipment for the program. WCJB.

Colleges and universities: Almost 13,000 Floridians had their student loans totaling $105 million forgiven last week by the U.S. Department of Education. Borrowers had to have made student loan payments for at least 10 years and owed $12,000 or less. WUSF.

Charter school closures: Florida ranks second among the states in the number of charter school closures, according to a report from Integrity Florida, a nonprofit research institute and government watchdog. The top reason was reportedly financial issues. WTSP.

Around the nation: Three recent studies suggest that teachers and students are reluctant to discuss race in school, and even less interested in talking about LGBTQ issues. In one of the surveys, two-thirds of teachers said they decided to limit discussion about those issues because they worried about having a confrontation with parents. The surveys were from the Pew Research Center, the research corporation RAND, and the University of Southern California’s Center for Applied Research in Education. Chalkbeat. The 74. Education Week.

Opinions on schools: It seems like Florida’s surgeon general is trying to worsen a measles outbreak at a Broward County school. Miami Herald. If you’d like never to hear the name “Bridget Ziegler” again, a faster route to making that happen might just be to let her disappear from lack of attention. Carrie Seidman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune. A bill providing kids who have dropped out of high school with free access to career education programs and Florida college system institutions would open a new pathway for disadvantaged youth and empower them to improve their prospects for more stable and productive lives, creating a stronger community for all. Vicki Sokolik, Tampa Bay Times. Given that powerful special interests supported a bill that would have allowed cities to convert public schools into charters, it could easily re-emerge as a threat to Florida’s efficient and generally effective system of K-12 education, so supporters of public education need to remain vigilant. Robert F. Sanchez, Miami Herald.

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BY NextSteps staff