Saturday, March 27, 2010


Here is a rather well-kept secret from the state of Florida. According to Statute 1003.42 under "Required Education", public schools in the state must teach students "The history, meaning, significance, and effect of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and amendments thereto, with emphasis on each of the 10 Amendments that make up the Bill of Rights and how the Constitution provides the structure of our government."

Actually when a man in Volusia County recently contacted as many local teachers as was possible, he couldn't get a single one to confirm that they had spent time teaching the Constitution (or the Federalist Papers) to their students. He took the same question to the Volusia County School Committee and let's just say it wasn't a question "Political Science" Major, Chairwoman Candace Lankford greeted with open arms and gratitude.

If you live in Florida, it's time you started asking if this law is being obeyed in your local schools. Don't take someone's word for it, ask to see what text is being used, in what grade or grades and MOST IMPORTANTLY, ask to see the Course Curriculum guidelines and Behaviorial Objectives for any applicable course. Under Florida's Sunshine Laws and basic Freedom of Information Laws in other states, you are entitled to see exactly what is being presented in your school systems. Remember, these people -- from the School Board on down -- work for you.

If you do not live in Florida, feel free to look at the statutes in your own state. If there isn't something similar to the Florida Statute, use it as a guide and get a law passed. The recent textbook battle in Texas shows just how important your input can be.

One other thing. Volusia County School Board Chairman Candace Lankford gets paid more than the Governor of Florida. Justification of pay scales often come from budgets people must manage. I think it's safe to say, a governor has a larger one than a local School Board Chairwoman. How much is your local Chairperson getting paid?

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