Legislators in Florida Debating Proposals on Free Lunches, AEDs, and Cameras in Schools

A number of reform proposals for education will be discussed by Florida lawmakers prior to the end of the current legislative session in March.

The Florida legislature reconvened last week in Tallahassee, and the members are hard at work. One of the main subjects for the upcoming few months will be education.

Among the education reforms that lawmakers enacted last year were school vouchers, later start hours for high school students, and a trial program to explore year-round instruction.

There are a few fresh, daring ideas this year, but it’s too soon to say how many will be adopted by March.

One Miami lawmaker wants to create computer science courses at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in order to mandate that children learn computer science.

In order to debate the place of artificial intelligence in public education, the bill would also establish an Artificial Intelligence Task Force.

A Fort Pierce senator has introduced a bill mandating the installation of a video camera in every classroom that has a nonverbal student present for at least half of the school day.

The camera would be disclosed to parents beforehand, and recordings would be used in any inquiries of possible student abuse or neglect.

The “Heartcharged Act,” which would mandate at least one A-E-D at every school in the state, has the support of a senator from the Panhandle.

It would need to be simple to use, and staff and students in schools would receive yearly training on its use.

A Palm Beach senator is offering some suggestions regarding schooling.

Her “Save Our Teachers Act” would significantly increase the minimum salary for educators from $47,500 to $65,000 annually.

Additionally, she wants to make school lunches free for all children, regardless of household income, for all ages. To do this, districts must tell pupils about the free lunch program and disclose the number of students who are taking use of it.

This week marked the start of the two-month-long legislative session.

Early in March, we should be able to observe how many of these bills end up as laws.

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