Florida Passes New Bill Banning ‘Identity Politics’ From Being in Teacher Preparation Programs

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[Photo Credit: By DXR - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50284082]

The Florida Senate approved a measure on Wednesday aimed at excluding “identity politics” from teacher preparation programs that result in educators obtaining their professional certificates, sending the bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis for final approval.

The Senate, controlled by Republicans, voted 28-12 strictly along party lines to pass the bill (HB 1291) almost a week after it was approved by the House.

The bill became a highly debated education bill during the 2024 legislative session.

The bill prohibits teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities from incorporating teachings on identity politics or theories related to systemic racism.

An analysis conducted by the House revealed that there are 57 teacher preparation programs in Florida spread across 10 state universities, 19 state colleges, and 28 private colleges and universities.

The legislation would also cover training programs for future educational administrators.

The term identity politics was not defined in the measure, leading to questions from Democrats during Senate debate on Wednesday.

Democrats in the Senate who are outnumbered also presented passionate arguments against the bill, expressing concerns that the measure could stifle teachers’ speech in the classroom.

[READ MORE: Lawmakers Sending Bill to DeSantis Making it Easier to Shoot Bears in Self-Defense]

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