Science teachers are a critical need in Florida … again

The Florida Department of Education issues an annual report entitled Identification of Critical Teacher Shortage Areas. (Here is the most recent report.) For at least a decade, science has been on the list of certification areas that “represent the greatest need among teachers statewide.”

The factors used to determine which certification areas are critical needs include:
–how many courses in that field that are taught by teachers not certified in the appropriate field
–the current and projected number of vacancies by certification area
–the number of students completing Florida teacher education programs by certification area (this statistic is the most recent available number, usually a few years old)
–and other factors

What happens to this information? The state board of education reviews and approves the report. And then? Nothing, as far as I can tell. There were a couple of incentive programs a long time ago: the Critical Teacher Shortage Tuition Reimbursement Program and the Critical Teacher Shortage Student Loan Forgiveness Program. However, it looks like they were discontinued around 2011.

Keep in mind that other subjects show up in this report every year, too. But my focus is science, of course. Below is a breakdown of the stats from the past ten years. Note that “Science-Physical” groups chemistry and physics together. And one of the stats that stands out the most to me is the number of new teachers Florida’s education programs are producing. There were zero Earth&Space in the 2021-2022 and 2017-2018 reports! And the Science-General teacher education program numbers will never fill all the reported current vacancies and projected vacancies or the not-certified positions. Of course, teachers come from education programs other than Florida’s. But the number of people who take the Florida certification exams to teach science in our state are discouraging, too (see this breakdown of the exams by Bridge to Tomorrow).

I would like to see the source material for many of these numbers. For instance, where does the very high projected vacancy numbers come from and how accurate did they turn out to be each year?

The biggest question we should all have is how does this impact the students, especially this current year of the COVID-19 pandemic? I personally know of a few hundred students currently not getting a quality science education due to having long-term substitutes instead of a certified science teacher in front of the classroom. Even before the pandemic I lamented the low priority science education seems to have in Florida: A decade later and science education is still not important to Florida’s leaders.

Our state and country grapples with problems such as rising seas, invasive species, the quality of our diminishing fresh water resources, and disease outbreaks, just to name a few issues that require a sound background in science to understand and solve. There are also job opportunities in space exploration. Boeing is moving its Space and Launch division headquarters from Virginia to Florida. SpaceX is launching – and landing – rockets here. NASA is testing the Orion spacecraft here. By the way, these high paying jobs require a physics education, Gov. DeSantis.

When will out state leaders start taking science education seriously?

2021-22
Critical Teacher Shortage Ranking
Science-General: 1
Science-Physical: 3
Science-Earth&Space: 7
Teachers Not Certified in the Appropriate Field
Science-Physical: 487
Science-General: 1,188
Science-Earth&Space: 411
Current and Projected Number of Vacancies by Certification Area
Science-General current vacancies for 2020-21: 152, projected: 370
Science-Physical current for 2020-21: 24, projected: 160
Science-Earth&Space current for 2020-21: 8, projected: 60
Number of Students Completing Florida Teacher Education Programs by Certification Area 2018-19
Science-Earth&Space: 0
Science-General: 13
Science-Physical: 15

2020-21
Critical Teacher Shortage Ranking

Science-General: 2
Science-Physical: 5
Teachers Not Certified in the Appropriate Field
Science-Physical: 496
Science-General: 1,122
Current and Projected Number of Vacancies by Certification Area
Science-General current for 2019-20: 126, projected: 370
Science-Physical current for 2019-20: 10, projected: 195
Number of Students Completing Florida Teacher Education Programs by Certification Area 2017-18
Science-General: 17
Science-Physical: 23

2019-20
Critical Teacher Shortage Ranking

Science-General: 1
Science-Physical: 5
Teachers Not Certified in the Appropriate Field
Science-Physical: 420
Science-General: 1,026
Current and Projected Number of Vacancies by Certification Area
Science-General current for 2018-19: 144, projected: 502
Science-Physical current for 2018-19: 16, projected: 164
Number of Students Completing Florida Teacher Education Programs by Certification Area 2016-17
Science-General: 32
Science-Physical: 9

2018-19
Critical Teacher Shortage Ranking

Science-General: 1
Science-Physical: 7
Teachers Not Certified in the Appropriate Field
Science-Physical: 601
Science-General: 923
Current and Projected Number of Vacancies by Certification Area
Science-General current for 2017-18: 60, projected: 269
Science-Physical current for 2017-18: 11, projected: 184
Number of Students Completing Florida Teacher Education Programs by Certification Area 2015-16
Science-General: 26
Science-Physical: 15

2017-18
Critical Teacher Shortage Ranking

Science-General: 3
Science-Earth&Space: 4
Teachers Not Certified in the Appropriate Field
Science-General: 1,011
Science-Earth&Space: 421
Current and Projected Number of Vacancies by Certification Area
Science-General current for 2016-17: 71, projected: 220
Science-Earth&Space current for 2016-17: 9, projected: 95
Number of Students Completing Florida Teacher Education Programs by Certification Area 2014-15
Science-Earth&Space: 0
Science-General: 27

2016-17
Critical Teacher Shortage Ranking

Science-General: 1 (tied)
Science-Physical: 1 (tied)
Teachers Not Certified in the Appropriate Field
Science-Physical: 432
Science-General: 736
Current and Projected Number of Vacancies by Certification Area
Science-General current for 2014-15: 50, projected: 244
Science-Physical current for 2014-15: 32, projected: 237
Number of Students Completing Florida Teacher Education Programs by Certification Area 2013-14
Science-General: 34
Science-Physical: 17

2015-16
There were no sub-categories of General, Physical and Earth&Space. The overall Science category was ranked number 6.

2014-15
There were no sub-categories of General, Physical and Earth&Space. The overall Science category was ranked number 4.

2013-14
There were no sub-categories of General, Physical and Earth&Space. The overall Science category was ranked number 4.

2012-13
There were no sub-categories of General, Physical and Earth&Space. The overall Science category was ranked number 1.

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What do Florida public school students learn about climate change?

What do Florida public school students learn about climate change in their science classes? According to a report from the National Center for Science Education and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund our students may not be learning very much. The report is an analysis of how each state’s public school science education standards address climate change. Each state was awarded a grade depending on how the science education standards incorporate various aspects of teaching about climate change. Florida earned a dismal D. Unfortunately, I believe that D was too kind.

The report explains that standards “identify the basic information and skills students are expected to master in their courses of study. These standards guide the content of statewide testing and assessment, textbooks and other instructional materials, and classroom instruction.” You can find Florida’s education standards at the website https://www.cpalms.org/Public/. The science standards were approved by the state board of education in 2008 and have not undergone any significant revision or updates since then.

What are the Florida science standards that directly address climate change or global warming? There are only five.

SC.912.E.7.7: Identify, analyze, and relate the internal (Earth system) and external (astronomical) conditions that contribute to global climate change.

This is a standard typically included in earth/space and environmental science courses. The focus of this standard is on the variety of things that can cause global changes in climate. Notice that the standard seems to suggest only natural, not man-made, causes be covered.

SC.912.E.7.9: Cite evidence that the ocean has had a significant influence on climate change by absorbing, storing, and moving heat, carbon, and water.

This standard is typically included in marine science and environmental science courses. The focus of this standard is how oceans influence changes in climate. It doesn’t say anything about human influences. The CPALMS website includes lesson resources that can be used to teach each standard. The resources for this standard include lessons on El Nino/La Nina, ocean currents, comparison of ice melting in freshwater and saltwater, etc. There are some lesson resources that explicitly state or at least point to human influences, but not many.

SC.912.L.17.4: Describe changes in ecosystems resulting from seasonal variations, climate change and succession.

This standard is typically included in biology, marine science, and environmental science courses. The focus of this standard is how ecosystems change. Climate change is just one item on a list of ecosystem change causes and human influences are not mentioned.

SC.912.L.17.8: Recognize the consequences of the losses of biodiversity due to catastrophic events, climate changes, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species.

This standard is typically included in biology, marine science, and environmental science courses. The focus of this standard is biodiversity loss, not climate change. Climate change is just one item on a list of biodiversity loss causes.

SC.912.L.17.16: Discuss the large-scale environmental impacts resulting from human activity, including waste spills, oil spills, runoff, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, and surface and groundwater pollution.

This standard is typically included in marine science and environmental science courses. The focus of this standard is broad: what human activities are doing to the environment. Greenhouse gases are just one item on a list of human activities here.

There are other standards that don’t directly mention climate change or global warming but can be incorporated into lessons on the topic.

  • SC.912.E.7.4: Summarize the conditions that contribute to the climate of a geographic area, including the relationships to lakes and oceans.
  • SC.912.E.7.8: Explain how various atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic conditions in Florida have influenced and can influence human behavior, both individually and collectively.
  • SC.912.L.17.11: Evaluate the costs and benefits of renewable and nonrenewable resources, such as water, energy, fossil fuels, wildlife, and forests.
  • SC.912.L.17.13: Discuss the need for adequate monitoring of environmental parameters when making policy decisions.
  • SC.912.L.17.15: Discuss the effects of technology on environmental quality.
  • SC.912.L.17.17: Assess the effectiveness of innovative methods of protecting the environment.
  • SC.912.L.17.18: Describe how human population size and resource use relate to environmental quality.
  • SC.912.L.17.20: Predict the impact of individuals on environmental systems and examine how human lifestyles affect sustainability.
  • SC.912.E.6.6: Analyze past, present, and potential future consequences to the environment resulting from various energy production technologies.
  • SC.912.N.4.2: Weigh the merits of alternative strategies for solving a specific societal problem by comparing a number of different costs and benefits such as human, economic and environmental.

An important thing to note is that each of the standards listed here so far start with “SC.912.” The 912 means it’s a standard for grades 9 through 12, in other words high school. There are no climate change standards at all for the elementary or middle school levels in Florida.

Can a thorough examination of climate change be built around the five main climate change standards and the other supporting standards? If the teacher is well versed in climate change, then definitely. But any science teacher not familiar with climate change will likely completely miss the opportunity to provide students even a basic foundation on it based on the standards alone.

Sadly, there is a high chance that many biology, earth/space, environmental science, and marine science teachers don’t have a good working knowledge of the climate change topic. For instance, my state teacher certification is in biology. The certification qualifies me to teach environmental science, which I have been doing for about six years. I didn’t learn anything about climate change in my college courses and I haven’t received any professional development training on it. I had to learn about climate change on my own. How many other teachers are in the same situation? And how many of them might be using unreliable Internet sources?

I’m skeptical of the D grade the report’s reviewers gave Florida. I believe it should have been lower. Here are the criteria the reviewers used and the grade for each that Florida received.

  • (D) It’s real: Recent climate change is a genuine phenomenon.
  • (D) It’s us: Human activity is responsible for the global change in climate.
  • (C-) It’s bad: Climate change is affecting and will continue to affect nature and society.
  • (F) There’s hope: It is possible to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • (D) To what extent is the treatment of the issue in the standards helpful in permitting students to reach these conclusions?
  • (D) To what extent is the treatment of the issue in the standards appropriately explicit?
  • (D) To what extent is the treatment of the issue in the standards integrated in a coherent learning progression?
  • (D) To what extent do the standards make it clear to teachers what knowledge and skills students are expected to attain?
  • (D) To what extent would a student who met the performance expectations in the standards relevant to the issue be prepared for further study in higher education?
  • (D) To what extent would a student who met the performance expectations in the standards relevant to the issue be prepared for responsible participation in civic deliberation about climate change?

Based on the five standards explicitly about climate change, I don’t see how Florida didn’t get straight Fs.

Will Florida public school students encounter quality climate change lessons by the time they graduate? That will all depend on what science courses they take and how knowledgeable the science teachers are on the topic. Students need three science credits to graduate high school. One of those courses is mandatory for all students: biology. Climate change might be briefly mentioned in biology but there is unlikely to be a comprehensive lesson on the subject in that course. What if a student takes biology, chemistry and physics as their three science credits? Then it’s possible the student will never receive a lesson on climate change.

Why is teaching climate change important? The report’s section on Florida states: “How can students and teachers hope [one of the grading criteria] if there is no connection to how bad the problem is? Specifically, for the state of Florida, sea level rise and hurricanes should at the very least be discussed.” How can we hope to solve Florida’s climate change related issues if our students know little to nothing about it? Our 12-year-old state science education standards clearly need an update. But in today’s Florida political climate, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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Florida Evolution vs. Creationism Timeline

The need to defend science education in Florida is truly never ending. I chronicled the many skirmishes, battles and wars fought over the teaching of evolution in my book Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom. The Florida anti-evolution efforts I wrote about started in the 1920s and with only a few brief breaks continued all the way to the point where Going Ape left off in 2011. I invite you to read the timeline I made of those events here.

But the battle has raged on since then. So, I felt it was important to add to the timeline for the sake of completeness. Below are the significant events that have happened since 2011. Feel free to let me know if I missed anything or made any mistakes.

2011

  • A new law passed in Florida changed the way textbooks are vetted and approved for adoption statewide. Instead of selection committees being formed from people across the state, the state commissioner of education appoints a three-person panel of “subject matter experts.” The bill was sponsored by Rep. Marti Coley, who was an anti-evolution advocate during the state science standards revision process in 2008.
  • Scientists at the Florida Museum of Natural History discovered their vehicles, which display evolution related bumper stickers and Darwin fish, were repeatedly vandalized, including nails driven through tires.

2012

  • The Thomas B. Fordham Institute graded Florida’s relatively new (approved in 2008) science standards and gave them a D. After some complaints, the Institute revised their grade to a C.
  • Terry Kemple (who had a role on the anti-evolution side of the battle over the revision of the state science standards in 2008) runs for Hillsborough County School Board. He’s quoted as saying: “the fact that the state requires us to teach that evolution is the be-all and end-all is a travesty.” He makes it to a runoff election but loses.
  • Kim Kendall (who had a role on the anti-evolution side of the battle over the revision of the state science standards in 2008) runs for a seat in the Florida House. She loses. But it was noted during the election debates: “Possibly the biggest stunner of the night was agreement by all three [candidates] that creationism should be taught along with evolution in St. Johns County science classes, not just in church or at home.”

2013

  • World Changers of Florida successfully sues to allow bible distribution on public school campuses. The group’s president, Jerry Rutherford, tells a reporter that he hopes to get public schools to offer creationism as a competing theory to evolution.
  • Florida education officials consider the national Next Generation Science Standards for adoption but eventually decide against it.
  • A biology teacher at A. Crawford Mosley High School in Lynn Haven, Florida, screened Creation Science Evangelism videos during an evolution lesson, attracting the attention of the ACLU of Florida.
  • Bills in the Florida legislature seek to change the way textbooks are selected. The bill is eventually watered down and passed into law. The law allows school districts to choose not to use the state-approved list of textbooks and instead conduct their own local review and selection process. (In 2018, Marion County was the only district to do this since the bill became law.)

2014

  • Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom by Florida Citizens for Science founding board member Brandon Haught is published by the University Press of Florida.
  • University of North Florida hosts a panel discussion on evolution vs. creation: “Faith & Reason: The Origin of Humanity.” About 500 people attended.
  • Bills in the Florida legislature would expand the state’s school voucher programs, but die.
  • A study reveals that at least 164 voucher-accepting private schools in Florida teach some form of creationism in science classes.
  • Bills in the Florida legislature (one by Sen. Alan Hays) seek to change the way textbooks are selected for use in public schools. These bills would remove the state-level vetting process entirely and turn the entire textbooks selection process over to each individual school district. Hays’ proposal would require each school board to create a committee made up of half teachers, half residents to choose the textbooks. His bill has lengthy Web-posting and public-hearing requirements. But by the end of the legislative session, the bill that was finally passed into law was watered down to essentially giving parents a new method to object to their school board about textbooks.
  • Gov. Rick Scott appoints Andy Tuck to the state board of education. Tuck had protested against the teaching of evolution in public schools when he served on a local school board back in 2008.
  • Candidate for Pinellas County school board, Ken Peluso, was asked about teaching creationism. He said, “I think creationism and evolution should be taught side by side and I don’t care what classroom.” Later, he clarified his statement, saying it should only be taught in something like a world religions class.

2015

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott is accused of giving orders that “state officials are not permitted to use the terms ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in environmental reports or talks. The term ‘sea-level rise’ was also replaced with the term ‘nuisance flooding.’”
  • Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator representing Florida, was asked about the teaching of evolution. He expressed support for schools to teach “about the fact that there are other theories out there that exist as well.”
  • A controversial class assignment forced a Volusia County school to issue an apology. The lesson has since been pulled from Heritage Middle School. It was called “Not Just a Theory.” The assignment was on scientific standards, differentiating between a scientific theory and scientific law. The lesson, however, turned personal for parents because of two lines: “Next time someone tries to tell you that evolution is just a theory, as a way of dismissing it, as if it’s just something someone guesses at, remember that they’re using the non-scientific meaning of the word. If that person is a teacher, or a minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better. In fact, they probably do, and are trying to mislead you.”
  • Bills filed in the state legislature (one filed by Sen. Alan Hays) “creates a process that lets parents object to the textbooks. It requires school districts to hold a public hearing if someone complains about the books that are being used.” The bills were signed into law. (But in subsequent years groups like the Florida Citizens’ Alliance claimed that school districts ignored this law, prompting the Alliance to push for stronger laws on this topic of textbook objections.)

2016

  • Bills filed in the state legislature (one filed by Sen. Alan Hays) would dramatically alter the textbook selection process, allowing for citizens to complain about the textbook content and ultimately take school boards to court. The bills died. The bills originated with the conservative group Florida Citizens’ Alliance. Among a long list of complaints the Alliance has with various textbooks are issues they have with evolution such as two pages in a history book that “teach the children that we descended from apes. This is stated as a fact not a theory. Nowhere in the material is a balanced discussion of the biblical explanation.”
  • Voting guides in Walton County, Sumter County, St. Lucie County, Okaloosa County, Lake County and Clay County include questions for candidates about evolution and intelligent design.

2017

  • [March for Science events held across the country and across Florida.]
  • Global-warming-denying conservative think tank The Heartland Institute mails propaganda materials to every science teacher in the country (including Florida) “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.”
  • Gov. Rick Scott signed a new law (written and promoted by the Florida Citizens’ Alliance) that targets the teaching of climate change and evolution. It empowers those who want to object to the use of specific instructional materials in public schools. Now, any resident can file a complaint about instructional material; it used to be limited to parents with a child in the schools. Any time a complaint is filed, the affected school board must appoint a hearing officer and conduct official hearings.
  • Gov. Rick Scott signed a new law called The Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act (originally filed in the state legislature by Sen. Dennis Baxley and Rep. Kim Daniels). Some areas of concern related to science are that it allows students to give religious-based answers to school assignments/assessments and the teacher can be accused of discrimination if the answer is marked wrong; and the law appears to allow teachers to express religious views in their classrooms (perhaps allowing a teacher to express creationist views, for instance).
  • Florida Citizens’ Alliance partners with Truth In Textbooks to offer training on how to review school textbooks. And the Alliance is also partnering with the global warming denying organization The Heartland Institute.
  • Florida Citizens for Science founding board member Brandon Haught was a guest on the popular radio program Science Friday and wrote a guest column in the science journal Nature.
  • The Nassau County school board heard from a citizen who asked that a disclaimer sticker be placed in all textbooks that mention evolution. Even though school officials were sympathetic to the man’s point of view, they turned him down on legal grounds.

2018

  • The Clay County school board debates the adoption of new science textbooks. Superintendent Addison Davis said “In no way, shape or form do our textbooks or will our textbooks ever reflect evolution as a fact because the fact that our state standards does not allow us to do so.” Science textbooks are adopted on a narrow 3-2 vote.
  • A pair of Controversial Theories bills (otherwise known as Academic Freedom bills) filed in the state legislature (one of them by Sen. Dennis Baxley) would have required in district-adopted science standards that: “Controversial theories and concepts must be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.” The bills died.
  • A pair of bills filed in the state legislature would have changed how instructional materials are reviewed and selected, allowing for many more opportunities for creationists and climate change deniers to improperly influence the process. The bills died.
  • The Florida Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to consider making changes to the state constitution, proposed a measure that would remove from the state Constitution the so-called “no-aid” provision, which prevents public spending on churches and other religiously affiliated groups. This would make it legal to give state government money directly to religious private schools that teach things like creationism. The change to the constitution is never made.
  • The Orlando Sentinel runs a story in their “Schools Without Rules” series about private schools that get public money through voucher programs: “Private schools’ curriculum downplays slavery, says humans and dinosaurs lived together.” Florida Citizens for Science is included in the story.
  • Complaints about evolution and global warming in science textbooks under adoption consideration spark an official hearing in Collier County. The complaints fail on a narrow 3-2 vote. The textbooks are adopted as is. Florida Citizens’ Alliance plays a lead role in complaining about the books.
  • Complaints about evolution in science textbooks under adoption consideration spark an official hearing in Martin County. The complaints fail on a narrow 3-2 vote. The textbooks are adopted as is.
  • Organizations, such as Florida Votes Values and the Clay Family Policy Forum, issue voter guides that include candidates’ stances on the teaching of evolution.
  • M.I.T.’s online magazine Undark published a deep dive story about efforts to undermine the teaching of global warming facts in public schools: “In America’s Science Classrooms, the Creep of Climate Skepticism: Conservative groups are working hard to challenge the teaching of mainstream climate science in schools. In Florida, they’ve found a winning strategy.” The story features both Florida Citizens’ Alliance and Florida Citizens for Science.
  • Newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints members of the Florida Citizens’ Alliance to his education transition team.

2019

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis issues executive order: “By January 1, 2020, the Commissioner of Education shall comprehensively review Florida’s Kindergarten through grade twelve academic standards and provide recommended revisions to the Governor.” There is concern about how science standards would be revised. But the focus of the revision efforts were on “Common Core” subjects math and language arts, and civics. Despite the executive order that all standards would be reviewed, science is never mentioned during the process.
  • Sen. Dennis Baxley filed bill that would require “Controversial theories and concepts shall be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.” Bill died.
  • Bills targeting instructional materials would, among other things, require them to have “noninflammatory viewpoints on controversial issues.” Bills died.
  • [Bills allowing high school science and math courses to be replaced with Career and Technical Education certification courses are filed. The bills were modified and eventually passed into law.]
  • State legislature approves new voucher program that allows money to be taken directly from state coffers and given to private schools. The private schools are completely unregulated and unaccountable in Florida, with many known to discriminate against students and teachers (for being gay, for instance) and many religious schools teach blatant anti-science ideas, such as creationism.
  • Andy Tuck is installed as the chairman of the state Board of Education. He had stated in the past: “I won’t support any evolution being taught as fact at all in any of our schools.” When confronted with this, he updated his views to say: “I support standards that ensure students use critical thinking skills to explore multiple views of the world around them.”
  • [Concerns about teacher shortages overall, and science in particular, become more and more of a concern. The Florida Department of Education annually reports the subject areas experiencing critical teacher shortages. In this year’s report “Science-General” was ranked the number one critical shortage. The report stated that in the 2018-2019 school year there were 1,026 science courses across the state led by teachers without certification in the subjects. Fewer people want to be be teachers. For example, the number of people taking the teacher certification exam in Earth/Space Science plummeted from 231 in 2015 to 140 in 2018. And not all of those most recent 140 are ready for the classroom; a little more than a quarter of them failed the exam. Public high schools with at least 1,000 students, 36 of them did not offer physics at all. This is an increase over the previous year’s tally of 31. Gov. Rob DeSantis flippantly dismissed physics when he said: “Other than trying to keep my kids from falling down the stairs in the Governor’s mansion I don’t know how much I deal with physics daily.”]

2020

  • Parental Bill of Rights bill filed in state legislature doesn’t target any particular subject, but does say this, which could impact “controversial” subjects in science: “The bill would require, among other things, school district procedures for parents to opt their children out of lessons and materials they find objectionable.”
  • A bill filed in the state legislature targeted the disparity in academic standards between public schools and private schools that accept vouchers. “[The bill]would also have private schools follow state academic expectations for students, administer state exams and receive state grades. Stewart would not seek to control curriculum, noting that many families choose private schools for religious instruction. She said she does not wish to interfere with that desire.”
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New Florida Board of Education Chair: “I won’t support any evolution being taught as fact at all in any of our schools.”

Florida has a new Board of Education chairman: Andy Tuck.

When the state science standards were rewritten in 2008, Tuck was vice chairman of the Highlands County school board. Several school boards passed resolutions opposing the inclusion of evolution in the new standards. Highlands seriously considered a resolution but eventually backed down. But Tuck did say this:

School Board Vice Chairman Andy Tuck said Thursday, “as a person of faith, I strongly oppose any study of evolution as fact at all. I’m purely in favor of it staying a theory and only a theory.

“I won’t support any evolution being taught as fact at all in any of our schools.”

Then in 2014 Tuck was appointed the state board of education. Reporters recalled his earlier stance on evolution and so decided to follow up with him now that he was at the state level. This is what he said:

“I’m not an evangelical right-winger,” he told me. “I’m not trying to get religion in schools.”

[…]

Tuck said his problem is that scientists can’t say for certain how the universe began.

“I guess the thing I struggle with is you’re teaching evolution to fifth-graders and you get done and one says, ‘Where did it start?’” he said. “And you say what?”

As I said back in 2014: Keep in mind that the creationist tactic (I’m not calling Tuck a creationist, but rather referring to the general tactic used by today’s creationists) is to find some way to cast doubt on evolution in the classroom. Decades of legal losses whenever creationists have tried to outlaw evolution instruction or insert blatant creationism into the curriculum have forced them to clean up their overtly religious language. Now they want to allow teachers to spend time on “other theories” while declining to be more specific about those other theories that teachers might bring up are. They want to force a bogus disclaimer into evolution lessons that there are “strengths and weaknesses” to the theory. These are the kinds of moves Florida Citizens for Science faced in 2008 when a state Board of Education member and some lawmakers in the state legislature tried tinkering with the state science standards. So, we can’t feel safe and comfortable when someone says “I’m not trying to get religion in schools.” We heard that over and over again in 2008.

The reason why I bring this up is because he’s now in an even more elevated position at a time fraught with worrying changes happening to our state education system. This summary from the Tampa Bay Times highlights why I’m concerned:

The board is closely aligned to the Governor’s Office, and is taking a key role in overseeing actions including a standards review that Gov. Ron DeSantis has demanded. It appointed Corcoran — DeSantis’ choice for commissioner — without considering other options and is seen as a strong ally in pursuing the governor’s education agenda, which has focused on expanding vouchers, charter schools and other choice options in addition to pushing for improved outcomes in district schools.

Do you think we should be worried?

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A decade later and science education is still not important to Florida’s leaders

Friday was the big day! The results for the annual statewide education assessments were released. A press release from Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran’s office celebrated score increases in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Biology. He praised “awe-inspiring” teachers and he highlighted a new law that pushed all testing to later in the school year to allow for more instructional time and less testing time.

Corcoran

Did you notice anything missing? Yes, biology scores rose by two percentage points. That’s good. But … um … what about the rest of the science scores?

There are three science exams that public school students in Florida must take: the statewide science assessments in grades 5 and 8 and the high school biology end of course exam. Students have to score a level three or higher on the five point scale to pass. (See all the score reports at the DOE Assessments report page.) The 5th and 8th grade tests cover a variety of science topics, such as the nature of science, earth/space science, physical science and life science. The biology test is the only mandatory statewide science assessment given in high school.

Biology was worthy of mention in Corcoran’s press release because scores improved to their second highest level in eight years.

Biology End of Course
Statewide Percentage Passing (Level 3 or Above)
Spring 2018-2019: 67
Spring 2017-2018: 65
Spring 2016-2017: 63
Spring 2015-2016: 64
Spring 2014-2015: 65
Spring 2013-2014: 68
Spring 2012-2013: 67
Spring 2011-2012: 59

But 8th and 5th grade science results? They dropped by two percentage points each. Definitely not something Corcoran would want to crow about.

8th Grade Science Statewide Science Assessment
Statewide Percentage Passing (Level 3 or Above)
2019: 48*
2018: 50*
2017: 48*
2016: 48*
2015: 48
2014: 49
2013: 47
2012: 47

5th Grade Science Statewide Science Assessment
Statewide Percentage Passing (Level 3 or Above)
2019: 53
2018: 55
2017: 51
2016: 51
2015: 53
2014: 54
2013: 53
2012: 52

As I point out nearly every year, flip these numbers to get the real story. Instead of 48 percent passing the 8th grade test, reflect on the fact that 52 percent are not passing it. That means more than 101,700 8th grade students did not earn at least a level 3. Also, 8th graders haven’t broken past 50 percent in eight years.

The 5th graders are doing a bit better, but note how their passing scores are just hopelessly bouncing around with no consistent upward trend since the 2012 to 2014 streak.

However, a factor to take into consideration when analyzing the 5th and 8th grade science exams is that the results matter to the schools since their overall school grade takes the exams into account, but the tests have no real impact on the students. Elementary and middle school students face few consequences for failing the exam. So, why should the student take it seriously? Also consider the fact that the exams cover a wide range of topics learned over the course of several years. Is an 8th grader going to remember science topics taught in 6th grade?

Beside the consistently dismal state of 5th and 8th grade science scores, there are other worrying indicators that science education is not a subject that’s important to Florida’s elected and appointed officials.

One indicator: teacher shortages. The Florida Department of Education annually reports the subject areas experiencing critical teacher shortages. In this year’s report “Science-General” was ranked the number one critical shortage. The report stated that in the 2018-2019 school year there were 1,026 science courses across the state led by teachers without certification in the subjects. That may be at least partially attributed to the fact that the pool of potential science teachers is shrinking. Another FLDOE report shows that fewer people take science certification exams every year. For instance, the number of people taking the certification exam in Earth/Space Science plummeted from 231 in 2015 to 140 in 2018. And not all of those most recent 140 are ready for the classroom; a little more than a quarter of them failed the exam.

DeSantis

Another indicator is the evaporation of physics from schools’ course offerings across the state. Florida State University Physics Professor Paul Cottle dug through the data and found that in public high schools with at least 1,000 students, 36 of them did not offer physics at all. This is an increase over the previous year’s tally of 31. Unfortunately, this trend doesn’t worry some state lawmakers. A bill recently signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis allows students to substitute computer science credits for math and science credits that are required for high school graduation. Promoting computer science skills is worthwhile, but shouldn’t come at the cost of learning about the natural sciences. The governor flippantly dismissed physics when he said: “Other than trying to keep my kids from falling down the stairs in the Governor’s mansion I don’t know how much I deal with physics daily. You cannot live in our modern society without dealing with technology or computers in your daily life.”

I’m more discouraged today than usual. I spent time reviewing my blog posts about annual science assessments going all the way back to 2008. It’s been a dark cloud of bad news for over a decade now. I wrote op-eds about this issue in 2009 and 2017. Governors and commissioners have changed over the years, but my message has been unchanging and bleak. Sure, politicians love to pose for photo ops as they give lip service to one STEM initiative or another. But then they ignore the much larger issue of science literacy for all Florida students.

Our state and country grapples with problems such as rising seas, invasive species, the quality of our diminishing fresh water resources, and disease outbreaks, just to name a few issues that require a sound background in science to understand and solve. There are also job opportunities in space exploration. Boeing is moving its Space and Launch division headquarters from Virginia to Florida. SpaceX is launching – and landing – rockets here. NASA is testing the Orion spacecraft here. By the way, these high paying jobs require a physics education, Gov. DeSantis.

When will out state leaders start taking science education seriously?

—————————–

(*)FDOE started a few years ago combining the 8th grade science assessment results with the results of 8th graders who instead took the Biology EOC. The combined statistic reported on most of the FDOE’s documents this year is 51 percent passing in 8th grade. But the pure Statewide Science Assessment – without including 8th grade biology results – has a passing percentage of only 48. I highlighted and questioned this data sleight of hand when I first noticed it a couple of years ago: DOE: Just fudge the results; no one cares about science anyway.

Additionally, it looks like the biology EOC report, which breaks down the performance of the various grade levels of students who took the test, includes 8th graders. Is the DOE using 8th graders’ biology scores twice in their statistics: once in the biology report and again in the 8th grade science assessment results?

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Florida Legislative Session Wrap Up 2019

May the Fourth Be With You! Today, the 2019 session of the Florida Legislature is finally over. Here’s a quick summary of the issues we here at Florida Citizens for Science were tracking.

Senate Bill 330: Educational Standards for K-12 Public Schools

This bill would have impacted the standards for all academic subjects, especially science. The bill proposed allowing school districts to adopt their own sets of educational standards if they are “equal to or more rigorous” than the state’s educational standards. The bill specifically targeted science standards with the following directive from lines 62 to 66.

62 (b) Science standards must establish specific curricular
63 content for, at a minimum, the nature of science, earth and
64 space science, physical science, and life science. Controversial
65 theories and concepts shall be taught in a factual, objective,
66 and balanced manner.

“Controversial theories” is a standard tactic used for several years to target evolution and, lately, climate change. The bills don’t call out these scientific concepts by name, but the history of bills like these, referred to collectively as Academic Freedom Bills, make it clear what the intended science topics are.

END RESULT: This bill died. It was never heard in a committee. A companion bill in the house never appeared. It was a horrible idea even by the standards of this year’s horrible legislative session. I’m betting this bill was filed by Sen. Dennis Baxley just to drum up some publicity. He probably knew full well the bill was dead on arrival.

But will Baxley file the bill again next year or file a bill similar to it? You betcha!

For more background on the bill and Baxley’s history with evolution in schools, see our issues page.

House Bill 855 & Senate Bill 1454 – Instructional Materials

These bills would have made quite a few drastic changes to laws governing schools’ instructional materials. For instance, the section below features the “controversial issues” phrase. (Strikeouts are deletions and underlines are additions proposed by the bill.)


462 (2) EVALUATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS.—
463 To use the selection criteria listed in s. 1006.34(2)(b) and
464 recommend for adoption only those instructional materials
465 aligned with or exceed the Next Generation Sunshine State
466 Standards provided for in s. 1003.41. Instructional materials
467 recommended by each reviewer shall comply with all quality and
468 content criteria established in state law, including an
469 assurance that such materials are researched-based and proven to
470 be effective in supporting student learning; are be, to the
471 satisfaction of each reviewer, accurate and factual; provide,
472 objective, balanced, and noninflammatory viewpoints on
473 controversial issues; are, current, free of pornography and
474 material prohibited under s. 847.012; are of acceptable quality;
475 are in full compliance with s. 847.012, s. 1003.42, and all
476 other state laws relating to instructional materials;, and are
477 suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the
478 material presented.

The bills would have also done extreme damage to the instructional materials vetting and review process. For a full summary of those aspects, see my series of posts on the bills here, here and here.

END RESULT: The bills are dead. The House Bill was heard in one committee where it underwent a drastic overhaul, taking out the majority of the bad ideas in the original version. But then the bill stalled after that. It never got a hearing in its other assigned committee. And the Senate Bill never saw any movement at all.

But the organization behind this bill, the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, was ready to fight for their bill and you can bet they’ll try again next year.

Senate Bill 770 & House Bill 661: Workforce Education

Good grief, this bill was a tough one to follow. There were about 15 other “related bills” and I quite honestly lost track of what was going on until the end. It looks like the end result that tied everything together was the passage of House Bill 7071.

The stated purpose of the original bill was to give students a way to earn a high school diploma through a Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway. “Some advanced math and science courses” were seen as obstacles to graduation for certain students and so the original bill would have allowed many of those math and science courses to be replaced with CTE credits.

In the final version of HB 7071, this is what can be done (keep in mind that a standard diploma requires four math credits and three science credits):

567 3. A student who earns a computer science credit may
568 substitute the credit for up to one credit of the mathematics
569 requirement, with the exception of Algebra I and Geometry, if
570 the commissioner identifies the computer science credit as being
571 equivalent in rigor to the mathematics credit. An identified
572 computer science credit may not be used to substitute for both a
573 mathematics and a science credit. A student who earns an
574 industry certification in 3D rapid prototype printing may
575 satisfy up to two credits of the mathematics requirement, with
576 the exception of Algebra I, if the commissioner identifies the
577 certification as being equivalent in rigor to the mathematics
578 credit or credits.

589 3. A student who earns a computer science credit may
590 substitute the credit for up to one credit of the science
591 requirement, with the exception of Biology I, if the
592 commissioner identifies the computer science credit as being
593 equivalent in rigor to the science credit. An identified
594 computer science credit may not be used to substitute for both a
595 mathematics and a science credit.

This final version isn’t as bad as the original version (see my posts about it here, here, and here). But the persistent idea that anything other than Algebra and Biology are somehow “advanced” courses that are just too tough really got me steamed.

END RESULT: HB 7071 (which contains much more than what I summarized above) is on its way to the governor, who is guaranteed to sign it into law.

New Voucher Program Created

Florida politicians’ love affair with unaccountable private schools resulted in yet another pot of money going to many creationist schools.

Florida dumps another $130 million into wild west of unregulated, unaccountable voucher schools

“You know, if I was confident that my ‘choice’ system was working for kids, I’d welcome basic standards and accountability.

“But if I wasn’t … well, I’d act like Sullivan and the rest of her GOP peers. I’d keep hiding what goes on in voucher schools, dodge standards — and then keep telling everyone that public schools are the problem.”

Florida legislators stick it to public education, as usual

“And Florida? Instead of following the lead of public schools that have demonstrated success — and yes, there are plenty — this state blundered into the abyss during the legislative session that ends Saturday when it set aside $130 million for people who use unregulated voucher schools accountable to almost no one to ‘educate’ children.

“Whoo hooo! Just go out and hire any old high school dropout or convicted felon off the street to ‘teach’ the kiddies. Never mind the hillbilly science curriculum that says dinosaurs and people lived at the same time, that God saved North America from Catholics by giving them South America or that the U.S. would still have slavery except some ‘power-hungry individuals stirred up the people.’ (Blasted Yankees!)”

The Orlando Sentinel exposed how horrible the Florida private school industry is with their Schools Without Rules series. I was interviewed for this part of the series: Private schools’ curriculum downplays slavery, says humans and dinosaurs lived together

“That was just plain-old, misguided, bad, horrible science, talking about dinosaurs and humans living together,” said Brandon Haught, a science teacher at University High School in Volusia and a member of the advocacy group Florida Citizens for Science, who also reviewed the materials.

He said all the texts, compared with what he uses in his public high school, seemed to downplay “actually doing some science.” They also disregard a key point of science — that not all answers are known, that there are more discoveries to be had.

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Book-Banning bill update 3/30

Another week has slipped by in Florida’s annual legislative session and so far the issues we here at Florida Citizens for Science are most concerned about are stalled or defanged.

What was the most dangerous bill on our radar, HB 855 — which had been dubbed the book-banning bill — passed through its first committee hearing Tuesday and come out the other side looking much different.

For background information on this bill (and its companion in the senate SB 1454), please read our first alert about it: New Instructional Materials bill includes “controversial issues” requirement. That post breaks down many of the key issues of the bill and reveals a little background about the bill sponsor, Rep. Walter Byran “Mike” Hill from Pensacola. Then read the update post: Getting ready for another wild ride in Tallahassee. That post has a brief bullet point list of the bill’s many problems. And finally, read the post alerting everyone about the first committee hearing: “Book banning” bill written by creationists/climate change deniers to get first hearing.

Before the committee hearing even began, bill sponsor Rep. Hill replaced it with what’s called a “committee substitute,” which in this case turned out to be a complete revision of the bill. A Tampa Bay Times article gives a brief rundown of the changes: Florida School book removal bill overhauled before first committee stop

The PreK-12 Quality committee has taken the 24-page HB 855 and trimmed it back to six pages before its scheduled hearing Tuesday afternoon. The stripped down version takes out some of the most contentious language that had anti-censorship advocates most alarmed.

The original bill version obsessed over pornography and had a long list of changes to the way a hearing about instructional materials complaints was to be planned and conducted. Poof — all gone in this new version. The new committee substitute focuses on three new changes to law. First there is this (bolded text is the new stuff proposed by this bill):

A school principal must communicate to parents about the content of reproductive health instructional materials at least 10 days before students view such materials.

Then there is this (bolded text is the new stuff proposed by this bill) :

Each district school board shall maintain on its website a current list of instructional materials, by grade level, purchased by the district. Such list must contain, at a minimum, the title, author, and ISBN number, if available, for all instructional materials.

Both of those changes seem harmless and a far cry from the original bill’s intent. Then there is the third change (bolded text is the new stuff proposed by this bill) :

(c) Other instructional materials.—Provide such other teaching accessories and aids as are needed for the school district’s educational program, including supplemental instructional materials. Each school district shall create a policy for the use of supplemental instructional materials in the classroom in compliance with s. 1006.31(2) and any other state laws relating to instructional materials.

Section 3. The Commissioner of Education shall review the process school districts use to evaluate materials that are not included on the state-adopted list as required in s. 1006.283, Florida Statutes. The commissioner shall provide a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31, 2020. The report shall include statistics regarding how many materials have been removed by school districts as a result of the review process in s. 1006.283, Florida Statutes, and identify instructional materials with confirmed, factual errors and any corrective measures taken pursuant to s. 1006.35, Florida Statutes. The report shall include recommendations on ways the public can review materials that are not on the state-adopted list, including library materials, books included on summer reading lists, and books available for purchase at book fairs.

This is a tougher part of the law to decipher. First, this bill appears to be concerned with things other than textbooks used in the classroom. In my classroom I use all sorts of things not related to the textbook like worksheets, news stories, videos, labs, etc. On a regular basis I find materials days or even hours before I use them. I try to keep my environmental science lessons current and real-world as possible. President Trump is going to visit Lake Okeechobee in a couple of days? I jump into action to prepare something about it for my class. The referenced statute 1006.31(2) is the one that the writers of the original bill, the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, have been trying to reinterpret and use a sledgehammer to promote their own world views in schools. It says, in part:

Instructional materials recommended by each reviewer shall be, to the satisfaction of each reviewer, accurate, objective, balanced, noninflammatory, current, free of pornography

Do my many supplemental materials fit the Alliances’ interpretation of this statute? They definitely match the state science standards and my district’s curriculum map. Are my materials, if they aren’t some type of book, covered by this proposed bill?

The other mysterious part of this bill is the report that would be required about materials being removed by school districts and what kind of “confirmed, factual errors” they have. Of course, I stay focused on challenges to science materials, which have been thankfully unsuccessful so far. But I’m not aware of successful challenges to any other academic materials, either. What’s the purpose of this report?

I encourage you to watch the video of this PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee meeting. Committee member Rep. Anna Eskamani. asked bill sponsor Rep. Hill a few interesting questions. Start at three minutes.

Rep. Eskamani: Does your bill also only apply to public schools or to any type of learning environment, including charter and private?

Rep. Hill: This is just for public schools at this time.

Rep. Eskamani: Reasoning for that?

Rep. Hill: Because the public schools are government run schools. Those are ones we have most control over. The private schools we don’t have as much control over them. We leave those decisions up to the parents to decide the type of material that’s going to be taught there.

Rep. Eskamani: Understood, Rep. Hill. How about for any schools that receive public dollars? Would you consider them to also perhaps follow the same instructional material rules in this bill?

Rep. Hill: Are you referring to like charter schools?

Rep. Eskamani: Any institution that receives a state scholarship program, yes.

Rep. Hill: Yes, I believe that this bill would cover that also.

Other committee members brought up concerns about the over regulation of supplemental materials, which is something Rep. Hill addressed in his closing remarks at 15:18

I apologize if I said that this applies to private schools. It does not. It applies to public schools and to charter schools but not to private schools. So, if I gave you that impression I wanted to clarify that.

And then there was the comment about the supplemental materials. My wife was a preschool teacher for a number of years so I understand what you mean — if they are trying to get things and make their class more lively and so forth. No one is going to object to that. However, if we find that a teacher goes out, brings in some material that a parent finds objectionable, then that parent — the child could take it home and the parent could say ‘what is this?’ This would say now that those supplemental materials that have been introduced will be held accountable. It is not to try and prevent them from doing things which is going to more robust, educational, entertaining. It’s to make sure that the parents have a way of expressing their objection if that supplemental material is against, um, that they find objection to.

You heard him, ladies and gentlemen. If you see any creationist or climate-change-denying materials, you can object. Of course, the actual intent behind the bill is just the opposite (since it comes from the creationist, climate change denying group Florida Citizens’s Alliance). The intent is to snuff out evolution and climate change materials, like they attempted several times in the past (see our issues page: Challenges to evolution & climate change in textbooks for lots of examples.)

The bill passed this committee on a 11-2 vote. According to the bill’s web page, there is one more stop in the full Education Committee, but a hearing for this bill has not been scheduled there yet. However, when committee assignments were first done for this bill, it was also supposed to go to the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee. I’m confused as to why that subcommittee assignment disappeared off the list. Also of note is that the companion bill in the senate, SB 1454, appears to be stalled. No committee hearings have been scheduled.

And a final note on this bill: the Alliance isn’t happy with it. They have a few amendments written and ready to go that would restore many of the contentious issues that were in the original bill version. We’ll see if those amendments get filed.

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“Book banning” bill written by creationists/climate change deniers to get first hearing

Florida HB 855, which has been dubbed a “book banning” bill by nearly everyone with an ounce of common sense, is scheduled for its first hearing in the house PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee, Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

The entire bill is overflowing with horrible ideas meant to bully school boards across the state into submission when the bill’s originator, the Florida Citizens Alliance, comes calling to demand removal of anything they deem to be inappropriate. They are targeting the coverage of religions in history courses, the alleged presence of porn in literature, and the presence of evolution and climate change in science textbooks.

For background information on this bill (and its companion in the senate SB 1454), please read our first alert about it: New Instructional Materials bill includes “controversial issues” requirement. That post breaks down many of the key issues of the bill and reveals a little background about the bill sponsor, Rep. Walter Byran “Mike” Hill from Pensacola. Then read the update post: Getting ready for another wild ride in Tallahassee. That post has a brief bullet point list of the bill’s many problems.

The bills have been taking a beating in the media and elsewhere:

It’s time for you to contact every single member of the PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee and let them know how destructive the creationist, book-banning, climate change denying Alliance’s crusade will be. If you discover any updates to the representative’s contact information (such as a Twitter handle), please let us know so we can update this list. And if you get any meaningful responses, we would like to know that, too.

Chair: Donalds, Byron [R] (Note: Donalds is known ally of Florida Citizens Alliance)
Email: byron.donalds@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @ByronDonalds
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5080
District Office: (239) 417-6270

Vice Chair: Latvala, Chris [R]
Email: chris.latvala@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @ChrisLatvala
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5067
District Office: (727) 724-3000

Democratic Ranking Member: Webb, Jennifer Necole [D]
Email: jennifer.webb@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @jenniferwebbfl
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5069
District Office: (727) 341-7385

Bell, Melony M. [R]
Email: melony.bell@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5056
District Office: (863) 285-1101

Brannan III, Robert Charles “Chuck” [R]
Email: chuck.brannan@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5010
District Office: (386) 758-0405

Eskamani, Anna V. [D] (Note: Eskamani has already publicly supported sound science education and opposed the Florida Citizens’ Alliances’ agenda.)
Email: anna.eskamani@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @AnnaForFlorida
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5047
District Office: (407) 228-1451

Grieco, Michael “Mike” [D]
Email: mike.grieco@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @Mike_Grieco
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5113
District Office: (305) 993-1905

Hage, Brett Thomas [R]
Email: brett.hage@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5033
District Office: (352) 315-4445

Hill, Walter Bryan “Mike” [R] (Hill is the bill sponsor and a known climate change denier.)
Email: mike.hill@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5001
District Office: (850) 494-5690

Hogan Johnson, Delores D. “D” [D]
Email: delores.johnson@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5084
District Office: (772) 595-1391

LaMarca, Chip [R]
Email: chip.lamarca@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @ChipLaMarca
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5093
District Office: (954) 784-4531

Santiago, David [R]
Email: david.santiago@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @dsantiago457
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5027
District Office: (386) 575-0387

Smith, David [R]
Email: david.smith@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5028
District Office: (407) 971-3570

Thompson, Geraldine F. “Geri” [D]
Email: geri.thompson@myFloridahouse.gov
Twitter:
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5044
District Office: (407) 245-0288

Trumbull, Jay [R]
Email: jay.trumbull@myfloridahouse.gov
Twitter: @jaytrumbull
Capitol Office: (850) 717-5006
District Office: (850) 914-6300

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