Below are the news briefs from the Leon County School Board meeting that took place on March 7, 2023.
Shelly Bell, director of Lively Technical College provided an update to the Board related to career technical education overview. Career Dual Enrollment (CDE) is an option for high school students to enroll in post-secondary courses to earn elective credit toward high school graduation requirements and to receive hours toward a career and technical post-secondary program certificate. For the current academic year, 292 LCS high school students are in a career-dual enrollment program either on their high school campus or at Lively’s main campus.
The Board approved an agreement between School Board of Leon County and Donald L. Tucker Civic Center granting a license to use premises for rehearsals and graduation for Lawton Chiles, Amos P. Godby, Leon, Lincoln, and James S. Rickards High Schools from May 23, 2023 through May 27, 2023. The cost of the license to use the premises is $73,000.
The Board approved the proposed legal settlement with JUUL Laboratory Inc. Last October, the Board voted to bring a lawsuit against JUUL Laboratory Inc., (JLI) and other defendants alleging damages because of student use of vaping products manufactured, marketed and distributed by the defendants. In reference to JUUL Laboratory Inc., a proposed settlement has been offered.
LCSB was one of approximately 1500 school districts and an additional 500 governmental entities that brought similar claims against JLI. As a result of negotiation, JLI has agreed to settle these suits for $555,000,000. The parties agreed on a formula for allocating the global settlement for each of the plaintiffs. The formula is primarily based on 6-12 grade student population, date the party filed suit, number of schools, and some other minor factors. Based on this formula, the gross settlement to LCSB is $289,947.
The Board, as required by Florida law, held public hearings to facilitate public comment related the adoption of instructional materials for the English Language Arts and Human Growth and Development (HGD) curriculum. Several speakers were voiced concerns with the content and age appropriateness of the HGD lesson which addressed sex education.
After citizen comments, the public hearing on the HGD curriculum was closed and discussion among the school board members commenced. Board member Laurie Cox stated she could not vote to support the proposed curriculum until changes were made. In response, Board member Daryl Jones commented that changes had already been made and he thought the curriculum was ready for approval. However, Board member Alva Striplin-Smith also stated that she could not support the curriculum.
LCS administrative officials informed the Board that if changes were made to the proposed curriculum that the public hearing would have to be rescheduled and final approval would be delayed. Striplin-Smith proposed that only the state required lessons be adopted without consideration separate from the optional material included in the curriculum. Board member Wood argued that a more surgical approach should be used to create an acceptable curriculum.
After a discussion, it was agreed that changes would be considered and the approval process for the HGD curriculum would be delayed.