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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

After an hour of public comment, a communism bill passes another Senate committee

The bill would require K-12 students to learn about the history of communism.
Pexels
The bill would require K-12 students to learn about the history of communism.

The bill would require K-12 students in Florida to learn about the history of communism and sets up the creation of a Florida museum of communist history.

A bill that would require K-12 students in Florida to learn the history of communism has overwhelmingly passed its second committee in the Senate.

Dozens of Floridians who experienced violence and persecution under communist regimes in Vietnam, Cuba, and Russia spoke in favor of the bill.

After an hour of public comment, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Education voted to approve the bill 6-0.

Democratic Senator Tracie Davis voiced concerns over the task force that would be responsible for setting the direction of the instruction.

“Getting the accuracy and truth of what we’re teaching and educating is very, very important to me. We had the blunder and that’s what I’ll call it when we were dealing with the African American task force and that I do not want to see here,” said Davis.

A task force created Florida’s new Black history standards last summer, which came under fire for equating slavery with learning new skills.

Davis also expressed concern that the amended legislation sets up a museum of communist history, when the state has already promised a museum of African American history.

Republican Senator Jay Collins, the sponsor of the bill, said the creation of this museum will not impact the funding for an African American history museum in Florida.

“This won’t affect any Black history museum or anything like that. It will not affect that. This recommendation will come out in about a year, and we’ll take that along with other stakeholders and we'll make an educated decision from there to see if it’s a value add or not,” said Collins.

The bill SB 1264 in the Senate has one last committee to go, the companion bill HB 1349 in the House is already in its last committee.

Read the full bill here:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2024/1264/BillText/c1/PDF

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Danielle Prieur