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Gov. Ron DeSantis signs school 'deregulation' bills

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TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a series of education bills, including measures aimed at "deregulation" of public schools.

The regulation-related bills (SB 7002 and SB 7004) were a priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, during the 2024 legislative session, which ended in March.

One of the measures (SB 7002) is designed to provide financial flexibility for school districts.

As an example, districts could publish notices of intent to adopt tentative budgets on school board websites instead of having to publish such notices in newspapers.

The other (SB 7004) includes removing a requirement that school districts offer at least one virtual instruction option.

DeSantis signed the series of bills Thursday.

They also included a measure (SB 7032) that will provide tuition and fee waivers for high-school dropouts who pursue diplomas and workforce credentials at state colleges.

The Graduation Alternative to Traditional Education, or GATE, program will include certain requirements for participants. For example, students will have to be 16 to 21 years old and maintain at least 2.0 grade-point averages in career and technical education coursework.

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