Q&A – Should Florida’s Legislature Take The Lead For Classroom Cameras


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Q&A Of The Day – Why Florida’s Legislature Should Take The Lead For Classroom Cameras

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 


Parler & Twitter:@brianmuddradio 

Today’s entry: I’m curious why you suggested that we should advocate for classroom cameras with our state representatives. Wouldn’t that effort be better served at the school board level? I’m interested in getting involved but want to make sure I understand why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Bottom Line: Today’s note is on the heels of yesterday’sQ&A where I discussed the prospect of introducing cameras in classrooms for the purpose of parents having transparency in what’s being taught in the classroom. After describing the prospects, I mentioned those interested should start with advocating for classroom cameras with their state representative and state senator. As to why I suggested why starting with them might make the most sense... There are a few reasons. First, there’s the timing. 

School districts have largely finalized their plans for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Trying to introduce a huge initiative like the introduction of cameras into all classrooms, even if successful wouldn’t stand a chance of being implemented until the 2022-2023 school year at the soonest. It’s not a bad idea to advocate with your school board – it likely just isn’t the most efficient way to accomplish the objective for two additional reasons. The likelihood of success – especially with South Florida’s school boards which are near rubber stamps for the Florida Education Association – which opposes cameras in classrooms and funding. 

Should the state of Florida pass a law mandating cameras in the classrooms in Florida’s public schools, you’d have uniformity in all of Florida’s 67 school districts and importantly they could provide funding to make it happen. Even in the unlikely event you’d have success with a local school district getting onboard with classroom cameras, there’d be the issue regarding where the money would come from. Accounting for the funding from the state along with consistent implementation of camera systems statewide provides the most efficient and consistent path towards providing classroom transparency for parents. And right now, the timing is right.

While Florida just recently wrapped up this year’s legislative session, we’re less than seven months away from the start of next year’s session. Because of next year’s federal election cycle, Florida’s 2022 state session startsJanuary 11th. Committee work for the session starts in September. So, the timing’s right, right now to advocate to your state representative and senator for any all of your policy ideas. And again, as it pertains to the concept of classroom cameras...we have a pilot program approved for special education students in Broward for this upcoming school year, which was approved by the state legislature. So, while what they just approved was specific and limited in scope - it’s not a foreign concept. All public schools engaged in remote learning during the pandemic – which already provided cameras in all of those “classrooms” and Bill Gates is a huge backer of the concept and has previously been willing to fund them. There’s a lot that makes sense to make a push right now – especially with heightened concerns by many parents that political activism may be on the rise in Florida. Especially on back of how hard the Florida Education Association fought against the banning of the teaching of critical race theory in Florida. 

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