Restoring Intellectual Freedom, SB 810/HB 6077

What the bill does

SB 810 (full text) and its companion bill HB 6077 (full text) accomplish one of FEA’s six legislative priorities for the 2022 session by repealing the newly required intellectual viewpoint survey of higher education faculty and students.

The bill further protects academic freedom and intellectual diversity by removing the current provision in state law which allows audio and video recording of college and university classes without the consent or the students or instructor.  

What the bill does

  • SB 520 (full text of bill) provides an exemption from public records requirements for any personal identifying information of an applicant for president of a state university or a Florida College System institution. This process, which has long been conducted in the sunshine would now be conducted without openness or transparency.
  • Includes all instructional personnel, not just classroom teachers, in the teacher salary allocation funds.
  • Removes current requirement for a “grandfathered” and a “performance” salary schedule in favor of a single salary schedule for all instructional personnel.
  • By eliminating the performance salary schedule, the bill removes current requirement stipulating highly effective teachers raises must be greater than effective teachers.
  • Repeals the current restrictions on salary restrictions for advanced degrees put in place in 2011.
    • Districts would have the ability to negotiate salary enhancements for advanced degrees whether or not the advance degree is in a teacher’s area of certification. 

What’s Next

Talking Points

  • Academic freedom is under attack at Florida’s institutions of higher education. By repealing the worst provisions of last session’s HB 223, this bill will help to restore academic freedom to Florida’s college and university campuses.
  • The supposed “intellectual diversity” survey creates opportunities for political manipulation and could have a chilling effect on intellectual and academic freedom.
  • Students who know their comments may be recorded in class without their consent  and then shared widely on the internet might engage in self-censorship, thus stifling the robust debate that should be taking place in our colleges and universities. 

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