$7.5 million for textbooks approved by school board

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Posted March 26, 2021 | By Brendan Farrell, Brendan@OcalaGazette.com 

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The Marion County School Board approved spending $7.5 million on new language art textbooks during its March 23rd meeting.

The approved textbooks would cover kindergarten through 12th grade and would go into use in August. Textbooks change every four to five years depending on the subject and state recommendations, Marion County Public School spokesman Kevin Christian said.

Jennifer Leeds, instructional materials coordinator for the school system, said the new textbooks will meet the new Florida B.E.S.T. standards.

In January 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the implementation of the new curriculum known by the acronym of Benchmark for Excellent Student Thinking. It replaced Common Core, a standardized curriculum that some opponents argued took control away from local educators.

“On both the elementary and the secondary side, part of their review was to check that we were in alignment with the new standards for Florida B.E.S.T. standards,” Leeds said. “In addition, those standards were also provided to the actual ELA (English Language Arts) adoption committee, which was made up of teachers, parents and community members. And they were also asked to make sure that they were feeling that they were in alignment with state standards.”

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