OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Education System

Instructional Materials

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the program is to ensure that instructional materials, aligned to applicable state standards, are available to all Florida students. 

What are instructional materials?

For state adoption purposes, instructional materials are defined in s. 1006.29(2), Florida Statutes, as items having intellectual content that assist in the instruction of a subject or course. Instructional materials may be available in bound, unbound, kit, or package form, and may consist of hard backed or soft backed textbooks, electronic content, consumables (e.g., workbooks), learning laboratories, electronic media, and computer courseware or software. However, electronic or computer hardware is not included in the definition even when bundled with software or electronic media.

How do instructional materials relate to state standards?

All instructional materials, regardless of whether they are approved or adopted by the state or a district, must be aligned with the Florida Standards for materials adopted through the 2019-20 adoption year, or the B.E.S.T. (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking) standards as of the English Language Arts adoption for the 2020-21 adoption year.  Instructional materials include items necessary to meet the intended outcomes of the course or subject for which they are designed.

How are instructional materials adopted?

There are two ways instructional materials as are adopted:  using the state process or a district's (or consortium of school districts) own process.  Chapter 1006 Part F, Florida Statutes, outlines a detailed method for adopting instructional materials purchased with state funds.
State Process. Each year, Florida adopts instructional materials for specific curriculum content areas. Selected content areas are identified for adoption on a rotating basis, usually for a period of five years. Prior to each adoption, the Department of Education publishes instructional materials specifications for the subjects to be adopted, outlining the courses for which materials are being sought, as well as the standards that those materials are expected to meet. The Commissioner of Education appoints a team of instructional material reviewers for each content area and is responsible for evaluating and recommending instructional materials using criteria developed by the department.  The commissioner is responsible for formally adopting materials based on the reviewers' recommendations.  Each school district superintendent can nominate one classroom teacher or district-level content supervisor to review two or three of the submissions recommended by the state reviewers.
Districts that use the state process must meet several requirements, such as
  • purchasing instructional materials for core courses within the first three years of the adoption cycle;
  • reporting their planned instructional material purchases to the Department of Education by April 1; and
  • requisitioning materials from the publisher's depository.
District Process. Section 1006.283, Florida Statutes, establishes a district school board instructional materials review process that gives districts, or a consortium of school districts, the flexibility to implement their own instructional materials review, approval, adoption, and purchase program. School districts or consortia that choose to implement their own process have discretion in several areas, some of which include
  • adhering to the state review cycle;
  • purchasing instructional materials off the state-adopted list (however, they still must align with the Florida Standards);
  • establishing a process that certifies the accuracy of instructional materials; and
  • requisitioning materials from the publisher's depository.
Regardless of which process is used, districts are responsible for all instructional materials content used in a classroom, including those available in a school library or on a reading list.

What additional responsibilities do districts have in relation to instructional materials content and access?

School districts have additional responsibilities for instructional materials content and public access. These responsibilities include
  • discontinuing using a material that the school board finds inappropriate or unsuitable;
  • providing access to any material or book, specified in a written request, that is maintained in a district school system library and is available for review; and
  • maintaining a current list of instructional materials purchased by the district, by grade level, on their websites.

How are publishers involved in the adoption process for instructional materials?

Section 1006.38, Florida Statutes, defines the responsibilities of instructional materials publishers in the adoption process.  These responsibilities include delivering to the Department of Education fully developed electronic sample copies of all instructional materials upon which bids are based, and providing evidence that the instructional materials address the Florida Standards and can be accessed by a variety of electronic, digital, and mobile devices.

What input do parents and the public have into the selection of instructional materials when a district uses its own adoption process?

Section 1006.28, Florida Statues, gives parents and county residents input into district selection of instructional materials. School district instructional materials policies must include
  • a process by which parents of public school students or county residents may contest the district school board's adoption of a specific instructional material; and
  • a process to handle all objections and provide for resolution.
Districts implementing their own instructional materials program must also make student editions of recommended instructional materials available to the public to be accessed and viewed online at least 20 calendar days prior to an open, noticed school board hearing to receive public comment on recommended materials and an open, noticed public meeting to approve an annual instructional materials plan. The public meeting must be held on a different date than the school board hearing.

How are these activities funded?

For Fiscal Year 2020-21, the Legislature designated $236.6 million within the Florida Education Finance Program for instructional materials. The sources of these funds are general revenue and trust fund dollars, and are allocated to school districts based on a growth allocation calculation. If school districts have completed all instructional material purchases for the fiscal year, after March 1, they have the flexibility to use these funds to purchase to purchase electronic devices and technology equipment and infrastructure for student instruction. Prior to the department releasing these funds to a school district, the district must
  • certify that it has the instructional materials necessary to provide instruction aligned to the adopted statewide benchmarks and standards; and
  • include an expenditure plan for purchasing electronic devices and technology equipment, and infrastructure that demonstrates compliance with eligible expenditures authorized in law.

Updates

The 2020 Legislature enacted HB 1213, which addresses public school curriculum. 

Holocaust Education.  The legislation requires DOE to

  • prepare and offer standards and curriculum for required instruction; the department may seek input from the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education or from recognized Holocaust educational organizations, and may contract with recognized Holocaust educational organizations to develop instructional personnel training and classroom resources; and
  • create a process for school districts to annually certify compliance with required Holocaust instruction.

 It also designates the second week in November as “Holocaust Education Week.”

 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots.  The legislation also directs the

  • Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force to examine how the history of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots will be included in required African-American history instruction, and submit its recommendations to the commissioner and the State Board of Education by March 1, 2021;
  • Secretary of State to determine how state museums will promote the history of the riots, as well as collaborate with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to share the history of the riots; and
  • Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to assess if any state parks will be named after victims.

 In addition, the new law encourages school boards to assess opportunities to name facilities after victims.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

Digital Instructional Materials-What Are Teachers Using and What Barriers Exist?, RAND Corporation, April 2020.
What Everyone Should Know about Teachers’ Use of Digital and Online Resources, Speak Up, Project Tomorrow, January 2020.
Navigating the Digital Shift: Equitable Opportunities for All Learners, State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), June 2019.
State K12 Instructional Materials Leadership Trends Snapshot, State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), March 2019.  
Special Report: Navigating New Curriculum Choices, Education Week, March 2017.
From Print to Digital: Guide to Quality Instructional Materials, State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), February 2017.

Websites of Interest
Association of American Publishers
Center for Digital Education
CPALMS (Information on Florida's standards and course descriptions.)
Education Week Digital Directions
eSchool News
Florida Association of District Instructional Materials Administrators
Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support
Florida Department of Education, Instructional Materials
Florida Electronic Library
Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
National Center on Accessible Educational Material (AEMS)
National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)
State Educational Technology Directors Association Digital Instructional Materials Acquisition Policies for States (DMAPS)
State Educational Technology Directors Association Open Educational Resources
The Orange Grove, Florida's Digital Repository


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Whom do I contact for help?

Florida Department of Education, Instructional Materials email:  imstaff@fldoe.org

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