Education

Flag Flap

By Jessica L. Tonn — January 04, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Carey Baker Freedom Flag Act requires each K-20 public classroom in Florida to display a 3-foot-by-2-foot, American-made U.S. flag.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Mike Fasano, a Republican, began as a movement by the Florida Freedom Foundation, an independent group of conservative college students, to put flags in all University of Florida classrooms. He expanded the measure, enacted by the legislature last summer, to include K-12 schools.

According to Sen. Fasano, the original version of the legislation did not include size provisions, but the House amended it to prevent “liberal professors” from “making a mockery of the flag by placing 37-cent postage stamps in their classrooms.”

It seemed like a minor change. But that tinkering has left many school districts scrambling to replace small or foreign-made flags already on display. The Associated Press reported that as many as 15,000 flags need to be replaced in Central Florida alone—a number not contested by a state education official interviewed.

Though the Florida Department of Education did not have an accurate count of the number of flags needing replacement, state data indicate that there are approximately 156,000 K-12 classrooms statewide.

The average cost for a regulation-size American flag is $17.50. It would cost $2.7 million to provide every Florida K-12 classroom with the proper flag, not including the cost of labor and mounting equipment.

The law, however, prohibits school districts from using their own funds to purchase the flags for one year after the law’s enactment last July. To help out, many businesses, veterans’ groups, and local politicians have pitched in time and money to provide schools with flags.

Sen. Fasano said that he would be “shocked” if any schools had to buy their own flags. He has sent $1,000 in funds left over from his most recent campaign to help the 56,800-student Pasco County schools, his district’s school system, purchase new flags.

In addition, Sen. Fasano has pledged to “grandfather in” schools with pre-existing flags during the 2005 legislative session. He also plans to draft a letter of intent to the state education agency asking it to allow pre-existing flags, regardless of their size, to stay until the law can be amended.

Deborah Higgins, the spokeswoman for the state department of education, had no knowledge of any department plans to monitor or enforce schools’ compliance with the law, which requires schools to furnish the regulation flags by Aug. 1 of this year.

A version of this article appeared in the January 05, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week