History of communism bill draws questions if topics are appropriate for young Florida students

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Proposals circulating through Florida’s legislative chambers have ignited a debate over the potential inclusion of lessons on the history of communism in the state’s school curriculum, with questions swirling around introducing such complex topics to students as young as kindergarten.


Under the current educational framework, Florida students aren’t introduced to lessons on communism until seventh grade.

However, Senate Bill 1264 and House Bill 1349, currently under consideration, aim to alter this landscape, potentially paving the way for discussions on communism to begin as early as kindergarten.

The Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee recently greenlit the Senate version of the bill, which outlines the formation of a task force tasked with reportedly refining education on communism.

Senator Jay Collins, R-Tampa, the bill’s sponsor, highlighted the broad scope of the proposed curriculum.

“If (the bill) goes through, focuses on the history of domestic communist movements, their tactics within the U.S. and abroad, the philosophy and lineage of communism including Marxism, foreign communist movements of the 20th century, and the communist socioeconomic policies of Cuba, Venezuela, etc.,” Collins told the committee.

However, concerns have been raised by Florida Democrats, particularly regarding the appropriateness of such teachings for young children.

Senator Shevrin Jones, D-Miami, questioned what such a curriculum would look like for kindergartener students.

Collins responded by saying the proposal “Is not meant as kindergarteners getting curriculum. We’re leaving it broad for the task force to make recommendations on what is age-appropriate to utilize the space.”

The change will be reportedly implemented during the 2026-2027 academic year.

Despite reservations, the Senate committee unanimously approved the bill.

Sen. Rosalind Osgood, D-Fort Lauderdale, said the bill would bolster history education.

“I believe that all history has value, it is history that gives us our empirical evidence of things that we’ve done well in our best practices, but it also teaches us our lessons learned that we should never repeat,” Osgood said.

Meanwhile, the House bill, which goes further by mandating instruction on communism for all grades, has faced scrutiny for its inclusion of the term “cultural Marxism.”

Representative James Buchanan, R-Osprey, defended the term’s inclusion as a means to “starve off the normalization” of communist ideologies among Florida public school students.

“I think it’s important, especially K (kindergarten) through 12 (12th grade), that we’re resisting the normalization of some of this theoretical conversation around the abstract of communism,” Buchanan said.

According to the House bill, the teaching material should be suitable for the age and development level of the students, and it should cover topics such as the “growing threat of communism in the United States and its allies throughout the 20th century” and the history of communism in the United States.

Last week, the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee approved the measure with a vote of 11-4.

The House bill, similar to its Senate counterpart, includes references to teaching about the “philosophy and lineages” of communism. However, unlike the Senate version, the House bill mandates teaching about “cultural Marxism” as well. This term’s inclusion in the bill has raised concerns among Democrats, including Representative Susan Valdes, D-Tampa.

The bill’s passage through the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee, albeit with some opposition, underscores the ongoing debate surrounding the appropriate approach to teaching about communism in Florida schools.

This legislative push follows recent efforts to bolster education on communism, including a new law requiring high school students to receive instruction on “Victims of Communism Day” to graduate, signaling a broader trend towards rethinking how communism is taught in the state.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

William Clayton

William Clayton, Action News Jax

Digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax