Marion County schools want their own textbooks, officials say

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Officials with the Marion County School District said they're ready to select their own textbooks for students and take that choice away from the state.

Officials said they believe by choosing their own textbooks it will help students get a better education.

"We are here to do what's best for our 43,000 students and making the best decisions for kids,” said Heidi Maier, superintendent of Marion County schools. "When examining the curriculum in Marion County, I saw some holes in it."

Maier said teachers aren’t happy with the current textbooks either.

She said the state gives districts the opportunity to select their own books and that school officials have already reached out to publishers and placed bids.

The school board will then pick people for a committee that will review and choose the books the district will use.

The school superintendent said the books currently in use aren’t working.

"Have you looked at our reading scores lately? What we're using isn't working,” Maier said.

Maier said elementary reading scores are among some of the lowest in the state so she believes the plan could change that.

"I think it will give parents an opportunity to be more active in their students educational careers," one parent told Channel 9's Myrt Price.

"It’s a great idea. I think parents like to be involved in what they are reading and studying,” said another parent.

Officials say the plan won't mean any more money being spent on books, they'll be able to use the money that's already allocated.

The school district announced earlier this year that they were also eliminating homework for elementary students.

Myrt Price,

Myrt Price joined the eyewitness news team as a general assignment reporter in October of 2012.