By MichaelMH Published Dec. 04, 2022
Ron DeSantis, Florida's Republican Governor, put his weight behind dozens of conservative school board candidates during the midterms. Now that they are in office, they're purging some educational leaders who enforced Covid-19 mandates. In just one-week, new board members in two counties have sacked their school superintendents.
This slew of ousters was definitely spurred by how the superintendents managed local policies regarding efforts to support the rights of parents, an issue that was highly inflamed last fall when schools-imposed student mask mandates, which DeSantis strongly opposed.
In case you haven't been keeping up, Ron DeSantis ran his 2018 campaign on a platform of overturning many of the decisions made by his predecessor, Rick Scott including reopening Florida to charter schools and corporate voucher programs. He also promised to increase school funding by $1 billion and raise starting teacher salaries to $47,500. But he has yet to make good on any of those promises. In fact, he's actually done quite the opposite.
For starters, he's slashed public school funding by $990 million since taking office forcing districts to lay off teachers and increase class sizes. He's also aimed at charter schools, signing a law that makes it harder for them to expand and operate in Florida. And as for those starting teacher salaries? He vetoed a bill that would have provided $600 million to raise them.
So, it should come as no surprise that DeSantis, would want to get rid of these superintendents who were carrying out policies he didn't agree with, namely enforcing Covid-19 guidelines in schools. But it's not just the superintendents who are feeling the heat from DeSantis and his band of conservative cronies. Teachers are also being targeted for pushing back against the “don’t say gay” policy.
DeSantis claims that he wants what's best for Florida students, it seems pretty obvious that what he really wants is total control over education in the state. So, he can recreate the schools in his Alt-Right Ideology to further feed his white Nationalist base, at the expense of our children's future. Floridians need to wake up and see this man for what he really is: a danger to public education and our democracy as a whole.