Gov. DeSantis blasts teachers union at charter school COVID-19 victory lap

DeSantis Jax
Jacksonville charter school hosts Governor, education commissioner.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran visited Jacksonville Tuesday, celebrating the administration’s response to COVID-19.

The Governor was not at a district-run public school such as Fletcher or Douglas Anderson High Schools, as both of those schools are closed because of coronavirus clusters. Indeed, reporters’ questions revealed DeSantis didn’t know that Jacksonville schools were dealing with virus shutdowns.

Rather, he was at the Jacksonville Classical Academy, a charter school in Mixon Town that is affiliated with conservative Hillsdale College, an endeavor funded by big-time GOP donor Ambassador John Rood.

The Governor has been undaunted by negative stories on school children and the novel coronavirus, saying that the young are not susceptible like older people and calling opponents of his position “flat earthers.

Remarks Tuesday did not deviate from those parameters, with DeSantis lauding charter and private schools for leading the way on school reopening, despite objections from the public school teachers union.

“Their goal was to keep kids out of school and they were wrong,” DeSantis said about the Florida Education Association‘s opposition to brick and mortar school openings.

DeSantis said that “when we looked at what went on with our school system, the physical, emotional and social well being of kids” was the first priority.

The “evidence was abundantly clear then and it’s clearer now that schools are not drivers of coronavirus and they need to be open.”

DeSantis said kids have been back in school for two months in most of the state.

“Pretty much everyone acknowledges that having schools open is the right thing to do,” DeSantis said, saying “in-person instruction is vital and needs to continue.”

The FEA, Florida’s largest teachers union, does not fall in that category. The FEA has spent significantly on advertising slamming the DeSantis’ administration’s lack of transparency on campus outbreaks.

The Governor also celebrated sports being back for students, saying he hopes to get to more games as time permits.

“Going forward, whatever the future may hold, school closures should be off the table,” DeSantis said.

“Closing the schools is not the best option,” DeSantis said in response to reporters’ questions about the two shuttered schools, saying “the more surgical approach, the better” rather than taking out a “perfectly healthy” student from school.

“Unless they test positive, why would you want to force them out of school,” DeSantis said, saying that “we’ve got to move beyond closures” and their “devastating” costs.

Corcoran lauded the Governor’s approach.

“There’s 50 governors in the country,” Corcoran said. “Only one Governor went through all the data, all the forensics.”

The Commissioner noted that Florida’s five urban school districts are open, five of the top 20 in the country.

“COVID, when it comes to these school children, is de mininis, or no risk,” Corcoran added, saying that what Florida has done is “absolutely special and great.”

DeSantis has often employed Jacksonville as a backdrop for getting a more unvarnished message across than some other markets might get.

In repeated visits to the city, he blasted the “drive-by smears” of the elite media that derided locals as “Florida morons” for going to the beach and catching some waves amid the pandemic.

Perhaps it was that expectation of a friendly audience that ultimately led the Commissioner and the Governor to the city Tuesday.

It’s not the first time DeSantis has trekked to the Jacksonville school for a press event. He chose the academy as the venue for a victory lap last year on his Bold Vision for High Quality Education agenda, which included an increase in eligibility for school choice programs in Florida. Legislation passed last year will allow about 18,000 more students to elect for private schools through a state-facilitated scholarship program.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    October 20, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Headline should’ve read “Florida morons spotted at fake school.” How would we know if students are positive or not if we don’t test them?? #playitdown

    btw…it looks like Ronnie has been stress eating thru the pandemic. Either that or Ronnie’s auditioning as a body double for his benefactor Donnie.

  • James Robert Miles

    October 20, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Wrong again Sherlock! The ultimate Trump butt-kisser strikes again! He will once again be eating his words real soon. He and the moron in the White House!!

  • jon

    October 20, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    God Bless DeSantis! His leadership on Covid has been awesome. Unions should all be dismantled! They are harbingers of weak people.

  • Frankie M.

    October 20, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Let’s start with police unions. I’d like to see dumb & dumber criticize them. You can’t make this shit up lmao.

  • Booner

    October 20, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    More Skull and Bones strategy from Florida’s Governor, who appears to be wearing a layer of kevlar. Must be scared…of Trump after he loses in Florida.

    Charter schools = Third World education = perfect for theme parks and strip mall jobs.

    Protecting Florida’s seniors? You do that by protecting the children.

    Ronnie will blow it for Trump, unless he pulls a Scott-cheat. Odious vultures.

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 20, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Desantis is the DEATH Governor! Desantis gleefully pushes the Nazi herd immunity bs using our children as community spreaders! May god have mercy on your rotten soul Desantis! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good and our children!

  • Tim ganski

    October 21, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Is embarrassing when so many newspapers get the governor’s make wrong. It’s not Governor DeSantis it’s Governor Doofus.

  • Julie

    October 21, 2020 at 9:10 am

    It’s pretty obvious that Fat Ronnie cares about the people of Florida about as much as his benefactor Fat Donnie cares about the country. Just keep pushing your nonscientific bullshit. All of us with a brain stopped listening to the both of you long ago. I can’t wait until I never have to hear your names, your voices, and see your baby hands move in the obnoxious way you both wave them. And it’s going to happen. ByeBye to you both. NO ONE will miss either of you or your lying, dangerous verbage.

  • Retired

    October 21, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Jon, DeSantis has done nothing to stop the spread of covid-19 and if it wasn’t for Union’s you would probably be making minimum wage.

  • Dorthy Hewett

    October 21, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Kids need to be in school, many kids only get to eat while in school, that’s a fact and a damn shame, are some going to get covid yes, are they going to get the flu, yes, we don’t shut down for the flu, why covid, cause we didn’t know what it was or what it would do and in a short few weeks hospitals were maxed out and unfortunately thousands of people died and some will still die, but to keep our country shut down and keep parents from being able to feed their kids is the wrong thing to be doing, here’s some advice for all of you bitching, stay the fuck home if your that scared, cause your the problem not the solution, we as a country need to get our lives back to normal, but we need to do it safely, we need to keep our schools and businesses clean, which they should of already been doing before covid, the flu kills and spreads around the world, we don’t shut down, Trump 2020, another 4 years for a man who is constantly fighting the media and congress, bet you weren’t bitching when you stared getting a little extra in your paychecks, yes Trump did that, bet you didn’t bitch when you got that stimulus check, yep Trump did that, hope you liked that cause Biden and his flozzey VP are going to take it away and cost you even more, it’s time to wake up and stop living in a bubble

  • Sheri c

    October 21, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    He states open schools for the mental well being and psycholigical, etc. wellness of kids. Great. But what about when they bring it home to parents with pre existing conditions and they lose a parent? What about THAT mental, emotional, psychological well being? LauncedED is fine with the option of face to face. Parents should be left with that option. His comments sre infuriating.

  • Jimbalaya

    October 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    The correct term is “de minimis” which means having very little value or effect. So, did corcoran, trying to impress with Latin, get it wrong or was this just a typo?

  • Mary Kelly

    October 21, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    DeSantis must’ve freaking out. At this point, he can’t come out all over the place FOR Trump as it’s looking like Trump will lose; however, he also can’t come out AGAINST Trump in case he wins. WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO?!?! Here’s a suggestion: maybe have a thought or opinion of your own? Yeah, right.

  • Jimbalaya

    October 21, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    DeClueless bragged in May that FL beat COVID 19. That was as foolish as a manager saying “we won!” when he has a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Now, it is the fourth inning and FL is LOSING but DuhSankus still claims he is winning (just like his master, trump, claims the US is winning – 4% world population, over 20% of COVID 19 cases and deaths – winning?).
    Consider that FL was a latecomer to COVID 19 – there are better drugs and treatments than in April when huge numbers were dying in NY and NJ and everyone has known since Spring that masks and social distancing and no large indoor gatherings stop the spread.
    But, Deathsantis wants everything open. So, 80% of FL cases and deaths have occurred since 7/1. FL is 3rd in the US with over 760,000 cases. And while there were only 3406 deaths from COVID 19 in FL on 7/1, now there are 16,105. The average dead per day in FL was 117 in July, 140 in August, and 102 in September, and almost 100 per day so far in October.
    So, mini-trump governor LIES to FL people: “we are winning!” And some are stupid enough to believe him!

  • Heather Stuebe

    October 21, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    I’m still waiting on that appeal. So far the judge ruled in favor of the teachers, he’s not allowed to decide if the school’s stay open or not.

  • Big D

    October 22, 2020 at 12:06 am

    The whole covid thing has been dangerous yet blown out. People die of multiple issues every 15 minutes around the world. This is now a new issue to deal with and add into all the other reasons one dies from. Live life and like it should of always been but there are bad apples in all walks of life and just try to be as clean as possible. Life was able to continue 100 more years after Spanish Flu and with science, improved medical and less population can move forward another 100 years and this will be history and back to the way things are in another year.

  • Billy

    October 22, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Ronnette hopes to caddy for Donnie Disaster after the November losses.

  • Joe

    October 22, 2020 at 12:41 am

    Thank god for Desantis. Thousands are relocating to fl because of how he runs the state

  • Rebecca

    October 22, 2020 at 1:32 am

    Ronny boy is a douche of the biggest kind. He is an a$$ kisser to ducky. He has looked like a fool so many times, I cannot even watch him on tv. The only good thing I have seen is a man screaming at him that he should be ashamed of himself over the Miami covid problem. That was a joy to watch. He is an embarrassment to anyone with half a brain. He knows NOTHING about schools or how they run. They are underpaid, understaffed and unappreciated. Does Ronny boy have kids? Personally, I thought he might be friendly with ducky. Teachers get NOTHING for their devotion to their students except crappy insurance and an overload of work, especially now. They spend their own money from a CRAPPY paycheck to begin with, for their students. Teachers hold our future in their hands. They should get a million dollars a year for handling 25 to 35 kids to a class. Ronny is 💩 and so is his empty brain.
    Why is he a puppet? He needs to grow a pair and do what is right, not just wwhat he is ordered from frumpy. It is sickening.

  • Ursa

    October 22, 2020 at 3:07 am

    What a joke this all is. Florida’s “governor” is a complete power hungry “yes man” that is only doing what he thinks is best for himself. Yea, let’s call people that oppose his disgusting behavior and approach to a PANDEMIC “Flat Earthers”. What a complete moron who makes a circus and mockery of politics. And the small minded, ignorant, heartless and selfish people who lauded him and our even bigger JOKE of a president on the previous comments, well…can’t wait to see where you stand when the worst president in the history of the world is booted out here in a few short weeks. Your comments are sickening, repugnant and repulsive. My child goes to a magnet high school in St. Petersburg, Fl. I of course kept him home. My Father lives with us and he is high risk. Losing him to this virus would do more emotional and everlasting harm to his psyche especially if he knew he brought it home to him. Today that same high school sent a blasted voicemail that a student tested positive and they are doing absolutely nothing about it. No quarantines, no shut downs…nothing. It only solidifies our decision to keep my son out of school. People talk about going back to “normal”, I ask, how are we supposed to do that with 60,000 new cases daily and death rates skyrocketing because we never did what we should have done in the first place. And btw “Dorothy”, you’re a complete either uninformed or ignorant as well as hateful and spiteful and I’d wager miserable person. That money….and the stimulus check….didn’t come from trump!! That’s not how the government works you poor sweet moron!! Look up how much that man has paid taxes in the last few years. You think that coward wants anymore of the governments money going to the people? Wake up you morons!

  • John Bertoncello-basurto

    October 22, 2020 at 7:24 am

    This guy is the very essence of a flat liner for believing what he and trump wants to believe and not what science and the statistics of what covid 19 rates in most states have soared to since schools have reopened. Folks, lets just do the sane and reasonable thing to and vote the idiot out of office when it comes time. His “leadership” is coming to an end.

  • Danielle

    October 22, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Y’all are gonna die taking Spready Krugers advice. DeSantis is Dump Jun Un mouthpiece.

  • Barry Beck

    October 22, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Gov. Fecal Nose could screw up a one car funeral, and he has helped cause many funerals. He spends too much time with his nose up Trump’s butt. They have have to remove the Trump feces from his nose to do a COVID test. You can tell he has had dose of Trump when you listen to him. If Trump loses, this idiot will lost in the woods.
    Charter Schools are a con unless there is some benefactor keeping them open. They open and suck off all of the taxpayer cash, and then close. It’s the Republican way to steal taxpayer money and call it legitimate.

  • Bennie Johnson

    October 22, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Governor DeSantis is doing a great job. He is navigating our state through one of the most difficult challenges in Florida’s history. The statistics for Covid-19 deaths and cases are meaningless, as there is no test that specifically detects Covid-19.
    Another fact: charter schools overall perform better and with a better outcome for students than the public schools of the past several decades. The teacher’s union as a national organization has never been about what is best for children, but has functioned as a powerful political lobby and focuses its efforts on social engineering and communist indoctrination. This negative influence on Florida and America’s youth is coming to an end.

  • tjb

    October 22, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Has Desantis opened the Governor’s Mansion to the public for visits?

  • John Stewart

    October 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

    @Bigd – the Spanish Flu ended up killing millions, but good on you for not knowing history.

    @Bennie Johnson – Desantis has done a terrible job. He refuses to listen to scientists, and calls those who do flat earthers. Oh, the irony. Also, charter school, in no way shape or form are better schools. It is cute that you claim indoctrination from teachers unions, yet you like and endorse indoctrination machines, better known as charter schools…..I guess you took a lot of stupid pills today, like desantis has since he got elected.

  • JoAnne O'Conner

    October 22, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Rona desantis is a piece of shit, remember when he said floriduh is God’s waiting room. So all you dumb ass rona/ tRump supporters deserve what you get. How long before rona d. gets covid? Fat ass rubbed his face after high fiving all the srotum face supporters.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn


This is default text for notification bar