Charlie Crist rails against math textbook bans
Charlie Crist.

FLAPOL042022CH003
'Governor DeSantis has chosen to politicize our classrooms. His latest stunt is ridiculous.'

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist criticized the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and Gov. Ron DeSantis during a Wednesday press conference after more than 50 math textbooks were barred from classrooms last week.

For grades K-12, Florida is not including 54 of the 132 (41%) submitted math textbooks on the state’s adopted list. The Department said the books are either considered “impermissible” due to new standards, or they contain “prohibited topics.” The number of math books rejected by the FDOE in the list is the most in Florida’s history, according to a news release sent out by the Department.

Crist labeled the action as another attempt by DeSantis to fight a culture war and wield authoritarian rule in the state.

Gov. DeSantis has chosen to politicize our classrooms. His latest stunt is ridiculous, and just another page out of the GOP authoritarian playbook,” Crist said. “This Governor is so focused on 2024 and pandering to Republican Primary voters, he’s putting your kids’ education on the line for the sake of his politics.”

The 54 banned textbooks come after Gov. DeSantis signed a measure that makes it easier for parents to challenge books and instructional materials they don’t approve of. Supporters of the legislation say it gives parents more involvement in their children’s education, but opponents argue it opens the door to massive book bans. Of note, Florida has the third-largest number of school book ban incidents in the country.

The Department offered a breakdown of why the books were nixed — 21%, or 28 textbooks, were not included because they “incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT”; 9%, or 12 books, were not included because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards; and 11%, or 14 books, do not align with standards and incorporate prohibited topics.

Crist said he sent a Sunshine Law request to the DeSantis administration demanding that the books be identified. He said the bans have given some school districts only one textbook to choose from in subject areas, limiting their choice to provide the best education for their students.

“As your former Commissioner of Education and a public school kid myself, I know the value of investing in — not defunding — our schools like this Governor has. We need to focus on how to support our educators and how to provide, not restrict, resources for our schools,” Crist said.

He added that the state should be focused on increasing teacher pay, closing the student learning gap, and supporting school district funding, issues he believes DeSantis has ignored.

“Those are the issues our Governor should be focused on, not partisan stunts to get coverage on Fox News with our schools and children as collateral damage,” Crist said. “He is clearly, as I like to say, often more focused on Iowa voters than he is Florida people and Florida children in school. That’s just inexcusable.”

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Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Tristan Wood

Tristan Wood graduated from the University of Florida in 2021 with a degree in Journalism. A South Florida native, he has a passion for political and accountability reporting. He previously reported for Fresh Take Florida, a news service that covers the Florida Legislature and state political stories operating out of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. You can reach Tristan at [email protected], or on Twitter @TristanDWood


6 comments

  • PeterH

    April 27, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    At some point in this ‘math book ban’ story we’re going to learn details. We’re going to find out which books were banned and the offending citations! We’re going to learn about the replacement text books 📕 and the book sellers connection to DeSantis and his cronies.

    Today’s Republican Party can’t survive without a good grift. This particular scam will be at the taxpayer’s expense.

  • Claude Kirk the younger

    April 28, 2022 at 6:32 am

    Dang we all know FP leans left but you guys are just embarrassing yourselves with all this trumped up love and questionable support of whatever Crist says. Does FP really want to continue to appear to be pandering just to the minority as hard as FP has been pushing it out latley? Or do you want to try and retain readership by at least pretending to report in a fair manner?

    I suggest its time to part ways with your editor or whoever is pushing FP so hard left. Not for political reasons but strictly for business reasons. FP has turned so much further left its became 100% propaganda and you will soon go the way of CNN+. FP needs a “publication rescue” like that TV show “Bar Rescue” tries to save mismanaged bars from going out of business. Wake up fools you are swirlling the bowel.

      • Claude Kirk the younger

        April 28, 2022 at 8:57 am

        Yes Sir:
        Just trying to help in case you were running a business which depended on the public actually reading your publication to obtain your funding.
        Since you appear to enjoy funding from another source then I’m sorry for trying to help…carry on Sir.

        • Peter Schorsch

          April 28, 2022 at 9:19 am

          No funding from another source. Just the site more lawmakers read than any other point of info.

          • TD

            April 28, 2022 at 10:48 pm

            Hilarious lack of self-awareness. The only reason they read you is to keep tabs on the brain-droppings and laundered press-releases of an inept, out of touch Democratic consultant and staffer class in the state, so they can plot their next move accordingly. The registration and polling numbers don’t lie. It’s truly a beautiful thing to observe a political subclass of mostly white liberals cut off from the people, thrashing about like a cornered rat, never thinking to ask “maybe it’s us” as the losses mount, year after year, decade after decade.

            To remind you: YOU HAVE NOT CONTROLLED ANY BRANCH OF STATE GOVERNMENT (including any chamber of the Legislature, the Governor (and thus the Supreme Court)) AT ANY TIME IN THIS MILLENNIUM. NOR WILL YOU ANY TIME SOON. But by all means argue that Crist somehow counts against the above statement and in the meantime THANK YOU for providing Crist’s hangers-on with a one stop place to shop their boss’s talking points. It makes it easy for the rest of us and makes it look like the consultants and staffers really are doing something for his checks instead of just looking for their next revolving door job after he and his new party take their well-deserved seventh consecutive L.

Comments are closed.


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