Ron DeSantis wades into School Board races with ideological survey
Ron DeSantis on Fox News.

ron desantis mask
The Governor has vowed to put School Board races in play.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday rolled out his “education agenda,” the latest sign that the Governor intends to weaponize School Board races in the 2022 cycle.

The DeSantis Education Agenda, subtitled “Putting Parents First, Protecting Parents’ Rights,” presents “a policy agenda that focuses on student success, parental rights and curriculum transparency.”

The DeSantis Education Agenda is a student-first, parent-centered initiative focused on setting Florida’s children up for success, ensuring parental rights in education, and combatting the woke agenda from infiltrating public schools,” the website contends, setting up a survey for candidates who may want the Governor’s backing. “This statewide agenda is for school board candidates and school board members who are committed to advancing these priorities at the local school board level.”

Completing the survey in itself is not tantamount to a coveted endorsement, the website says.

Among the questions for survey respondents: Whether they support “workforce education,” the Governor’s “increases in teacher compensation,” or the concept of students being “locked out of school or subject to forced masking.”

“What should your school district do to better prepare students as citizens?” another prompt asks.

Another question regards protecting dissent: “How will you protect a parent’s right to publicly disagree with their school board?”

Respondents are also probed on critical race theory and “the horrors of communism.”

DeSantis has put limitations on School Boards with regularity thus far, battling with numerous local bodies about COVID-19 precautions for much of the pandemic.

He signed legislation that puts term limits on School Board members, but lamented the three terms required were one too many, and criticized School Boards and the White House for not listening to parents.

DeSantis said parents asked “tough questions” of School Boards during the pandemic, and were discouraged from doing so by a Joe Biden administration that likened parents to “domestic terrorists.”

The Governor said he would politicize School Board races last summer. During a cable television interview, DeSantis vowed to turn his “political apparatus” against Republican School Board candidates who oppose his educational reforms.

“We’re not going to support any Republican candidate for School Board who supports critical race theory in all 67 counties or supports mandatory masking of school children,” DeSantis told Fox News’ Dan Bongino.

School Board races in Florida are nonpartisan.

“Local elections matter. We are going to get the Florida political apparatus involved so we can make sure there’s not a single School Board member who supports critical race theory,” DeSantis added.

A.G. Gancarski

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


8 comments

  • tom palmer

    June 16, 2022 at 9:45 am

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in practice. Parents certainly have the right to ask questions about how their children are being taught and taxpayers certainly have the right to know how their money is being spent. I just hope this doesn’t turn into a circus where people who don’t even live in the community will show up to perform.

  • Jim Miles

    June 16, 2022 at 10:50 am

    Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for giving us the freedom to choose to guide our children and schools in any way you see fit to legally corner us into doing. I hated thinking for myself!

    • Ron Ogden

      June 23, 2022 at 10:40 am

      Jim, if a Democrat governor were arguing against public schools teaching religion, you would be dancing with glee and calling him the next president!

  • Nancy

    June 16, 2022 at 3:36 pm

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  • Beth

    June 18, 2022 at 6:37 am

    If only we had an honorable adult to address the actual problems that currently exist in FL instead of a morally bankrupt aspiring dictator who seeks to control everyone and everything. While little Ronnie is scrambling to amass power and money FL’s citizens are faced with outrageous insurance increases, lack of affordable housing, daily shootings, and water that is becoming more polluted by the day. When will the people in FL wake up and realize that DeSantis is exactly like trump. He cares only for himself and no one else. He does not care what happens to this state or it’s citizens. Time to end the corruption and assault on democracy. Let’s elect a true leader who has our interests at heart.

  • Freddie Vee

    June 20, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Will people who believe the Earth is flat be able to demand equal time in science class for their student children?

    • Ron Ogden

      June 23, 2022 at 10:37 am

      Sure, if you can find any. If you are afraid of alternative opinions, your science is weak. Bad science eventually shows itself. Don’t be afraid of what other people think. If the majority is of one opinion and you are of another, just remember that on some other issue it will be the other way around.

      • Tjb

        June 24, 2022 at 9:50 am

        So Ron, you are ok with CRT being taught in K-12. It is an alternative opinion. Unfortunately it is not happening because it has not been taught in K-12 classes.

Comments are closed.


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