House Education & Employment Committee assignments foretell more school culture wars

Key players in last Session's debates are going to be steering education matters.

More culture wars for the state’s public schools are likely on tap for next Session if committee assignments for key players in last year’s Session are any indication.

Some of the most vocal Republicans in last year’s culture wars have spots on the Education & Employment Committee, as they did last year.

Rep. Ralph Massullo is the committee’s Chair. He made some standout statements on the floor as the full House debated new standards for sex education and stricter regulation for the use of pronouns in school.

The Lecanto Republican cited a debunked report that schools are providing litter boxes for children who identify as cats.

“We have kids in schools who think they are cats and different other animals. … We have to have schools where there’s litter boxes for these children,” Massullo said. “Teachers shouldn’t have to deal with that. They shouldn’t have to call their children by 78 different pronouns.”

Rep. Randy Fine also is on the education committee. Last Session, he led an effort to criminalize admitting children into “adult live performances,” that was dubbed the “anti-drag show” bill, although it didn’t explicitly mention drag shows. The law has since been struck down in court, and the state has appealed that decision.

When debating that and other legislation, such as increasing parental control on instructional materials, Fine has repeatedly stated, “There is evil in this world and we face it here today.”

Rep. Patricia Hawkins-Williams will reprise her role last Session as the Education & Employment Committee’s ranking Democrat.

The Republican supermajority was able to win key parts of its education priorities last Session. The priority that House Speaker Paul Renner set as his chief one — expanding school choice to all families regardless of income — was approved. And charter school legislation now gives those schools access to capital funds that had previously been restricted to paying for public school buildings.

The committee also includes Democratic Representatives who have proven more conservative on education matters than most of their party’s members. Three of the four Democrats who broke with their party and voted for expanding school choice — Reps. Kim Daniels, Gallop Franklin II and Susan Valdes — are on this committee.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Silly Wabbit

    September 8, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    They kwazies.

    • Earl Pitts American

      September 10, 2023 at 7:54 pm

      Good evening America,
      Contrast this scathing article regarding House Committee assignments to the total pass (by leftist journos) given to Senate President’s (Passadomo) companion artical.
      Why I, Earl Pitts American, do declare it adds fodder to my correct assertation in the comments of Passadomo’s companion article that Passadomo is a Dook 4 Brains RINO whose bestest besties are Dook 4 Brains Leftists.
      Somebody in Republican majority Florida Government needs to man up or woman up and put Passadomo in a place where she can no longer be a threat to Florida’s citizens.
      Everyone is ignoring this clear and present danger that is Passadomo.
      Do Better Elected Officials.
      It’s times like this that I, Earl Pitts American, wish I had answered Florida’s citizens call for me to run as a Senator. I would not stand for this and would be kicking some tails that need kicking with Earl’s size 13 wingtips.

  • Joe

    September 8, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    Ah yes, Ralph Massullo, the rich hillbilly from WV, and Randy Fine, the biggest groomer in Florida politics: only the best and brightest for FL’s education and employment!

  • Rick Whitaker

    September 8, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    the 3 politicians you listed at the end of your post are not dems, i don’t know what they are . it’s not democratic to let tax money be used in charter schools or other right wing fanatic uses. calling it “choice” makes it a trick. let the fanatics pay for their own lame excuses for schools. shame on you daniels, franklin, and valdes. i hope the voters are paying attention to your ignorance.

  • My Take

    September 8, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    “Fine has repeatedly stated, “There is evil in this world and we face it here today.”
    I wonder what professors at FAU he considers evil and what they teach?
    Who will be targeted?

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 8, 2023 at 6:43 pm

      desantis gets worse the more he loses, sounds like trump don’t it.

      • My Take

        September 8, 2023 at 6:49 pm

        Wait until he’s sent “home” to Tallahassee defeated.
        Though he may have less power with the legislature.

  • Michael K

    September 10, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    If Randy Fine wants to see evil, he should look in the mirror. He’s a sick puppy bent on destroying public education and spreading hate.

  • ScienceBLVR

    September 10, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    I thought KellyAnn’s alternative facts theory served as the gold standard for Republican hyperbole but this ridiculous made up culture war on mythical issues… well our very own Fl legislature can sure spew out the height of hogwash, can’t they? Kelly’s met her match with Fine, Massullo, and the rest of the Band of Fact Fabricators.
    To them I say,
    One, two, three , four, f##k your made up Culture War.

  • My Take

    September 10, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    Good univeŕsities out of state or pŕivate in-state s
    houd require that students coming fŕom a Florida public high school take a remèdial course that covers censored topics from CRT and African American history and any other of importance.6

    • My Take

      September 10, 2023 at 8:07 pm

      Vaccine and public-health science and history.

  • My Take

    September 10, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    I’ll bet that somewhere in DeSScurvytis’ çircle of rightwing thuggery they are already selecting stooges for the other half-dozen high-level administrative positions available at FAU.
    To quickly effect a takeover after the thugs çancel the existing presidential search, reopen it, and hire DeSScumitis’ fanatic budy.

Comments are closed.


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