Gov. DeSantis highlights bill to speed conversions to charter schools

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Holds Iowa Campaign Events
'For many, many decades, school was school. Then it seems like more recently it’s all become fodder for people to try to do the agenda.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to quicken the timeline for school districts to convert a failing traditional public school into a charter school. Time is of the essence when improving schools, he said.

“If you drag your feet for three or four years, that’s three or four years of students who aren’t getting the education they should be getting,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Escambia County.

He was highlighting a provision within HB 1285. The section requires school districts who opt to convert a failing traditional public school to a charter school to have a contract with a charter school company by Oct. 1 of the final year of control of the school. That would give the company enough time to prepare a turnaround plan.

But DeSantis hasn’t signed the bill yet because the Legislature hasn’t formally sent it to his desk. He plans to sign it once he receives it.

Another piece of the bill that garnered much attention is a measure to restrict the challenges to books in public school libraries. Under current law, anyone can file numerous challenges to books, which must then be reviewed for compliance with a state ban on sexually explicit material. Once DeSantis signs HB 1285, those without children attending schools in a given district will only be able to challenge one book per month.

DeSantis bemoaned the string of challenges made by some “activists” against books written by Shakespeare and other esteemed writers to demonstrate how restrictive the existing law championed by DeSantis is.

“For many, many decades, school was school,” DeSantis said. “Then it seems like more recently it’s all become fodder for people to try to do the agenda.”

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz also noted that the books successfully challenged and removed from school libraries aren’t “banned,” they’re still available to adults.

“There’s this false narrative about banning books. No, what we’re looking at is removing books that don’t belong in a school,” Diaz said.

DeSantis didn’t specify when he would receive the bill from the Legislature, but did say he expects to get it “very soon.”

Gray Rohrer


  • FLPatriot

    April 15, 2024 at 1:10 pm

    What will you propose be done about a failing charter school? I know of several that are failing students and they continue to operate while public schools welcome those students back one by one and work overtime to catch them up.

    • ScienceBLVR

      April 15, 2024 at 3:06 pm

      Not only welcome them back, but in many cases, educate them for free until the next funding term. The basis of the funding formula for public schools is FTE or “butts in seats” as we call it. Funds are allocated based on enrollment during the first few weeks so if a child leaves a charter and returns to public schools that money doesn’t follow the student, but we still take them back. This happens more that you think…especially with the unrestricted growth of pop up charters.

  • FLPatriot

    April 15, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    “For many, many decades, school was school,” DeSantis said. “Then it seems like more recently it’s all become fodder for people to try to do the agenda.”

    YES….They are called the GOP

    • Tom

      April 15, 2024 at 1:38 pm

      The irony of that comment struck me as well. Strange days indeed.

  • Michael K

    April 15, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    In 2020, Florida was number 2 in the nation in the failure rate for Charter Schools, with 409 charter schools closed over the previous decade.

    • rick whitaker

      April 15, 2024 at 3:34 pm

      MICHAEL, i’m a big fan of well-funded public schools. a tax on business to help pay for this funding sounds like the way to go. and make taxpayers that put their kids in private schools pay a tax to help fund the public-school. that way the better teachers may stay with the public over the elitist or wacko religious schools.

  • John L

    April 15, 2024 at 2:05 pm

    DUH Santis has destroyed Florida education reputation. The universities are at risk of losing SAC Accredidation and he puts cronies in charge of universities and pays them triple what last president earned. He bans books. Pushed veteran teacher to run for other states and then he pushes failing charter schools. Joke governor who will not be able to win a dog catcher political race in the future. Unlikable loser.

  • JD

    April 15, 2024 at 2:50 pm

    We, the people, are reaping the weeds the GOP have sown in education, and the harvest is not yet fully in.

    Next will be the metrics on the school voucher numbers and then the workplace skill gaps in a decade or so.


    “It’s not the heat. It’s the stupidity”

    • Biscuit

      April 15, 2024 at 3:43 pm

      The dumber you can keep’m, the more they’ll vote Republican.
      People: can’t live with them, can’t clean up your lawn droppings without them.

  • Inexcusable

    April 15, 2024 at 10:23 pm

    Rhonda strikes again, let’s fudge up the school system so that taxpayers can pay for private religious indoctrination schools. We recently took our children OUT of a charter school because our poor children are being told, scratch that, BRAINWASHED by these horrible bigots teaching children about politics and not about a Christian based education. Pathetic, inexcusable, and for the first time ever, I’m ripping up my republican voter registration. This GOP has left sanity and reality. I’ll no longer support a nazi communist government.

    • rick whitaker

      April 16, 2024 at 12:17 pm

      inexcusable, you did the right thing, but come on, what took so long? the gop has been anti-people for many years.

  • Lex

    April 16, 2024 at 8:03 am

    We do not need porn in school. The books are not banned simply because they are not put in a school library. Parents can still go get porn for their kids if they think it is that important, but the school does not need to be the source of children being exposed to porn.

    • rick whitaker

      April 17, 2024 at 12:34 pm

      lex, i strongly expect that the church school shooting in nashville was an effect of being put through intense christian brainwashing in an attempt to de-program a lesbian student. the student was bullied and tortured by the christian school principal and others. some of her released journals reflect this. the christian school is fighting the media to get the rest of the journal released to the public. this happened in tennessee, but you may know something about it anyway, my point is that there are things happening in private schools that are as bad or worse than porn.

  • KathrynA

    April 16, 2024 at 9:44 am

    The public schools have accountability standards, but not the private and charter schools. Don’t you suppose they mainly draw from the same pool of teachers too? Of course, now many allow people to teach with little or no training. Also, most of the charter and private schools do not have trained teachers to help those with disabilities or learning issues or behavior–they can more or less “cherry-pick” their students. It’s just so sad what is happening to education here from K-to college.

    • rick whitaker

      April 16, 2024 at 10:06 am

      KATHRYN, it seems that desantis is trying to get his state under mississippi and west virginia for the dumbest state. i think he is going to make it happen. public schools are the best way to go for the whole country, but maga white christian nationalists can’t control them as easy, so they are against secular public schools

Comments are closed.


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