Florida educators group: DeSantis’s ‘authoritarian’ policies would destroy public schools

FILE – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses the crowd before publicly signing HB7, “individual freedom,” also dubbed the “Stop Woke” bill during a news conference at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., on Friday, April 22, 2022. As Republicans and Democrats fight for control of Congress this fall, a growing collection of conservative political action groups is targeting its efforts closer to home: at local school boards. DeSantis endorsed a slate of school board candidates, putting his weight behind conservatives who share his opposition to lessons on sexuality and what he deems critical race theory. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP, File)

A Florida educators group said on Wednesday that Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) “authoritarian” policies would destroy U.S. public schools, as the Florida governor gears up to announce his bid for the presidency.

“Gov. DeSantis’ policies have been counter to core American principles,” Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, told the Tallahassee Democrat. “He has attacked free thought in Florida’s preK-12 schools, colleges and universities with laws that limit instruction and safe learning environments for students.”

Education has been a focus of DeSantis’s “anti-woke” push in the Sunshine state. The Florida governor signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by its opponents, into law last year, barring classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for kindergarten through third grade.

It was expanded earlier this month to cover prekindergarten through eighth grade, and certain restrictions were placed on instruction in Florida high schools as well.

DeSantis signed the Stop WOKE Act last year, restricting how race is discussed in schools and workplaces. A bill signed this month also barred Florida colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

“His authoritarian approach to governing schools from the governor’s office through actions against school board members and superintendents has created a system of fear that shortchanges student learning,” Spar said. 

“A DeSantis presidency would likely take those divisive policies to a national level, destroying the very fabric of our country, a strong system of high-quality public schools,” he added.

DeSantis filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday for his long-awaited bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. He is reportedly set to announce his campaign in a Twitter discussion with CEO Elon Musk later in the day.

Tags 2024 GOP presidential primary 2024 presidential election Don't Say Gay Florida Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis Stop WOKE Act

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video