As Governor DeSantis wreaks havoc on Florida’s educational system, I urge you to pay attention to local news from local sources. They expose far more dirty, ugly truths on a near-daily basis than do the national media. I know you are as appalled as I am at this governor’s autocratic, freedom-squelching tactics in the education arena – not to mention how he manages our state’s legislature, funding, personal freedoms, social policies, and more. And if we – as Florida residents, whether full-time or snowbird – aren’t well informed about his belief systems and his actions, we will be unable to fight back strongly as he turns his poisonous sights on the US presidency. For example -- * A DeSantis PAC funded the four ultra-conservative Sarasota School Board members who defeated three well-qualified, forward-looking candidates in the August primary. They promptly fired Sarasota’s school superintendent. This constitutes bald-faced interference in local affairs.
* DeSantis has pressured the Florida legislature and issued executive orders that prohibit curricula that cover LGBTQ issues or slavery and this country’s racist traditions. He has forced schools to remove books that might reveal these facts – even Dr. Seuss. Although he is being sued over these issues, he continues to repress those who don’t agree – for instance, threatening universities with defunding and professors with firings if they testify against his policies. * When our state legislators reconvene next month, they will consider House Bill #1 – School Choice, which will severely cut into funding for public education and remove church/state separation. It will redirect much of this funding to private voucher schools, religious schools, and home-schooling services, which are exempt from state educational regulations like teacher qualification and academic standards. With no stipulations of need, these funds could well serve the children of millionaires, as well as White Supremacist teachings. * Last month, DeSantis appointed seven new members to the New College Board of Trustees, who promptly fired college president Patricia Okker and replaced her with his crony former GOP state house speaker and education commissioner Richard Corcoran. These are ultra-conservatives who do not share the values of democracy, and we should be deeply concerned about their influence on free and open liberal arts learning. * DeSantis singlehandedly pressured the College Board to “edit” its pilot Advanced Placement Black Studies curriculum. They have cut out relevant contemporary topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement. You can be sure that DeSantis won’t stop here. Staying informed is the first step in thwarting DeSantis’ heinous agenda and derailing his potential 2024 Presidential candidacy. Please consider subscribing to these local news sources: Sarasota Herald-Tribune Bradenton Herald The Bradenton Times
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Longboat Key Democratic Club