The DeSantis and Biden administrations have managed to fire up a new rivalry amid conflicting policies between Florida and the federal government. Now, Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz (R) is taking a dig at Biden for setting kids back in school.
Commissioner Manny Diaz, who formerly served in the Florida Senate where he backed the DeSantis agenda, has already made waves in his new position by taking shots at President Biden (D).
Biden took to Twitter to blame the COVID-19 pandemic for setting back students' progress around the country.
"Due to the pandemic, kids are behind in math and reading. We know how to help bridge this gap," said the President. Biden added, "I'm calling on schools to use American Rescue Plan funds to expand tutoring, summer learning, and afterschool programs and to provide 250,000 more tutors and mentors for our kids."
Commissioner Diaz not only refuted President Biden's claims but also challenged the President with Florida's progress in education and lack of lockdowns, claiming, "Meanwhile, Florida students are NOT falling behind in math and reading because [Governor DeSantis] kept schools open and rejected lockdowns."
Meanwhile, Florida students are NOT falling behind in math and reading because @govrondesantis kept schools open and rejected lockdowns.
— Manny Diaz Jr. (@SenMannyDiazJr) July 6, 2022
"In fact, we’re closing achievement gaps among African American, White, and Hispanic students," added Diaz. The comments come after Commissioner Diaz announced that statewide assessments of mathematics and English show an increase for students from Black and Hispanic backgrounds.
Florida Republicans, including Governor DeSantis (R-FL), have long prided themselves on living in the "Education State," by revolutionizing the state public schooling system in Florida. In the 2022 legislative session, Gov. DeSantis eliminated FSA testing and replaced the examination process with progress monitoring.
Republicans have placed the public school at the forefront of the ongoing culture war that seems to be erupting around the country. In the past two years, Florida Republicans in the state legislature have managed to ban Critical Race Theory curriculum and sensitive conversations about the LGBTQ community with the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill.