DeSantis Revolutionizes School Boards Across Florida

DeSantis Revolutionizes School Boards Across Florida

DeSantis tests his endorsement power in school board races

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
September 4, 2022

While Republicans are expected to make significant gains during the 2022 midterm election cycle over Democrats, the most significant elections in Florida are going almost unnoticed.  Last month, Gov. DeSantis and Florida Republicans managed to revolutionize school boards across Florida, which will set a new standard in school policymaking.

With legislation in Tallahassee over the past two years honing in on children's education and parental rights, it was only logical to assume the new battlefield for the Culture War would be the classroom.  The Parental Rights in Education bill and the push to protect girls' sports were ideologically defining platforms for Florida Republicans in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions.

Last month elections took place to elect local leaders across the state of Florida, a significant portion of those being school board seats.  Governor DeSantis (R-FL) infamously issued endorsements for candidates who he specifically felt would carry out his agenda at the local level.  Now, we can see how DeSantis' bully pulpit as governor is panned out.

Of the 30 endorsements the governor gave, 19 candidates won their election, and six others are now in runoff races.  The other five saw outright losses.  Ahead of the elections, DeSantis stated on Twitter that all the candidates are "committed to the student-first principles of the DeSantis Education Agenda."

While his endorsement record was not perfect this election cycle, over 60% of the DeSantis endorsed candidates winning says a lot for DeSantis' agenda.

This Summer, DeSantis announced the, "DeSantis Education Agenda," this plan is broken into 10 main points according to the governor's team:

  1. Keep Schools Open and Reject Lockdowns

  2. Educate, Don’t Indoctrinate

  3. Ensure Parental Rights in Education and Keep Woke Gender Ideology Out of Schools

  4. Support Robust Civics Education

  5. Expand Workforce Development and Technical Education

  6. Reject the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the Curriculum

  7. Increase Teacher Pay

  8. Continue Support for School Security and Mental Health Initiatives

  9. Protect the Right of Parents to Petition School Boards and Districts for Redress of Grievances

  10. Guarantee the Right of Parents to Curriculum Transparency

The governor's team also hopes that the agenda has a diffusion effect among states.  "This agenda also serves as a model for other states looking to ensure student success, parental rights, and curriculum transparency," stated the website dedicated to the DeSantis Education Agenda.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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