GOP 2024 Presidential Hopefuls

DeSantis Targets Public Schools And LGBTQ Youth For Billionaire Backers

The easiest way to get a law passed in Florida is to write DeSantis a big enough check. 

According to a new report from SalonFlorida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has filled his campaign coffers with more than $280,000 dollars from former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her family “amid his crackdown on discussions of race and sexual orientation in schools.”

DeSantis has embraced an out-of-touch, far-right agenda in an effort to score cheap political points at the expense of Florida families. With backing from extremists and big donors within the Republican party, he has targeted teachers, public schools, and LGBTQ youth to advance his 2024 presidential aspirations. 

While Floridians struggle with kitchen table issues like skyrocketing property insurance, DeSantis is waging war on public education and the LGBTQ community on behalf of Betsy Devos

Salon: Betsy DeVos is back — and her family is flooding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with cash

By: Igor Derysh | April 04, 2022

Key Points

  • “Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her family have donated more than $280,000 to back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ re-election effort amid his crackdown on discussions of race and sexual orientation in schools.”
  • “The former secretary and other members of her family have been deeply involved in the ‘school choice’ movement, pushing to shift public education funds to private and charter schools, and have promoted efforts to use the country’s schools to ‘advance God’s kingdom.’ DeSantis, meanwhile, quickly pushed for a plan to use taxpayer money to fund private and religious school tuition to expand “school choice” options shortly after taking office in 2019.’
  • “After the pandemic hit, DeVos and Trump pushed for a rapid reopening of schools in the summer of 2020. DeSantis and Corcoran jumped at Trump’s demand, issuing an order to keep all schools open five days a week. The state last year sought to punish school districts that required students to wear masks in the classroom.”
  • “Critics say DeVos is seeking to expand her successful effort to shift money away from public schools to for-profit and private schools in Michigan, where her family has donated more than $58 million at the state level as the state’s education rankings have plummeted.”
  • “Since then, DeVos has turned her focus to ‘parental rights’  — a catchall that covers conservatives’ fight against ‘wokeness,’ ‘critical race theory,’ and the ‘1619 Project.’ The effort has led to bans on books on race by authors of color and discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms, as well as the firing of school administrators and librarians.”
  • “DeSantis has been among the Republican Party’s leaders in pushing so-called ‘academic transparency’ legislation touted by DeVos. The governor just signed into law legislation critics decried as a ‘Don’t say gay’ bill, which bans schools from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in some classrooms and allows parents to sue school districts over potential violations.”
  • “‘While millions of Floridians are struggling to make ends meet from rising costs and a pandemic that Ron DeSantis has ignored, he is focused on his quixotic presidential bid and pleasing his billionaire backers,’ Aidan Johnson, a spokesperson for the Democratic PAC American Bridge, said in a statement to Salon. ‘He cares more about catering to extremists within the Republican Party than keeping Floridians safe.’”

Read the full report here

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