Maybe We Don't Need DeSantis Freedom
Post # 257, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is going to seek the Republican nomination for President in 2024. That is certain. To be successful, he will need money and lots of it. That is also certain to happen. He will need a very conservative agenda to convert the former Trump base to support his campaign. That support is probably certain, but maybe not without some adjustments. Perhaps most important issue for the governor is his signature issue. From his easy re-election, it is apparent that he feels the 'freedom' he has given Floridians from intrusive governmental control is that signature issue.
DeSantis created the freedom brand when he thought that organized medicine was not prepared for Covid, and found a questionable medical source, Dr. Joseph Ladapo from California to take that position. DeSantis maneuvered among his political appointments to get Dr. Ladopo approved for treating Covid, even though he had no experience at it. So Floridians got freedom from what the governor described as government over reach and we got Covid. We got more Covid than any other state--7.4 million cases and 84,927 deaths.
Now Governor DeSantis wants to take his freedom brand now to public education and administration. He thinks public education is badly broken and the government managing it is the reason. Here is what he has done to date:
He has fired school administrators
He has with-held the pay for school board members.
He has campaigned against elected local school boards and administrators.
He has mandated local curriculum and text book content.
He has replaced public funds with unregulated private school voucher funds.
He has left gun access to schools unchanged.
He has replaced college trustees to create a new culture acceptable to DeSantis.
His Lt. Governor declared that diversity, equity and inclusion is no longer a priority in Florida public school education.
What then has freedom in public education brought Floridians? The answer is a continuing record of failure and non-accomplishment in student achievement, with no improvement in sight.
So this Governor believes people want freedom from their government in medicine and schools. The result he has gotten record deaths and failing schools. Maybe we don't need his freedom after all.