Post # 237, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
The Republicans have found an issue that cuts across both parties--public education.
Public education has always been a priority for the Democrats. That link has always been solidified by the education unions. But since the Republicans have taken over the majority of the state administrations, funding and support for public education has waned. The Republicans have diverted millions of public funds for private and religious school vouchers. They prioritized those monies for students excelling until the Democrats protested about the reduction in minority funding. The Republicans then came up with an agreement with the private and religious schools, to fund scholarships for the most needy, but they made achievement a threshold for receipt of the funds.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida saw this as a nationwide opportunity for his planned race for President in 2024. He got directly involved in 30 local school board races with his endorsement and campaign funds, and won 25 of them. He was particularly conscious of the school boards that objected to his waiver of masks during the peak of covid. He said the school boards were fighting his efforts toward parental freedom in schools, which really was freedom to have a better chance of covid, but he sold it through bought media.
DeSantis is mindful that the Republicans nationally have a hot issue with education today pointing out the purge of Democrats from the liberal San Francisco school board, the election of pro-education Republican Governor Youngkin in Virginia Governor Reynolds in Iowa. In spite of President Biden's support, education unions are in the fight of their lives
for their very survival.
The Democrats continue to push a court test of the Republicans diversion of public funds to private and school contractors, but with so many new judges that are Trump appointments, the outlook is uncertain. Head's up Democrats, here come the Republicans on education.