The Federalist | Shawn Fleetwood | June 15, 2022
The re-election campaign for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is launching an education initiative that provides a blueprint for school board candidates that prioritizes parental rights and the educational needs of students.
Known as the “DeSantis Education Agenda: Putting Students First, Protecting Parents’ Rights,” the program is a statewide agenda for school board candidates and members who are committed to advancing DeSantis’s priorities at the local school board level. In addition to furthering the academic success of Florida students, the push is also aimed at empowering the role of parents in their children’s education, as well as preventing far-left agendas from infiltrating the state’s public school systems.
In a statement provided to The Federalist, DeSantis championed the launch of the agenda, saying that “Florida has delivered the most student-focused, parent-centered education agenda in the nation” at a time when “curriculum in states around the country are being used as opportunities to indoctrinate innocent children.”
“Our school board members are on the frontlines of what happens in our education system. In Florida, we value student success, parental rights, and curriculum transparency, and we need school board members who do the same,” he said. “We need strong school boards who will fight for these values and put students first.”
Dave Abrams, a senior adviser to DeSantis’s re-election campaign, also spoke highly of the initiative, adding that “Parents across Florida should ask school board candidates and their current school board members how they scored on the DeSantis Education Agenda.”
“Florida’s students are thriving, our schools are open, teachers are paid more, and parents are empowered,” Abrams added.
The launch of the education agenda is among a series of actions taken by DeSantis to further increase curriculum transparency in state schools and defend parental rights. Earlier this year, the Florida governor signed legislation that prevents educators from instructing students “on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through 3rd grade” and “prohibits instruction that is not age appropriate for students.”
In March, DeSantis also signed Florida HB 1467, “which requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of instructional materials, including library and reading materials” and “aims to preserve the rights of parents to make decisions about what materials their children are exposed to in school.”