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Ron DeSantis on Education

 

 


COVID: other states not opening schools a policy blunder

The failure of so many places outside of Florida to open schools at the beginning of the school year will go down as one of the biggest policy blunders of our time. Florida did not make that mistake. We followed the data and stood by our parents and students. We ignored the political posturing and fear-mongering and did what was right for Floridians. Florida has succeeded where so many other states have failed in providing opportunities for its students.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature , Mar 2, 2021

Rejects education cuts, launched civics initiative

I reject reductions in funding for K-12 education. The Legislature answered my call to increase the average minimum salary for teachers, taking Florida from the bottom half of states to the top 5. Let us keep this momentum going. We are beginning to place a strong--and long overdue--emphasis on vocational education. Florida has launched an ambitious civics initiative so that students can understand the principles that make our country unique. Florida is leading on education.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature , Mar 2, 2021

Boost teacher's minimum salary to $47,500

I am recommending we take a bold step of setting a minimum salary for public school teachers at $47,500, bringing Florida from the bottom half of states to number 2 in the nation. This will make it easier to get talented college graduates to enter the profession and will help us retain many of the good teachers we have now. My plan will lead to a substantial pay increase for over 100,000 current teachers throughout the state.
Source: 2020 Florida State of the State address , Jan 14, 2020

Parents should have public school choice

All Florida parents, regardless of income or zip code, should have the ability to choose the best school for their children. This isn't limited to scholarship programs but also includes public school choice. When we increase educational choice and provide innovative learning opportunities, we can help students reach their full potential. Results matter and accountability is needed.
Source: 2020 Florida State of the State address , Jan 14, 2020

Invest in higher ed; focus on job skills

I'm proud that Florida's university system is ranked #1 in the nation. Skills-based education offers a focused, and often more cost-effective means, by which students can acquire the tools to be successful. I have proposed a plan to take Florida from middle of the pack to number 1 in workforce education by 2030. Our initiatives include grants to place students in apprenticeships, money to train teachers in computer science and funds for workforce programs within our state college system.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Florida legislature , Mar 5, 2019

Prioritize attracting and retaining great teachers

We need to do more to recruit, retain and reward great teachers. To this end, I have proposed replacing Best and Brightest bonus program with a revised $423 million program that will reward more than 40,000 teachers with bonuses approaching $10k. I'm also requesting $10 million for a tuition and loan forgiveness program for as many as 1,700 teachers who commit to teaching in Florida schools for 5 years. Attracting and keeping great teachers in our classrooms should be a high priority.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Florida legislature , Mar 5, 2019

Expand Tax Credit Scholarships for school choice

Florida has expanded opportunity through the Tax Credit Scholarship program for students from low-income families. More than 100,000 students--nearly 70% of whom are African-American or Hispanic, with an average family income of roughly $26,000 per year--are utilizing the scholarship. More low-income families would like the opportunity to obtain a scholarship for their kids. Let's stand with working moms and empower them to choose the best learning environment for their kids.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Florida legislature , Mar 5, 2019

Expand both charters & vouchers

Q: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Ron DeSantis (R): No statements found on funding, but prefers setting policy at local level.

Andrew Gillum (D): Yes. Proposes a $1 billion "Fair Share" investment in public schools covered by increasing state's corporate tax rate & legalizing & taxing marijuana.

Q: Education: Support the expansion of charter schools or help parents send their children to private schools with public money?

Ron DeSantis (R): Yes. Expand both charters & vouchers. Let federal dollars follow students to any schools their families choose.

Andrew Gillum (D): No. Against vouchers & "unaccountable, for-profit charter schools who use public dollars to enrich their executives."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Fund training for high schoolers who enter workforce

Q: Increase state funding for higher education?

Ron DeSantis (R): No statements found on state funding, but more training support for students who enter workforce from high school.

Andrew Gillum (D): Yes. Wants to make college debt-free for professions like nursing & teaching. Also higher pay for adjuncts.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Expand voucher and charters; stop Common Core

DeSantis supports the school-choice policies Florida Republicans have passed in their 20 years in power, specifically, expanding charter-school and voucher programs. He's also praised [Republican primary opponent Adam] Putnam's platform of encouraging more vocational education and training.

DeSantis also wants to "stop Common Core"-- the standards adopted by 45 out of 50 states as a way to improve education--but the steps he'd take to unwind them is unclear. The standards were criticized by conservatives as a top-down approach to education, and lawmakers responded by tweaking and renaming them "Florida standards" in 2014.

[Democratic gubernatorial opponent Andrew] Gillum wants to spend an additional $1 billion on education, part of which would go toward increasing the minimum salary for teachers to $50,000 per year, and for early-education and vocational programs.

Source: Orlando Sentinel on 2018 Florida gubernatorial race , Aug 31, 2018

Opposes federal grants for education reforms.

DeSantis opposes the PVS survey question on education reform

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Congressional candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 11% did so in the 2012 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 12-PVS-q7 on Aug 30, 2012

Denounce the Common Core State Standards.

DeSantis co-sponsored Resolution against Common Core

Congressional summary:: Strongly denouncing the President's coercion of States into adopting the Common Core State Standards by conferring preferences in Federal grants:

    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
  1. States and local educational agencies should maintain the right and responsibility of determining educational curricula;
  2. the Federal Government should not incentivize the adoption of common education standards; and
  3. no application process for any Federal grant funds should provide any preference for the adoption of the Common Core State Standards.

    Opponent's argument against (CoreStandards.org): The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards [not adopted in TX, NE, AK, MN, and VA]. The nation's governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards.

    Source: HRes.476 & SRes.345 14-HR0476 on Feb 11, 2014

    A-PLUS lets states escape No Child Left Behind.

    DeSantis voted YEA A-PLUS Amendment To Student Success Act

    Heritage Action Summary: An amendment offered by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The amendment, known as A-PLUS (Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success), would give the states the ability to consolidate their federal education funds and use them for any lawful education purpose they deem beneficial.

    Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (7/8/2015): A-PLUS lets states escape No Child Left Behind's prescriptive programmatic requirements. At its core, A-PLUS delivers on the promise of "restoring state and local control over the 10% of education funding financed by the federal government," moving dollars out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and political appointees and into the hands of those closer to the students. Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.

    US News and World Report recommendation to vote NO: (4/7/2015): A-PLUS [is intended as] a no-strings-attached block grant. There isn't all that much the federal government can do well in education, but it's because of federally-required transparency that charter schools and voucher schools can demonstrate that they work. For example, New York City's Success Academy scores in the top 1% of all the state's public schools in math and in the top 3% in English. When Success Academy came under fire from teachers' union-backed Mayor Bill de Blasio, it was able to fight back with numbers to prove it. If a strong-union state were to receive a no-strings-attached block grant, transparency would be the first thing to go. A no-strings-attached block grant is an overreaction to federal overreach.

    Legislative outcome: Failed House 195 to 235 (no Senate vote)

    Source: Congressional vote 15-H0005 on Jul 8, 2015

    Vouchers break link of low-income and low-quality schools.

    DeSantis voted YEA SOAR Act

    Heritage Action Summary: The House will vote to reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act (H.R. 10). The bill would continue funding through Fiscal Year 2021 and allow eligible students in Washington, D.C. to enroll in a participating private school.Analysis by Heritage Action:

    ACLU recommendation to vote NO: (Letter to U.S.House, 3/29/2011): The ACLU urges Congress to oppose the SOAR Act, legislation to restart and expand Washington DC's failed private and religious school voucher pilot program. Originally started as a five-year pilot program in 2004, the DC voucher program is the nation's first and only federally-funded private and religious school voucher program. Under the federal voucher pilot program, funds were provided to schools even though they infuse their curricular materials with specific religious content and even though they are not covered by many of the nation's civil rights statutes that would otherwise protect students against discrimination. Additionally, each of the congressionally-mandated studies to explore the pilot program concluded that the voucher program had no significant effect on the academic achievement.

    Cato Institute recommendation to vote YES: (4/28/2016): The Obama administration has repeatedly worked to undermine or eliminate the DC school choice program, even though it has the support of local Democratic politicians such as the DC Mayor and a majority of the DC City Council. Low-income students shouldn't be condemned to low-quality schools just because their parents cannot afford a home in a wealthy neighborhood. The DC program was an important step toward breaking the link between home prices and school quality.

    Legislative outcome: Passed by the House 240-191-3; never came to a vote in the Senate.

    Source: Congressional vote 15-H0010 on Oct 21, 2015

    Other governors on Education: Ron DeSantis on other issues:
    FL Gubernatorial:
    Adam Putnam
    Alexander Snitker
    Andrew Gillum
    Charlie Crist
    Gwen Graham
    Philip Levine
    Rick Scott
    Wayne Messam
    FL Senatorial:
    Alan Grayson
    Bill Nelson
    Carlos Lopez-Cantera
    Charlie Crist
    David Jolly
    Edward Janowski
    Marco Rubio
    Pam Keith
    Patrick Murphy
    Rick Scott
    Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
    CA Recall:
    S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
    vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
    vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
    NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
    vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
    vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
    vs.GOP Hair Doug Steinhardt(R)
    VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
    vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
    vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(R)
    vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
    vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
    vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
    vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
    vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
    vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
    AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
    vs.Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin(R)
    vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
    vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R)
    AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
    vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
    vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
    CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
    vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
    CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(? D)
    vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(? D)
    GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
    vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
    vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
    HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
    vs.State Rep. Andria Tupola(R)
    IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Cindy Axne(? R)
    ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    IL: Incumbent J. B. Pritzker(D)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
    vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
    vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
    MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
    vs.State Rep. Robin Ficker(R)
    vs.State Rep. Peter Franchot(D)
    vs.DNC chair Thomas Perez(D)
    vs.RNC chair Michael Steele(? R)
    Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
    ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
    vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
    MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
    vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
    NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
    vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
    NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
    vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(? R)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Mark Amodei(? R)
    NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D)
    vs.Lt.Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
    OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
    vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(? D)
    OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
    vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
    OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
    vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
    PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(? R)
    RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
    vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
    vs.Secy.Matt Brown(? D)
    vs.Mayor Allan Fung(? R)
    SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
    vs.State Rep. James Emerson Smith(? D)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Joe Cunningham(? R)
    SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
    vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
    TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
    vs.Senate nominee Marquita Bradshaw(? D)
    TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(? R)
    VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
    vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(D)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
    KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
    vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)
    Senator Rand Paul(? R)
    LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
    vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
    vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
    MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
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    Page last updated: Apr 11, 2021