What else is on DeSantis’ list of how to DeStroy a state?
Well, there was an executive order banning Republicans’ most popular 2021 bugaboo, critical race theory (CRT). Not one district in Florida was teaching CRT, but now they won’t be doing that even more.
However, DeSantis didn’t stop at banning teachers from teaching something they weren’t teaching. Because Florida is just one of several states where Republicans have proposed opening teachers and school librarians to lawsuits if they say anything or carry any book that someone else can construe as teaching CRT. This is a declaration of open season on educators and a backdoor attempt to completely destroy public education. While they were at it, Republicans also destroyed disability education in the state. It took them six minutes and just one speaker.
Why use CRT as an excuse to accomplish the long-held Republican goal of replacing public education with for-profit schools? In 2022, Republicans can use racism as their up-front excuse to cover their real motivations, because racism is now cool with Republican voters.
Also coming up in Florida, the legislature wants to extend the ban on teaching about America’s history of racism to colleges and universities. That should do wonders for the state’s academic environment. Considering the University of Florida already blocked professors from testifying in a lawsuit against DeSantis, don’t be surprised if they create a new Bull Connors chair of white studies.
If that’s not enough suing people, Florida Republicans have also proposed a law, modeled on the one from Texas, that would allow anyone to sue if they suspected a woman was trying to secure an abortion. Or if anyone was trying to provide an abortion. Or anyone who provided transportation to a possible abortion.
To rub an additional bucket of salt in public education’s wounds, another bill would take the currently nonpartisan races for local school boards and force them to be explicitly partisan. Currently, all candidates for school boards run together in a party-free pool. A new bill would force the candidates to declare association with a party to register as a school board candidate. The head of the Republican Party of Florida is the sponsor of this bill.
When it comes to promoting the Big Lie, DeSantis is also going all out. Despite repeated audits and investigations that turned up nothing—other than five residents at The Villages retirement community who doubled down on their votes for Trump—DeSantis is going to spend at least $5.7 million establishing an “Office of Election Crimes” with an initial staff of 45 investigators. The qualifications for investigating crimes that don’t exist haven’t been established, but it’s a good bet the best route to landing one of these “jobs” is nepotism.
Finally, DeSantis is pushing for something that Republicans in a number of states are also clamoring to get: a decrease in transparency. It’s not as if DeSantis hasn’t already done a bang-up job of altering statistics, hiding data, and scheming against the best interests of the state’s citizens, but he’d really like it if he didn’t have to work so hard.
You know. Like his Office of Election Crimes investigators.