2022 Story of the Year Runner-Up: DeSantis wages war on woke school curriculum
Thirty percent of our readers chose Governor Ron DeSantis waging war on woke school curriculum as the most important story of 2022. That’s enough votes to put it firmly in second place, but not enough to win outright.
Targeting curriculum inappropriate for elementary schoolchildren, Governor DeSantis and GOP lawmakers teamed up to pass a pair of bills aimed at tamping down “woke” progressivism in school curriculum. The Parents Rights in Education bill, a measure which critics cleverly dubbed the “Don’t say gay bill,” passed with overwhelming support, not just in the legislature, but among voters too. DeSantis also helped push through the Stop-WOKE bill, an effort to toss out curriculum found to trigger feelings of guilt in students for the actions of their ancestors.
But DeSantis didn’t stop there. He also took the unusual step during an election year to throw his political capital behind more than two dozen local school board members ahead of the 2022 election and most of those won their races. He also removed four school board members and picked their replacements for failing to implement recommended safety measures in Broward County.
The campaign to expand transparency and the rights of parents in public education, as well as fighting controversial sexual and political indoctrination in the classroom worked. DeSantis and Florida Republicans reaped the rewards in November, cruising to the biggest GOP landslide electoral victory since at least the mid-1800’s.
Already, DeSantis is making bold pronouncements in the education space, pledging to expand the conservative foothold he helped win on school boards around the state. Expect to see more of that this year, along with a push to pass paycheck protection for school teachers and expand the parents bill of rights once more.
Regardless of whether he succeeds or fails in pushing for more in 2023, the outcome could have substantial ramifications for the governor’s plans in 2024 and beyond. Stay tuned…