Douglas Andrews / August 25, 2022

Florida’s Parents Re-Take Their School Boards

Governor Ron DeSantis played an active role in getting hard-left activists booted off school boards across the state.

It’s been a great week for the Free State of Florida — not only for Governor Ron DeSantis, but for concerned parents all around the state who simply want the best education for their children.

But, we think it’s safe to say, it’s been a less-than-great week for the winner of the Democrats’ gubernatorial primary, Chameleon Charlie Crist, and for those pinning their hopes on him to remove DeSantis from the governor’s mansion on November 8. It ain’t gonna happen.

Yesterday, at a time when he should’ve been saying things that appeal to a majority of the Sunshine State’s voters, Crist let loose with this: “Those who support the governor should stay with him, and vote for him, and I don’t want your vote,” he told a gaggle of reporters with microphones and cameras. “If you have that hate in your heart, keep it. I want the vote of the people of Florida who care about our state. Good Democrats, good independents, good Republicans, unify with this ticket.”

Yep, nothing unifies an electorate like telling one’s political opponent and his millions of supporters that they have hate in their hearts. But we’ll say this: It’s a bold approach. Not even doltish Hillary Clinton, with her disastrous “basket of deplorables” gaffe in 2016, went so far as to alienate every person inclined to vote for her opponent.

During an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson last night, DeSantis seemed equal parts bemused by and grateful for Crist’s in-kind contribution to his campaign. “This is his fifth decade running for office,” said DeSantis. “He’s a typical career politician. People support me because I kept the state open and protected their jobs. Charlie Crist wanted it locked down. So that’s not hate in their heart. They’re just appreciative that they had a governor who was standing up for them.”

Elsewhere in Florida, one little-reported but greatly welcomed development from Tuesday’s primaries was the re-taking by concerned parents of several major school boards across the state. We covered this briefly in yesterday’s Executive Summary, but we think it deserves a deeper dive. As The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board reports:

Twenty-five of the 30 school board members endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis won or advanced in their races, campaigning on parental rights, transparency, school choice and safety. GOP-backed candidates won three elections in Sarasota County, creating a new 4-1 majority. They also scored two big wins in Miami-Dade, which now becomes the largest U.S. school district with a conservative majority. Both school boards last year voted to mandate that students keep wearing masks, defying parents and Florida law.

The wins are a coup for Mr. DeSantis, who is turning parental control and educational choice into a GOP advantage. The elections are political vindication for his parental bill of rights bill that became law this spring that was widely criticized in the national press.

Falsely criticized, we might add.

“We’ve got to get this education stuff right,” DeSantis told Tucker Carlson. “Part of the problem that we saw with this is you would have red counties, but because the school board races under our constitution are non-partisan, the union would back the leftist, fund the leftist, and you’d have a left-wing school board representing a conservative county. So we have fixed that in many of these places, to where these school boards are now going to be representative of the values of the people that live there.”

This is great news for parents who want their children to focus on learning rather than being locked down, muzzled, or indoctrinated. And that means it’s bad news for the groomers, and bad news for those who want to teach our kids that men can get pregnant. As the Journal’s editors write, “If Republicans want a positive message for the midterms, this is a good and popular one.”

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