Things are reaching a boiling point in Florida between educators and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
During the pandemic, DeSantis pledged to put families and educators first, which of course meant to him that he’d keep the schools open at all costs – including the deaths of teachers and students.
Teachers heard the message loud and clear, and they’re mad as hell.
DeSantis has been in the midst of launching a culture war over his past 4 years in office, and educators are bearing the brunt of it currently. On DeSantis’ agenda: preventing kids from learning about gay people, preventing them from learning about history, and blasting “woke” agendas that probably don’t exist. This includes taking away any potentially controversial books from school libraries and teachers’ shelves and making sure the books are all “generally appropriate” which excludes some of history’s great classics.
It’s burning teachers out in the Sunshine State at a worrying rate. It’s not just Florida, to be clear – nearly 80% of K-12 teachers are “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with their general conditions as teachers.
But in Florida, it’s more personal. DeSantis recently approved a measure allowing veterans and their spouses (who could have zero college education or professional experience) to become K-12 teachers.
It was a slap in the face of career teachers and has worried residents who see their kids’ teaching being handed to non-professionals with no real qualifications.
Florida teachers are pushing back against DeSantis, one teacher even mocking asking, “what is woke math? I don’t know and I’m sure they don’t even know, but math books have been taken away from schools because of this.”
And that seems to sum up the DeSantis admin approach to combatting classroom “problems”: identify problems that don’t exist, solve them by extremist policy, then take a victory lap.
With Florida schools facing a teacher shortage of thousands in the next year, DeSantis may find angry parents knocking on his door and wondering why it’s all falling apart to uphold a political agenda.