DeSantis educational board nominees have deep ties to dark money: report
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has placed an emphasis on structuring school boards by nominating far-right activists who align with his controversial initiative to reform education.
Now, a new report is offering insight into the types of nominees he's selected and how they are connected to Republican dark money. In a report published by Truthout, Alyssa Bowen and Caitlin Mahoney began with an overview of all that has transpired in recent months.
"DeSantis has appointed far-right activists with ties to dark money groups to fill the state’s Board of Education, which wields significant power over the state’s K-12 schools, including the power to dictate educational standards," Bowen and Mahoney wrote.
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"These appointments, however, have garnered less media attention than DeSantis’s takeover of Florida’s New College, which included appointing Christopher Rufo, the architect of the recent manufactured outrage over supposed 'critical race theory' in public schools and an employee of the dark money Manhattan Institute," they also wrote.
According to Bowen and Mahoney, the nominees have been linked to dark money groups like Moms For Liberty (MFL), “Judicial Crisis Network” (JCN), The Catholic Association (TCA), and a number of others.
The writers went on to express concern about how these types of nominees and heir extremist views could ultimately impact schools and education across the state of Florida. They note that the type of money they have access to puts them in a better position to push their agenda.
"Such extremism by members of a board that determines what is taught in K-12 schools statewide should be disqualifying in itself," they wrote. "The dark money ties of these far-right actors, who have the power to push the fringe positions of their donors to public school children across the state, should also raise eyebrows."
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"The close ties between such groups and politicians like DeSantis allow super-wealthy donors with extreme views to be hidden from the public while having disproportionate influence and the power to peddle unpopular and harmful policies that suit the views of rich extremists," they added.
But despite DeSantis' efforts to forward his agenda, the writers emphasized that poll projections suggest voters are not in alignment with this push.
"While DeSantis may want to export his 'culture war' attacks in a bid to 'Make America Florida,' voters don’t appear to be falling for the coordinated right-wing attacks on reproductive rights or our local schools, at least according to the most recent election results," they wrote.
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