(Headline USA) President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are both seeking to reform American education while maneuvering against each other.
In the opening stages of the GOP presidential primary, the parents’ rights movement and school curriculum are emerging as a critical flashpoint.
Ahead of what could be a bruising Republican presidential primary, the focus on issues related to critical race theory, grooming and indoctrination is emerging as a way for potential White House hopefuls to distinguish themselves by reforming America’s corrupt education system.
Nowhere is the drive to save American education more visible than in Florida, where DeSantis has made an aggressive push against woke policies.
He gained national attention last year for signing the anti-grooming bill into law.
He also signed the “Stop WOKE” act in 2022, a law that restricted the teaching of critical race theory.
DeSantis has also extended his political influence to local school board races flipping at least three boards from a liberal majority to a conservative majority.
More recently, he blocked high schools from teaching a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies because it was a violation of a state law and historically inaccurate. Beyond K-12 schools, he appointed six conservative trustees to the board of a small liberal arts college and he has announced he will reform other public universities as well.
As DeSantis emerges as the most formidable potential challenger to Trump, the former president has staked out his own positions on the same issues and recently released a nearly 5-minute video outlining what his campaign called a “Plan to Save American Education and Give Power Back to Parents.”
Declaring that “public schools have been taken over by the radical left maniacs,” and warning about “pink haired communists teaching our kids,” Trump pledged, if elected president again, that he would cut federal funding for any school or program promoting “critical race theory, gender ideology or other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content on to our children.”
Trump said he planned to create a national credentialing organization that would certify teachers “who embrace patriotic values, support our way of life and understand that their job is not to indoctrinate children” and would set up favorable treatment for states and school districts that adopt reforms such as allowing parents to directly elect school principals.
“If any principal is not getting the job done, the parents should have the right and be able to vote or to fire them and to select someone else that will do the job properly,” Trump said at a campaign appearance in South Carolina.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press