~ Department of Education suspends schools from school choice scholarship program ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to suspend the availability of school choice scholarships to four schools that have direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Through a thorough investigation, FDOE has determined that Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, Parke House Academy in Winter Park, and Park Maitland School in Winter Park have direct ties to the CCP and their connections constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public. The Department is working with the non-profit scholarship funding organizations to assist impacted students in finding and enrolling in nearby eligible schools. On May 8, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed SB 846 to prohibit any school affiliated with a foreign country of concern from participating in Florida’s school choice scholarship programs.
“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We will not put up with any attempt to influence students with a communist ideology or allow Floridians’ tax dollars to go to schools that are connected to our foreign adversaries.”
“The Chinese Communist Party has no place in our schools,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “I am grateful for Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their work to keep students and our communities safe from foreign countries of concern.”
Since taking office Governor DeSantis has enacted major educational reforms targeting the Chinese Communist Party, such as:
- Blocking access to TikTok on educational institution servers and devices.
- Prohibiting state colleges and universities from accepting any grant from or participating in any agreement or partnership with any college or university based in China or another foreign country of concern, unless approved by the Board of Governors or State Board of Education.
- Prohibiting state colleges and universities and their employees and representatives from soliciting or accepting any gift in their official capacities from a college or university based in China or another foreign country of concern, or foreign principal.
- Banning “Confucius Institutes,” which serve as propaganda centers for the Chinese Communist Party.