Ron’s Focus on Culture Wars Driving the Teacher Shortage

This morning, Governor Ron DeSantis will speak at the Moms For Liberty convention breakfast in Tampa. Moms For Liberty have quickly become a national organization with numerous ties to extremist right-wing organizations leading the fight to ban books, stop the honest teaching of history and replace it with propaganda, and to attack the rights of LGBTQ students and families. While taking time out of his schedule to share his grievances with a group focused on culture war issues instead of improving public education is par for the course for a Governor only focused on appealing to potential presidential primary voters, it does nothing to address the real issues impacting students, parents, and education professionals throughout the state.

Right now, Florida is facing a looming shortage of more than 9,500 teachers and education support staff with school scheduled to begin next month. That’s an increase of approximately 5,000 positions since February of this year. Increasingly, teachers are unable to afford housing in the counties trying to recruit them, which is no surprise in a state that pays around $14,000 less per year than the national average, or are burnt out by constant attacks on their profession and uncertainty around new state laws aimed at inflaming culture war tensions instead of improving education. Instead of putting forward real solutions to improve our public education system, it is crystal clear DeSantis is only interested in continuing to boost his own political career.“

It’s no surprise that Florida is facing a massive teacher shortage with Ron DeSantis’ education agenda driven by endless attacks on our public schools and teachers,” said DeSantis Watch Constituencies Director Natasha Sutherland. “Educators in Florida don’t have the freedom to teach honest history, don’t have the freedom to offer support to their students, and at the end of the school day, don’t have the freedom to afford a roof over their heads without a second job. While the Governor puts his political career first by waging culture war battles, it is Florida’s children and parents who rely on our public education system to help them succeed that continue to suffer.”