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Sarasota Democrats Call on County’s Republican Legislators to Vote Against ‘Chilling’ Legislation

The Sarasota County Democratic Party (SCDP) today urged the county’s Republican representatives in Tallahassee to vote against legislation designed to bankrupt public school education and destroy academic freedom in public higher education throughout Florida.

“We are proud to join the Florida Education Association (FEA) and the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) in denouncing these proposed pieces of legislation and calling on our county’s representatives in Tallahassee – Sen. Joe Gruters and Reps. Fiona MacFarland, James Buchanan and Michael Grant – to vote against them,” said SCDP Chair Daniel Kuether.

Kuether said HR1/S202, the super voucher Educational Savings Account legislation, was “designed to bankrupt public education. In just its first year, it would divert at least $4.3 billion in funds that should have gone to public schools and give it to parents for private schools or homeschooling. Even millionaires and billionaires could get about $8000 per child toward their private school education.”

He said HR999/SB266 was “a chilling piece of legislation that will destroy academic freedom in public higher education throughout Florida. It would eliminate scores of courses, major subjects, and anything that deals with diversity, equity or inclusion. It also would end tenure for college professors who could be brought up for review at any time and removed from their positions.”

Kuether said HB1445/SB256 was Gov. Ron DeSantis’ bill to bust teacher unions. It targets just teachers, no other public employees. It would ban payroll deductions of teacher union dues for those who want to be union members and is deliberately calculated to make it harder for the union to collect dues.” He noted that DeSantis has previously pushed through legislation to decertify any union with less than 50 percent of teachers being members. “With this bill, he’s upping that to at least 60 percent or lose certification,” he added.

Kuether said HB1223/SB1320 would expand DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law through the eighth grade and “forbids the use of preferred pronouns unless they correspond with someone’s gender at birth.”

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