TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis cut state funding to four Florida schools recently found to have “direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The Florida Department of Education said that Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, Parke House Academy in Winter Park, and Park Maitland School in Winter Park maintained direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“Their connections constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public,” a release from the governor’s office said.
“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” DeSantis wrote. “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 governor’s office did not elaborate on the school’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party. FDOE is working to connect impacted students with non-profit scholarship organizations in finding and enrolling them in nearby eligible schools.
DeSantis outlawed any school affiliated with a foreign country of concern from participating in Florida’s school choice scholarship programs with the passage of SB 846.
Since taking office, DeSantis has enacted several major educational reforms targeting the Chinese Communist Party including blocking access to TikTok on school servers and devices.
The governor also banned “Confucius Institutes,” which “serve as propaganda centers for the Chinese Communist Party.”
“The Chinese Communist Party has no place in our schools,” Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr said. “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.”