MIAMI (WSVN) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has formulated a so-called “target list” containing names of school board members across the state that he wants to challenge in their upcoming elections, and one of the names on that list sits on the Miami-Dade County School Board.
Luisa Santos, who represents District 9 in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District, spoke with 7News on Wednesday.
“Families are tired of political divisiveness. Families want to know their children are safe in school,” she said.
Santos reacted to DeSantis unveiling a list of more than a dozen school board members statewide he plans to target in 2024.
“School board races are not about the governors. School board races are about students and parents and our schools,” said Santos. “Every day I wake up, I represent those families.”
DeSantis said those on the “target list” of 14 do not protect parental rights and have failed to protect students from what he calls “woke” ideologies.
The announcement comes as DeSantis continues to inject politics into what are currently nonpartisan races.
On Tuesday, the governor met with Republican officials. Tina Descovich, a co-founder of the group Moms for Liberty, tweeted a picture of the meeting.
“We really work hard to make sure we have a K-12 school system parents can have confidence in,” said DeSantis, “that, you know, you send your child to school in Florida, and they will get an education, not an indoctrination.”
Weeks ago, Maria Blanco was sworn in after she was appointed by DeSantis to fill a vacant seat.
“It has always been clear to me collaboration between home and school are the most effective,” said Blanco.
Blanco marks the second appointment by the governor in months in Miami-Dade County Schools.
Dan Espino filled the vacancy in District 5.
Then, DeSantis-backed candidates Roberto Alonso and Monica Colucci both won their elections in November.
In Broward County, Daniel Foganholi returned to the Broward County Public School Board.
He replaces Rodney Velez, who was elected by Broward voters but deemed ineligible because of a previous felony conviction.
His voting rights were restored, but the governor’s office said Velez cannot hold public office.
The Hollywood resident is suing the governor.
“I still believe the best is yet to come,” said Foganholi.
Foganholi joins two other conservatives on the board: DeSantis appointee Torey Alston and Brenda Fam.
As for Santos, she doesn’t appear worried, as the governor eyes her seat.
“I’m very proud of the results we delivered so far, and I look forward to serving my community,” she said.
The governor and his administration are also changing rules in Tallahassee in a major move now requiring any group that reserves space for an event held at the state capitol building, “align with the mission of the state.”
Critics are concerned the governor is attempting to censor events he doesn’t like or approve of.
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