DeSantis Drops Scholarships to Four Schools With ‘Direct Ties’ to CCP
Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday directed the Florida Department of Education to suspend four schools from its school choice scholarship program due to “direct ties” to the Chinese Communist Party.
A press release from the Governor’s office claims that FDOE investigators confirmed the connections, violating the scholarship program’s terms.
“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 statement added that the FDOE is working with multiple non-profit scholarship funding organizations “to assist impacted students in finding and enrolling in nearby eligible schools.” Last May, DeSantis signed Senate Bill 846, which prohibited any school “affiliated with a foreign country of concern” from participating in the state’s school choice scholarship programs.
“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said on Friday.
“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.”
It is unclear from the Governor’s statement what specific ties exist between the schools and the CCP. Still, a report by the ‘Orlando Sentinel’ claims that two of the schools are part of the Spring Education Group–a “network of more than 230 private schools” controlled by the Chinese-owned investment group Primavera Holdings Limited.
“Spring Education Group is controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, an investment firm (together with its affiliates) principally based in Hong Kong with operations in China, Singapore, and the United States, that is itself owned by Chinese persons residing in Hong Kong.” ~ From the Spring Education Group Website
“The Chinese Communist Party has no place in our schools,” Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. said in a statement. “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.”
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Since taking office, DeSantis has enacted several measures to limit the spread of CCP influence in Florida.
Those measures have included blocking access to the social media platform TikTok on educational institutions’ servers and devices and prohibiting state colleges and universities from accepting grants from any Chinese institutions.
Last year, DeSantis prohibited purchasing land near military sites by foreign “countries of concern,” including China. He also signed legislation banning CCP-funded “Confucius Institutes” from operating at Florida universities.
“We will not allow Florida’s tax dollars to go to schools with connections to adversarial foreign nations,” DeSantis said.
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