Vote 2022: Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez explains DeSantis school board endorsements

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez took the time to explain why Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed candidates who are running in nonpartisan school board races.

MIAMI – Although the school board races are nonpartisan, Florida Republicans are turning these into battlegrounds during this election season.

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez is leading the charge for change. She said Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to make sure parents are not kept “out of the equation” and that the school districts are held accountable.

“Parents are paying attention. For once, they have started to look at who their school board members are,” Nuñez said. “For a long time, they flew under the radar.”

Republicans passed state legislation affecting policies related to education on sexual identity and racism. DeSantis also opposed face mask mandates at public schools during the pandemic. His administration docked defiant board members’ salaries.

“When you see so many parents leaving, homeschooling, traditional public schools are going to charter schools, they are going to private schools -- I think they need to answer for that,” Nuñez said.

In June, DeSantis announced he was running a survey to gauge if the state’s school board candidates align with his “education agenda.”

Some of the questions include “Does CRT (critical race theory) belong in K-12 public education classrooms in Florida?” and “How will you protect a parent’s right to publicly disagree with their school board?”

The strategy includes supporting opponents to school board incumbents. In Miami-Dade County, there is a veteran teacher, and a former staffer for the lieutenant governor. In Broward County, the governor’s appointee was a furniture designer and parent.

“A parent is probably the most important perspective to bring to the school board,” Nuñez said.

DeSantis is up for reelection in November.

About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.