Voters in battleground states approve of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' education policy positions, according to a poll released Thursday by the American Federation of Teachers.
The poll, which surveyed 1,758 likely voters in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, found that:
- 56% said they were much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote for candidates who believe public schools should focus less on teaching students about race and racism and more on core academic subjects and who believe parents should have more say over what their children learn in school
- 54% said they were much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote for candidates who believe parents should have the option to decide whether their child receives instruction on gender and transgender issues and who favor legislation to prevent transgender students who were born as males from competing in girls’ athletics
- 52% said they were much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote for candidates who believe schools should stop teaching young children that people can have more than one gender or no gender, who say white students should not be shamed over issues of race and racism and who say schools must stop "grooming" students by encouraging them to question their gender identity or sexual preference
- 50% said they were much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote for candidates who believe schools should not teach students that they have special advantages due to their race or ethnic background
- 44% said they were much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote for candidates who support legislation that would ban the teaching of critical race theory, or CRT, in public schools
DeSantis, who has not announced a run for president in 2024, in March signed a bill that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
In 2021, he signed into law the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, which bans transgender athletes in girls and women's sports from middle school through college, including intramural competitions in the state.
During a speech at Tampa's Moms For Liberty summit Friday, he touted the Parental Rights Bill.
"We're not going to have some first grader be told — you know — 'Your parents named you Johnny. You were born a boy, but maybe you are really a girl.' That is inappropriate to be doing in school, and we're not going to allow that to happen in Florida," DeSantis said.
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