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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drops 4 private school campuses from voucher programs because of China ties

  
Via:  John Russell  •  10 months ago  •  56 comments

By:   ArcaMax

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drops 4 private school campuses from voucher programs because of China ties
“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.”

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida yanked four private school campuses, including the top-rated Park Maitland School, from its voucher programs because of “direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said late Friday.






The announcement by DeSantis — who has called the Communist Party of China the United States’ “greatest geopolitical threat” — did not provide any evidence of the ties it found between China and Park Maitland and two private schools in South Florida.

But Park Maitland, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, says on its website that it is part of Spring Education Group, “a network of more than 230 private schools.” Spring Education, the website says, “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.”

DeSantis this spring signed a bill that prohibits private schools that take part in state voucher programs from being owned or controlled “by a person or entity domiciled in, owned by, or in any way controlled by a foreign country of concern or a foreign principal.” The new law lists China as one of the countries “of concern.”

Park Maitland officials could not be reached late Friday. The school, founded in 1968, has its main campus on U.S. Highway 17-92 in Maitland.

A news release from DeSantis’ office said the schools’ connections to China “constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public.”

For that reason, it suspended Park Maitland and Parke House Academy — a once separate private school in Winter Park now owned by Park Maitland and operating under the Park Maitland name — as well as Sagemont Preparatory School’s upper and lower campuses in Weston from the voucher programs, which provide state scholarships that can be used at private schools.






Sagemont also is part of Spring Education, according to its website, and also includes the same statement on its website about a controlling investment firm based in Hong Kong but owned by “Chinese persons.” Spring Education operates schools around the country, including ones in Arizona, California and Georgia, its website says.

“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.”

Park Maitland charges tuition of more than $20,000 a year for its first-to-eighth-grade program, according to its website. It boasts that it offers “a challenging and robust curriculum, innovative instruction, and a vibrant school community.”

 

It has an A+ rating and enrolls about 640 students, according to the school search website Niche.

Last school year, fewer than 50 of its students used state vouchers, according to Step Up For Students, which administers most of Florida’s scholarships. The school received more than $329,000 in scholarship money, Step Up’s data shows.

Its current scholarship numbers were not available, but Park Maitland may have more students using them this year because the scholarships, worth about $8,000 a year, were once targeted to low-income families but this year became available to everyone.






A spokesman for DeSantis did not respond late Friday to a request for more information on what the state discovered during what it called a “thorough investigation.”

The Chinese Communist Party has been a focus of DeSantis for the past two years, including his time on the presidential campaign trail.

In his economic plan revealed in August, DeSantis said he would “end our abusive relationship with the CCP, reverse our ever-increasing trade deficits, ban imports of goods made from stolen intellectual property, strengthen protections to stop child and forced labor, and end China’s preferential trade status.”


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    10 months ago

This is insanity.

Imagine if this jackass became president of the United States. 

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  JohnRussell @1    10 months ago

Kudos to Ron DeSantis!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1    10 months ago

"Imagine if this jackass became president of the United States."

Don't you have any ACTUAL evidence, Mr. Robespierre (oops, I mean Mr. DeSantis)?

062920-36-History-Joseph-McCarthy-Red-Scare-1024x576.jpg

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2  Sean Treacy    10 months ago

Another win… This is like when Progressives flipped out because he put an end to corrupt self dealing by Disney's pet corp that was misusing taxpayer dollars for perks. 

They are so damaged they  literally attacked DeSantis for stopping corruption. 

Disney losing in court, promises massive investments in theme parks,

 Crime is plunging 

Florida actually built a high speed rail system and opened a connection between Miami and Florida 

An incredibly accomplished governor. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @2    10 months ago
They are so damaged they  literally attacked DeSantis for stopping corruption. 

Actually, the corruption was the Reedy Creek employees getting a lifetime pass to Disneyworld. The board stopped that and replaced it with a cash stipend which was rejected by the fire department and the Board has said that they will reconsider and possibly raise the stipend, which is again tax payer money.

Disney losing in court, promises massive investments in theme parks,

Disney hasn't lost anything in court.

Crime is plunging 

Actually, it isn't.

'We Knew The Numbers Were Bad': Law Enforcement Staff Raised Concerns About Ron DeSantis' Top Crime Talking Point

Nearly half of Florida's population excluded from state crime data

Florida actually built a high speed rail system and opened a connection between Miami and Florida 

That is true and the newest leg just opened between Orlando and Miami. Brightline was started in 2014, four years before DeSantis became governor. Sadly on the first day of the new leg being opened, the train killed a pedestrian.

Gov. DeSantis' Redistricting Map Is Unconstitutional And Must Be Redrawn, Says Florida Judge | Florida News | Orlando | Orlando Weekly

DeSantis losing support among polled voters and Florida allies

DeSantis won't win the primary in Florida against Trump.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Kavika @2.1    10 months ago
e corruption was the Reedy Creek employees getting a lifetime pass to Disneyworl

yeah.  You are learning. Last time you spent an entire seed claiming it was about Disney giving perks to Disney employees.  

Disney hasn't lost anything in court.

Please read. I said "losing".  They are  getting their ass kicked and withdrew almost all their claims in federal court to avoid a definitive loss.  It's just a matter of time till the last claim is extinguished.  

ctually, it isn't.

Yes it is and your link doesn't claim otherwise.  Also, it's outdated.  They've now increased reporting and the drop is even steeper. 

Brightline was started in 2014, 

Again, it's being completed. Compare to California. Living in Florida you take competent government for granted. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.1    10 months ago
You are learning. Last time you spent an entire seed claiming it was about Disney giving perks to Disney employees.  

Actually, that isn't true and the new board is still giving perks to Reedy Creek employees.

Please read. I said "losing".  They are  getting their ass kicked and withdrew almost all their claims in federal court to avoid a definitive loss.  It's just a matter of time till the last claim is extinguished.  

I'm well aware that they amended their suit as follows:

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has amended its lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his hand-picked oversight board, dropping all of its claims except one.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, now focuses solely on the claim that DeSantis and his allies allegedly weaponized their political power to retaliate against the company for exercising its First Amendment right to free speech.

Yes it is and your link doesn't claim otherwise.  Also, it's outdated.  They've now increased reporting and the drop is even steeper. 

It's not outdated it's from July 2023 and the other is from is from Sept. 2023 and this one is from the TB Times on the crim stats from 2022:

Also the bottom line according to other links is that he is losing support in Florida and is running well behind Trump in Florida and he finished 5th in NH poll.

 
 
 
bugsy
Professor Participates
2.1.3  bugsy  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.1    10 months ago

It always amazes me when some spend their entire day hating on the state, the governor, and the people in the state in which they live, but absolutely refuse to move somewhere that lines up more to their beliefs.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  seeder  JohnRussell    10 months ago

Explain to us how this Florida charter school is spreading Chinese Communist Party dogma. 

This action by DeSantis to withhold vouchers from these schools is absurd. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @3    10 months ago
"Explain to us how this Florida charter school is spreading Chinese Communist Party dogma."

LOL.  You won't get an answer to that because there is no answer for that.  But the McCarthyites will have their say, as we can see in the comments here. 

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4  George    10 months ago

Hahahahahahahahahaha, and the hypocrisy continues. Democrats against vouchers for private schools are outraged that DeSantis has removed vouchers from private schools. The comedy continues.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  George @4    10 months ago

The Chinese owners who DeSantis is calling "Chinese Communist Party" is a private equity group listed on the New York Stock Exchange, in other words totally capitalist. 

DeSantis just wants to say the word "communist" as much as he can work it into daily life in Florida. 

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4.1.1  George  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    10 months ago

That’s a moronic comment John, where do the owners reside? And what does the law say? It’s in your article.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  George @4.1.1    10 months ago
That’s a moronic comment John,

LOL. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  George @4.1.1    10 months ago

DeSantis would have been better off just saying the ownership is not compatible with the new law, and leave it at that. Instead he makes himself look like a McCarthyite from the 50's by prattling on about keeping the "Chinese Communist Party" out of Florida. It is absurd. 

“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.”
 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4.1.4  George  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.2    10 months ago

I’m glad you find your moronic comments humorous, [deleted]

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.3    10 months ago
“We will not put up with any attempt to influence students with a communist ideology..."

I'd be willing to bet every cent I have that there is ABSOLUTELY no evidence of that - and if so, let's see it.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.1.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  George @4.1.1    10 months ago
 
"...where do the owners reside? And what does the law say?"

What a ridiculous law.  It is OVER-inclusive.  I live in China and I am not and have never been a Communist, and in fact I have voted Conservative in Canadian and Ontario elections for almost the past half century.  The fact that a person even domiciled in China is tainted is ridiculous - neither my wife, nor anyone in her extended family, who are Chinese, born and domiciled in China, are Communists - they are all Buddhists and apolitical. 

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4.1.7  George  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.6    10 months ago

Buzz, I hold no grudge against you or the people of China, I also made no judgment on the law, the simple fact is, the law was passed and implemented, as a lawyer you realize that you shouldn’t pick and choose to which laws to enforce, you work to change them if they are unjust.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.1.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  George @4.1.7    10 months ago

I'm entitled to my opinion as how I feel about a law, whether I think it's a bad law or a good one, even though I'm a lawyer.  Of course it is bound to be litigated, i.e. appealed - as Tacos! indicated below.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Professor Quiet
4.2  Jack_TX  replied to  George @4    10 months ago
Democrats against vouchers for private schools are outraged that DeSantis has removed vouchers from private schools. The comedy continues.

You noticed that.

I found it strange, also.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.3  Tessylo  replied to  George @4    10 months ago

Why should we taxpayers pay for someone else's brat to go to private school?  My taxpayer dollars go to public schools and I don't have any problem with that.

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4.3.1  George  replied to  Tessylo @4.3    10 months ago

So you support DeSantis? Because he removed vouchers for these private schools.

 
 
 
bugsy
Professor Participates
4.3.2  bugsy  replied to  George @4.3.1    10 months ago

I would certainly support someone who supports school choice vouchers than to pay taxes supporting a school system where I live that has failed their kids in every way possible.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
5  Hal A. Lujah    10 months ago

Any opportunity to squeeze in the word Communist to help revive a flailing campaign against the worst candidate in US history.  

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
6  George    10 months ago

Let’s sum this up. The state of Florida passed a law that says school vouchers can’t go to schools that are owned and operated by countries of concern, with China being on that list. This school is owned by a group whose owners live in China, so DeSantis follows the law and removes the vouchers.

So….are we upset that DeSantis is enforcing the law? Are democrats really that petty?

Have we suddenly developed a love for vouchers? As long as we can attack DeSantis with it?

or are we just hypocrites?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  George @6    10 months ago

DeSantis everyday thought-

"Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party"  "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party" "Chinese Communist Party"

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
6.1.1  George  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1    10 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
6.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1    10 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
bugsy
Professor Participates
6.1.3  bugsy  replied to  Greg Jones @6.1.2    10 months ago
removed for context
 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
6.2  Sparty On  replied to  George @6    10 months ago

DeSantis is a Republican who is running for POTUS. 

Therefore he must be attacked ….. vociferously resisted according to the sea hags instructions.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6.2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @6.2    10 months ago
DeSantis is a Republican who is running for POTUS.  Therefore he must be attacked

Seems to me that attacking virtually EVERY American politician is America's favourite sport, and sure leads to positive results, eh?  (Am I supposed to put an s/ here?)

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
6.3  Tacos!  replied to  George @6    10 months ago
The state of Florida passed a law

A law that probably violates the Constitution, federal civil rights law, and possibly Florida state constitution and law. Both at the state and federal level, it is illegal to discriminate based on nationality or political ideology. Setting up a voucher program that excludes people based on nationality and political ideology is illegal (imo).

This school is owned by a group whose owners live in China

Even that seems a stretch. Hong Kong isn’t exactly a hotbed of Communist ideology.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6.3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @6.3    10 months ago

Well said, Tacos!

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
6.3.2  George  replied to  Tacos! @6.3    10 months ago

Sigh, once again you post hypocrisy, the law says which countries are forbidden and China is on that list, as much as the ignorant left thinks they can pick and choose which laws they want to follow the Governor should follow and enforce the laws as written.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6.3.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  George @6.3.2    10 months ago

So in your opinion there is no such thing as a bad law?   

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
6.3.4  George  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.3.3    10 months ago

there are lots of bad laws passed, and when that happens you change them! You don’t allow a single individual to decide when and where they get executed.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
6.3.5  Tacos!  replied to  George @6.3.2    10 months ago
Sigh, once again you post hypocrisy

I feel like either you don’t understand what that word means, or you don’t understand what I have written. It’s not hypocrisy to analyze whether or not a law will survive judicial review.

thinks they can pick and choose which laws they want to follow

Where did I say anything about not following the law? Making sure a law complies with the Constitution is the most fundamental way of following the law that there is.

the Governor should follow and enforce the laws as written.

Yes - starting with state and federal constitutions.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6.3.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  George @6.3.4    10 months ago

IMO DeSantis seems to be that single individual.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
6.3.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Tacos! @6.3    10 months ago

Even that seems a stretch. Hong Kong isn’t exactly a hotbed of Communist ideology.

Exactly, one country, two systems is stronger than ever.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
7  SteevieGee    10 months ago

Chinese Communist Party?  Is that what he says when he means "not Christian" now?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
7.1  Sparty On  replied to  SteevieGee @7    10 months ago

No, that’s what he says when the schools have ties to Communist China.

Not sure where the confusion is

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
8  Sparty On    10 months ago

Good..

I see that the party that supports Communist China has spoken up though.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
9  Drinker of the Wry    10 months ago

I’m no Ron DeSantis fan at all, but why the outrage at this action?  The CCP clearly sees the US as an existential threat.  The are proponents of soft power along with hard power to promote their goals.  The Biden Administration has identified as the biggest threat to world order and that we are in “stiff competition” with the PRC.  Why use tax power dollars to assist a school that may have financial ties to the CCP?  


 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @9    10 months ago

Can anyone tell us how these charter schools, which appear to have very good reputations, are disseminating communist ideology? 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
9.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1    10 months ago
Can anyone tell us how these charter schools, which appear to have very good reputations, are disseminating communist ideology? 

I don’t know if they are.  Soft propaganda would be more likely than hard ideology.

If they are then there are some that could tell but probably won’t.  Especially if the school is receiving supplemental funding from China.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
10  Kavika     10 months ago

The only impact this will have is on the parents/students that really need the scholarship money which is very few since the parents that paid the full ride before will continue to do so since this is a top rated school.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
11  Greg Jones    10 months ago

In general, Democrats don't support vouchers or school choice. So why are they getting all upset over this common sense restriction?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
11.1  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @11    10 months ago
In general, Democrats don't support vouchers or school choice. So why are they getting all upset over this common sense restriction?

Exactly!

They spend an inordinate amount of time griping about school vouchers and now when some are not allowed, they whine about THAT!

Makes no damn sense at all.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
11.2  Tacos!  replied to  Greg Jones @11    10 months ago
In general, Democrats don't support vouchers or school choice. So why are they getting all upset over this common sense restriction?

Because a government program should not discriminate based on nationality or political ideology. If Florida can offer voucher programs to everyone except Communists, then California can offer vouchers to everyone except Republicans.

What happen to Republicans who believed in choice? Isn’t the whole point of the voucher program to allow parents to send kids to the school of their choice? Or is that only if the choice is to pray to Conservative Jesus in the classroom?

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
12  Tacos!    10 months ago
A news release from DeSantis’ office said the schools’ connections to China “constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public.”

That sounds like some invented bullshit. What is the evidence for this threat?

We will not put up with any attempt to influence students with a communist ideology

Ok, was that actually happening in the school? Or only in some magic mushroom induced hallucination at the DeSantis house?

By the way, even if this last fantasy is true, it should still be protected under the First Amendment. The government cannot discriminate based on a political viewpoint. It also isn’t supposed to discriminate based on nationality.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
12.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Tacos! @12    10 months ago
By the way, even if this last fantasy is true, it should still be protected under the First Amendment.

Florida hasn’t silenced these little red classrooms, just restricted state vouchers from use there.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
12.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @12.1    10 months ago

It’s still illegal discrimination. Florida is limiting who has access to a state program based on political ideology and nationality. That’s unconstitutional. It also violates federal civil rights law.

If they can withhold vouchers because you’re a communist, then they can do it because you’re a Democrat or a Republican, too.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
12.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Tacos! @12.1.1    10 months ago
It’s still illegal discrimination.

Then the school needs to go to court.

Is this illegal as well:

US starts process to restrict some investment in key tech in China

How about the Biden proposal to ban China from buying land near our military bases here? 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
12.1.3  Tacos!  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @12.1.2    10 months ago

Yep

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
12.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @12.1.2    10 months ago
Is this illegal as well:

Possibly. These things are always arguable. Nothing is automatic. To just look at the thing generally, when the government acts in a way that discriminates against speech (I.e political viewpoint) or nationality, it must justify it under Strict Scrutiny. In most cases, the government loses that review unless it can show that the law or action addresses a compelling government interest through the most narrow means.

In the case of Florida, we see no evidence of an actual threat to the children or general public from private schools.

In the case of military bases, Strict Scrutiny may not even apply because we are no longer in the realm of expression or government entitlements. This is just property investment and where it can be done. Even if there is a level of heightened scrutiny (which I kind of doubt), it may be easier to make a case for national security at military bases.

I imagine both will be litigated.

 
 

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