The three-day “Moms for Liberty” summit was designed to teach and prepare attendees on how to stack local school boards with conservatives.
Tiffany Justice co-founded the Florida-based organization during the COVID-19 pandemic to battle against face masks in schools. The group also focused on ways to fight “gender ideology in our schools,” “social and emotional learning,” and “restorative justice,” according to the Florida Phoenix, who additionally reports that Justice referred to teacher unions as “K-12 cartels.”
Back to DeVos: She is a longtime advocate of “privatized education, at Christian schools where possible,” and as Daily Kos staff writer Laura Clawson wrote in 2020, she’ll never be forgotten for her failed Education Freedom Scholarships, which pushed for voucher programs.
DeVos is also deeply involved in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reelection campaign. According to Salon, she’s given the fascist governor half a million dollars in contributions. So it’s no wonder that many of DeSantis’ initiatives mimic DeVos’ ideologies, like expanding school vouchers, banning critical race theory, and instituting a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, aka limiting LGBTQ discussions in classrooms.
DeSantis has even begun endorsing conservative school board candidates.
According to Axios, groups such as The 1776 Project, “the first national PAC specifically launched to boost school board candidates opposed to CRT,” and Moms for Liberty are deeply embroiled in school board contests. The 1776 Project Founder Ryan Girdusky told Axios that the PAC planned to spend around $300,000 on state school board races this year.
Christian Ziegler, vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida, told Politico, “People are frustrated with the business-as-usual on these school boards,” and when it comes to school board elections, he added, “Payback is coming in August.” Ziegler’s wife Bridget is running to keep her seat on the Sarasota County school board and has already been endorsed by DeSantis.