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DeSantis suspends school choice scholarships to schools with 'ties to the Chinese Communist Party'



Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis' office recently announced the suspension of school choice scholarships for four schools. The investigation conducted by the state education department revealed alleged direct ties between these schools and the Chinese Communist Party.


Specifically, Governor DeSantis targeted the Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, located to the west of Fort Lauderdale, as well as the Parke House Academy and Park Maitland School, both situated in Winter Park, a northern suburb of Orlando.


In response to Governor DeSantis' announcement, a spokesperson from Park Maitland Schools stated that the schools were not informed of the suspension of their eligibility for the program prior to the announcement. They are currently seeking more information while ensuring the continuity of student enrollment. The spokesperson emphasized that these schools are locally run, compliant with local, state, and federal laws, and have no affiliations with any government or political party, both foreign and domestic. They highlighted the accreditation, standards-based curriculum, and academic rigor of their programs.


To assist affected students, the education department is collaborating with non-profit scholarship groups to facilitate enrollment in nearby schools.


Governor DeSantis declared, "The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida." He expressed his commitment to preventing any attempt to influence students with communist ideology, and to ensure that tax dollars do not support schools connected to foreign adversaries. This move follows the bill signed by Governor DeSantis in May, which prohibits the participation of schools affiliated with certain foreign countries in the state's school choice scholarship programs.


The schools affected by this decision have indicated on their websites that they belong to the Spring Education Group, a private school network controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, an investment firm owned by Chinese individuals residing in Hong Kong. Sagemont Preparatory Schools have not responded to requests for comment.


The suspension of scholarships coincides with growing concerns about alleged U.S. classroom influence schemes orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party. The recent hearing in the U.S. House further highlighted these concerns.

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