Tallahassee, Fla. — SPLC Action Fund Managing Attorney, Children’s Rights, Bacardi Jackson released the statement below after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reappropriated over $41 million dollars from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Guardian Program as part of his $1 billion in vetoes of the state’s budget.
“We are pleased to see Governor DeSantis’ decision to reduce the significant amount of public funds that have been directed to the unpopular, unproven, and dangerous so-called ‘guardian’ program that has armed inadequately-trained civilians, including teachers, in our school. At the same time we urge him to re-commit these much-needed funds to our state’s public schools that are not only responsible for educating the vast majority of Florida’s school-age children but that have also been the safety net for the majority of Florida’s families and children.
“These funds should be invested in supports that will ensure all of Florida’s students are safe, healthy, and can thrive at school. We also urge the Governor to reconsider the dramatic expansion of Florida’s already massive private school voucher scheme, which currently siphons away $1 billion of public funds annually, while our public schools are struggling to meet the growing needs of our children and to address the inequities that have been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.” \