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DeSantis Ban on Math Books Financially Benefits Another Anti-CRT GOP Governor

The agency that oversaw the rejection of textbooks in Florida hasn’t been transparent about why each book was denied.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with attendees at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on July 18, 2021.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently rejected the use of a number of math books in Florida public schools because they supposedly contain material relating to critical race theory — but closer inspection of who benefits from the rejection of the textbooks reveals that another Republican governor is set to profit from the decision.

Earlier this month, DeSantis rejected more than 50 mathematics titles for use in K-12 public schools in Florida, claiming that the books contained critical race theory, Common Core teaching concepts, and other materials he deemed inappropriate for children. But officials wouldn’t provide examples of how the content had violated state standards.

In spite of not being forthright on why these decisions were made, the state agency overseeing the rejection of the textbooks declared that their process was a “transparent” one.

Upon further investigation from news media, however, it became clear that certain individuals will financially benefit from DeSantis’s rejection of textbooks — including Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, another Republican lawmaker who has pushed an anti-critical race theory agenda.

The only textbooks that the DeSantis administration approved for K-5 classrooms throughout the state were from a company called Accelerate Learning, The Tallahassee Democrat reported last week. That company, the progressive organization Blue Virginia has pointed out, was acquired by The Carlyle Group, a private equity company which Youngkin was the CEO of at the time of the acquisition.

As a result of the reporting, the Virginia governor denied having anything to do with DeSantis’s decision-making process. “The governor left Carlyle two years ago and had no direct involvement with the partnership,” a spokesperson for Youngkin said.

Still, DeSantis’s decision to use only Accelerate Learning books for K-5 classrooms will have a positive financial impact on Youngkin, as Youngkin still has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock in The Carlyle Group.

It’s unclear whether DeSantis’s actions were made with the intention of increasing Youngkin’s profits, but because the state hasn’t been transparent about its process for rejecting books, the connection has raised a number of eyebrows.

“It’s still unclear if this is all just a giant coincidence or if Republicans are using their efforts to censor ideas they don’t like in public schools to also steer contracts towards publishers they have relationships and investments with,” Occupy Democrats opinion columnist Thomas Kennedy said in a recent column. “To me, it’s highly suspicious that the only Math textbooks now available for Florida school districts in grades K-5 have a direct connection to a Republican governor who is also pushing the same censorship agenda.”

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