1 In 8 Florida High School Seniors Won’t Attend a State School Due to DeSantis’s Education Policies

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By Giselle Balido

April 4, 2023

With his growing culture wars and anti- “woke” rhetoric that target public education, the Republican governor could drive Florida’s young people out of state.

Florida students who are dissatisfied with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ education policies say they could be looking for college opportunities in another state. In fact, 1 in 8 graduating high school students in Florida won’t attend a public college due to DeSantis’ education policies, according to an Intelligent.com survey of over 1,000 Florida students, including 783 still in high school and 364 current undergrads. 

Worried About Negative Impact

The results of the Seattle-based, privately funded online magazine that focuses on providing resources around education also found that:

  • Overall, 91% of prospective college students and 79% of current college students disagree with DeSantis’ policies
  • 78% of students surveyed who plan to attend a state school are worried the policies will have a negative impact on their education
  • 1 in 20 current state college students plan to transfer because of DeSantis’ education policies
  • 56% of surveyed current state college students are concerned the policies will negatively impact their on-going education
  • About 27% of high school respondents who disagree with DeSantis say they are unlikely to attend a state school.

RELATED: ‘Terrifying’ and ‘Draconian’: DeSantis Bill to Reform College Education Could Destroy It

As part of his campaign to “stop the woke,” the Republican governor has banned a high school Advanced Placement (AP) class on African American studies, claiming it was “indoctrination,” and now works to ban all AP courses in Florida. Additionally, DeSantis’ book bans in public schools across the state puts librarians in danger of losing their livelihood if they lend books blacklisted by the state education board. It has also made Florida rank #2 in book bans in the nation. 

DeSantis is also targeting higher education institutions, as evidenced by his takeover of New College, a small liberal arts school within the state’s public university system, stacking its board of trustees with anti-critical race theory with figures from the Christian right and MAGA world. 



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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