State colleges and universities in Florida can now authorize the creation of charter schools and sponsor those schools after Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB1028 into law last Tuesday. The legislation will go into effect on July 1.
Previously, universities could sponsor charter developmental research schools. State colleges could also work with school districts to develop charter schools that offer secondary education, with the option to receive an associate’s degree upon graduation. In addition, state colleges could sponsor one charter school, provided that they meet certain conditions.
The new law gives higher education institutions the capacity to solicit applications from charter schools, provided that the colleges and universities secure approval from the Florida Department of Education beforehand. Senator Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast, told redefinED that this would help streamline the process of seeking approval for charter school applicants.
Outrage Over Trans Athlete Ban
A provision of the bill also bans transgender women from participating in female sports, under a section entitled the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.”
According to DeSantis, even looming pressure from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) could not deter him from pushing the bill through, as reported by Florida Politics.
“You can’t be cowed by these organizations, particularly by woke corporations, from doing the right thing,” he said.
In Florida, we’re going to do what’s right and we won’t be cowed by pressure from woke corporations. They will not dictate the policies in Florida – not now, not ever. Florida will stand strong and protect women's sports and opportunities.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 1, 2021
Twitter users had plenty to say about DeSantis’ decision.
No it isn’t. A man deciding to be a woman and physically change their gender is what ever. More power to them. But you can’t deny nature. Men are naturally stronger and faster than women. It’s not fair to biological women to compete with trans women. It just isn’t.
— Rhino Shark Studio (@rhinosharkart) June 3, 2021
Day 1 of #Pride2021 #DeathSantis signs an anti-trans bill.
Day 2 of #Pride2021 he vetoes funding for counseling for #Pulse survivors & for homeless LGBTQ youth.
What will he do on day 3?
F you @GovRonDeSantis you are absolutely despicable.
Can't wait to vote your ass out.
— Michelle Cooper (@coopgal69) June 3, 2021
According to the bill, the purpose of the act was to “maintain opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and athletic abilities,” thus, “requiring the designation of separate sex-specific athletic teams or sports is necessary to maintain.”
The Act also stipulates that while athletic teams or sports designated for men may be open to students of the female sex, athletic teams or sports designated for women may not be open to students of the male sex.