Florida teachers union president says DeSantis is 'extremely reckless' for turning down federal aid for schools

Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union in Broward County, Fla., the second largest school district in the state, appeared on Don Lemon Tonight Monday where she called out Gov. Ron DeSantis for declining to apply for billions of dollars in funding for schools as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

“He’s extremely reckless. It’s definitely politics. He’s a governor that’s come out real clearly that he’s planning on running in [2024] against Biden,” Fusco said. “So there’s some, you know, conversations that are happening. It’s just a way to say that ‘I’m just gonna keep pulling back and doing my own thing to show that I can take charge and have total power.’”

Florida is the only state in the country that has not applied for the funding, and Fusco believes DeSantis is failing the students.

“He’s just looking to defund public schools,” Fusco said. “When you’re not looking to come up with a plan, meet a deadline for the hundreds of thousands of students across the state of Florida that are in public schools, that need to have, you know, lots of resources and actual physical bodies in the schools to take care of our students, it says a lot. It’s just wrong.”

DeSantis’s office responded to the Department of Education’s request for a funding plan by stating that no school districts in Florida have requested additional funding, but it will reach out to the department if funding is needed in the future. But Fusco isn’t buying it.

“I just cannot believe that no district has reached out and said that they need every dime to meet the needs of so many things that have just happened over this whole COVID era,” Fusco said. “It's just unbelievable. I would like to see proof.”

Don Lemon Tonight airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on CNN.

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