Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has invited Vice President Kamala Harris to Florida to discuss the state’s new educational curriculum on African American history. The invitation comes after Vice President Harris claimed that students would be taught that “enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
In his letter to Harris, Governor DeSantis emphasized that Florida is committed to teaching truth and not partisan narratives in its education system. He highlighted the state’s efforts to remove “hateful Marxist theories” like Critical Race Theory and eliminate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives from schools. Instead, Florida focuses on the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, civics, and history.
The new instruction on African American history, including the discussion on how slaves developed skills that could be applied for personal benefit, has been a point of contention among critics.
Governor DeSantis defended Florida’s education standards, stating that the state is unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about important issues. He invited Vice President Harris to discuss the African American History standards in person, offering to meet as early as Wednesday.
The governor’s invitation also included a jab at Harris’s role as the border czar, alluding to the ongoing influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The education standards in Florida have faced criticism from some black Republicans, including Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. John James, and Senator Tim Scott, for the line about slaves benefiting personally from their skills. Donalds, however, approved of the overall curriculum but urged the Florida Department of Education to correct the controversial line.
DeSantis previously dismissed criticism of the curriculum, stating that he was not responsible for it. However, he has defended the curriculum while emphasizing that he was not involved in its creation.
Governor DeSantis’s invitation to Vice President Harris reflects his commitment to an open and substantive discussion on education and its impact on students.