DeSantis promotes tuition refunds after 'absolutely insane' campus shutdowns

In a recent press conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vowed to keep Florida schools open and suggested full tuition refunds for students whose schools elsewhere go virtual due to COVID.

DeSantis has a history of signing higher education legislation that targets liberal bias on college campuses.

In a Jan. 3 press conference to Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis insisted that any school in America that closes their doors due to COVID-19 "should have to refund 100% of the tuition to the parents.”

When asked at the event about the shutdowns, DeSantis vowed that schools in Florida would remain open for in-person learning.

"Our schools will be open in the state of Florida," DeSantis told reporters, claiming that data has indicated school shutdowns are ineffective at combatting Covid-19. "They're going to have in-person instruction." 

DeSantis then focused in on the Omicron variant, calling some schools' decisions to issue shelter-in-place orders "absolutely insane" and criticizing "shelter-in-place [orders] over Omicron" for college students. 

[RELATED: DeSantis agenda continues to rattle FL profs]

Multiple researchers have suggested that the Omicron variant is often mild in its effects compared to previous strains.

DeSantis then took aim at other state's colleges and universities, exclaiming that those who close their campuses ought to issue tuition refunds in full to parents.

"I think any university that doesn't [remain open] should have to refund 100% of the tuition to the parents," he said.

Campus Reform spoke to Governor Desantis' Press Secretary, Christina Pushaw, who clarified that DeSantis' remarks were aimed at schools not in the state of Florida.

"Florida’s state university system is 100% in-person and has been all year. Students at Florida higher education institutions are free to attend class and participate in campus activities as usual," Pushaw said. 

"Therefore, the governor’s remark does not apply to Florida public institutions," she added,
"because they are open and delivering the full experience that students and their families pay for."

[RELATED: Florida education board to ban CRT, with support from Gov. DeSantis and opposition from professors]

Pushaw also clarified that DeSantis was not proposing legislation or compelling institutions to act on his remarks.

"During his remarks, he did not propose legislative changes or new policies to compel those institutions to refund tuition," Pushaw stated. 

Throughout his governorship, DeSantis has stood in stark opposition to liberal bias on Florida campuses. 

In June, he signed a bill banning men from competing in women's sports, and days later, signed two more bills effectively banning Chinese Confucius Institutes from operating in the state of Florida. 


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