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This one issue could decide 2024 Republican presidential primaries

‘Probably been true for 100 years. not sure why it has taken so long for folks to figure that out’


By Mary Lou Masters
Daily Caller News Foundation

Education issues such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology are likely to become a key factor in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries as candidates attempt to appeal to the GOP base, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

While only former President Donald Trump has officially declared, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce a run, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as well as several other Republican governors and former governors, have either laid the groundwork or hinted at possible campaigns. As state-level executives, these candidates have a proven track record on education that may prove pivotal as the issue has become a political and cultural flashpoint in recent years, experts told the DCNF.

“To win the GOP primary, this is a smart strategy,” Dr. Keith Gaddie, Oklahoma University professor and political scientist, told the DCNF, adding that candidates’ background in enacting state-level education policy would “no doubt” be a valuable asset to their campaigns.

In 2021, DeSantis expanded Florida’s school choice program and in March 2022 signed the Parental Rights in Education Act into law, barring teachers from educating K-3 students on topics such as sexual orientation and gender ideology. Most recently, he pressured the College Board to alter its AP African American Studies course and announced legislation to provide core curricula “rooted in Western tradition” and eliminate the emphasis on CRT and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in Florida universities.

“Education is going to be a big issue in the Republican primaries mostly because it has (finally) dawned on folks on the right that the interests of State schools might not always align with the interests of the parents. That has probably been true for 100 years; not sure why it has taken so long for folks to figure that out,” Michael McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, told the DCNF.

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin has also been the subject of much speculation as to whether he will launch a presidential campaign, though the governor has yet to commit to a run. Youngkin won Virginia in 2021 on the back of a “parents’ rights” platform in a blue-leaning state, frequently arguing for parents to play a greater role in their child’s education…


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