Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has vowed to fight back in the wake of reports that President Joe Biden and his administration planned to tie school lunch program funding to policies that adhered to radical gender ideology.
Touting his state’s 2022-2023 “Freedom First Budget,” DeSantis said that he would make sure Florida was prepared to fight back if the Biden administration stripped funding for public school lunch programs over his state’s move to bar teachers from presenting classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual identity to children in kindergarten through third grade.
“In Florida, we are fighting against Biden’s intentionally destructive policies like denying school lunches for states that refuse to implement woke gender ideology in the schools,” DeSantis tweeted on Sunday.
In Florida, we are fighting against Biden’s intentionally destructive policies like denying school lunches for states that refuse to implement woke gender ideology in the schools. pic.twitter.com/YXpTky75Jn
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 5, 2022
“We’re prepared for what Biden throws our way,” DeSantis said. “And, you know, yes, part of it’s the inflation and the gas — part of it are intentionally destructive policies like trying to deny school lunch programs for states that don’t do transgender ideology in the schools, I mean, give me a break!”
“Totally off his rocker to be doing that,” DeSantis continued. “We’re fighting on that, don’t worry. So we’re just prepared to be able to defend the taxpayers and the hard-working people in the state of Florida, and I couldn’t be prouder for doing that.”
DeSantis was responding to reports that Biden planned to link programs that provide free or low-cost lunches to students to school and state policies, demanding that they adhere to transgender non-discrimination policies. According to the USDA, the move comes as a result of the Biden administration’s expansion — by executive order — of Title IX to include discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Schools awarded money from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency within USDA, must specify in their policies that discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation is prohibited, the department announced in May. It also said allegations of such discrimination must be investigated,” Fox News reported.
Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior told Fox News, “What you’re seeing here is really the Biden administration saying, ‘You’re going to do what I want or I’m going to take your lunch money.’ For the federal government to come in and really tie school nutrition and school lunch programs to this radical ideology is terrifying, and it’s appalling.”
DeSantis is not the only governor fighting back in the wake of those reports — Governor Kristi Noem (R-SD) has threatened to sue if the Biden administration withholds lunch funding over moves to protect female students in sports.