UPDATED 11:28 AM PT – Thursday, July 14, 2022
Just as President Joe Biden left his poor poll numbers at home for the Middle East, California Governor Gavin Newsom made a visit to the White House. On Wednesday, the Democrat took the stage in Washington, D.C. to accept the 2022 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation, which was awarded to the Golden State for its financial investments to ensure education equity.
#ICYMI: @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom today accepting the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation in DC said: “We believe in debt free college… We created something called College Corps.” pic.twitter.com/mYpUz6iEd0
— California Volunteers (@CalVolunteers) July 13, 2022
The award’s name did not include the word excellence as California ranked 44th in math scores and 38th in reading test scores nationally in 2019, while boasting the worst student-to-teacher ratio in the country. Furthermore, California kept public school students out of the classroom more than any other state during its COVID lockdowns as Newsom’s children were able to attend in-person learning at a private institution.
However, Newsom shifted the crowd’s attention to red states by accusing Florida of censorship for its Parental Rights in Education Act. The Democrat berated the legislation, which gives Florida parents oversight over their children’s curriculum, and specifically took aim at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary for calling it an “anti-grooming bill.”
Many have speculated that Newsom has recently begun lobbing criticisms at DeSantis because he sees him as a potential rival in the 2024 presidential election. However, when pressed on his intentions outside the White House, Newsom vehemently denied he has any ambitions for the Oval Office. This comes despite Newsom financing ads in Florida attacking the policies of Governor DeSantis.
Although the Democrat has professed his dedication to education equity, Florida students did not witness the same widening gap between white and non-white students that California has seen since its draconian COVID lockdowns.