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The Florida Roundup
The Florida Roundup is a live, weekly call-in show with a distinct focus on the issues affecting Floridians. Each Friday at noon, listeners can engage in the conversation with journalists, newsmakers and other Floridians about change, policy and the future of our lives in the sunshine state.Join our hosts, veteran journalists from our partner public radio stations: WLRN’s Tom Hudson, broadcasting from Miami and WJCT’s Melissa Ross, broadcasting from Jacksonville.

Black leaders rally in Tallahassee, remaking New College, and why does DeSantis want to ban ESG?

Woman walking next to New College sign
Chris O'Meara
A student makes her way past the sign at New College on Jan. 20, 2023, in Sarasota.

On this week's Florida Roundup, we discussed Gov. Ron DeSantis' education policies, interim New College President Richard Corcoran getting a pay bump of nearly $400,000 over his predecessor, and explain ESG investing.

Black lawmakers, activists and the Rev. Al Sharpton marched in Tallahassee this week.

The rally was an escalation of their criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s rejection of a new College Board Advanced Placement course in African American studies. Activists say DeSantis is harming education in the state, all as part of a bid to increase his profile in an expected run for president next year.

For his part, DeSantis has doubled down on the controversy, saying he may look to end Florida’s relationship with the College Board altogether. The board administers AP classes for high school students, along with the SAT test.

Guest: Dwight Bullard, former Democratic state senator and political adviser for Florida Rising.

Remaking New College of Florida

The newly remade board of trustees at New College of Florida voted Monday to give the Sarasota school’s interim president, Richard Corcoran, a pay raise of nearly $400,000 over his predecessor.

The board decided that Corcoran, a former Florida House speaker and state education commissioner, will receive a base salary of $699,000, in addition to other benefits. That’s twice the amount that was paid to the school’s former president, who was recently ousted.

All of this is seen as a part of the DeSantis administration’s controversial push to remake education in the state.

Guest: Divya Kumar, higher education reporter at the Tampa Bay Times.

ESG: What is it and why does the governor want to ban it?

DeSantis says he will propose legislation that would bar the state and its local governments from using ESG — or environmental, social and governance criteria — when issuing municipal bonds. It’s an expansion of his push against what he’s called a “woke agenda.”

DeSantis released new details on Monday about his plan to require that state and local government investments be guided only by potential returns. He previously said the state’s asset managers must stop using ESG investing strategies if they want to keep overseeing Florida’s money, including $220 billion of pension funds. However, some analysts say that could cost Florida taxpayers millions of dollars in secret costs every year.

Guest: Ken Russell, director of U.S. public sector engagement and development at Longevity Partners (a financial firm that works in ESG) and a former Miami city commissioner.

Copyright 2023 WJCT News 89.9

Brendan Rivers comes to WJCT News with years of experience reporting and hosting news for several stations in the Daytona Beach area.